9.22.2007

All-Purpose

"When you were in high school, where did you see yourself in ten years?"
"Married and pregnant."

I honestly believed that I was going to be one of Stockton's young mothers. When we saw the young mothers with her baby in the high school day care center, I would ask young boyfriend jokingly "Can we have one of those?" He always knew that I was joking less than my tone suggested, and just said "Maybe later."

I look back now and wonder why I wanted that baby so badly. It wasn't because I thought I was mature enough for a baby. I didn't have my own home (heck, I didn't even have my own room in Stockton). I didn't have a job. I didn't have a line of credit. I had an S-Mart Foods membership card, but I figure that would probably not make any top ten "Must Have for Baby" magazine lists.

It wasn't because I was in a happy stable relationship. If we were happy, it was an "on average" happy- if you looked at the wild ups and downs of the relationship, you could take the mean of the given values of happy over the three years we were together and conclude that yes, this relationship was happy. In the same way that the temperature in Death Valley is, on average, rather tepid.

Leaving high school and venturing into the murky future of "What's next?" is scary. Even the simple idea of going to college was complicated with questions of which college, which major, which concentration. After twelve years of having my life dicated by the Stockton Unified School District, I was being let out on my own. It must be what lab animals feel like when member of PETA release them back into the wild- right before they get eaten by something that wasn't hand raised by humans.

Children tend to give parents an amazing sense of purpose- there is nothing that can guide a person more than the task of devoting eighteen plus years of your life to raising a functional, productive member of society. Life would have been much harder had I given in to my first impulse to have a child- but it would have been so much simpler. The next eighteen years of my life would have been decided and all I would have to do was live it.

Instead, life is complicated. Life is full of which job, which degree, which future- all choices that I have to make, all choices that I have to live with. And always, once I make one decision, there is another one I need to make right around the corner. After deciding against having a baby at the glorious age of eighteen, I find that I am happier for the choice that I made then, and for the choices that I make today.

Life is nothing but the choices that we make.

5 comments:

YS said...

Instead, you can be a proud parent of a kick-ass graphic novel.

Oops, too soon. But pending in the metaphorical womb. :)

sasstastic said...

....

(Haha, you see that? That was a pregnant pause. Snap!)

YS said...

HA HA HA HA

(Anime sweatdrop)

michael golamco said...

I was voted most likely to be married and pregnant in 10 years too. But I beat the odds.

sasstastic said...

You and I are kindred spirits Mike. Kindred, barren spirits.