What does love look like?
When everyone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up it was an exciting question to explore. “The sky is the limit,” my teacher used to say. Well…. If that was the case I wanted to be a singer and “sing for Jesus.” Unfortunately Jesus didn’t give me the vocal cords so that didn’t happen. I evolved through an entire list as I got older and each year there were new expectations. What our teachers didn’t tell us was about a strange phase between 23 and 35 years old when people stopped asking, and started telling us what we should be.
The two questions I hate most: “Has he asked you yet?” or “When are you thinking about starting a family of your own?” Although I have my pre-memorized responses for both of those questions I am screaming from the inside. Who said I had to be a wife and who said I had to be a mom?
It’s none of your damn business.
Those questions always seem to trigger a wave of emotions in me because I either want them to be true or can’t stand the thought of them; it depends on the day. When my husband did finally propose, he might have been more excited about the prodding proposal questions coming to an end. I know he dreaded every wedding we were invited to because our future was always the topic of the dinner conversation. I always told him it was because people knew how lucky he was (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). However, we had no idea that a proposal opened a gate for people to ask the second question; before we even set a wedding venue! Why are people so eager to know how we want to time out our life? It really has no effect on you.
Yes, we are married now and have bought a house, (another question that people are dying to know about) so now we get asked at every public event about kids. Technically it's next on the list. I can’t seem to escape the question. Heaven forbid, if I post an unflattering photo where a gust of wind happened to blow my shirt in an awkward way, in they come. The messages start flowing to find out if I am pregnant or not. And you know what, holidays are the worst. I made one small comment on the smell of my dad’s strange chicken-concoction and I heard whispers in the other room, “is Mekayla pregnant?” I escaped to the garage to cool down before I exploded.
Here’s the thing. We can’t get pregnant.
Not yet at least.
My husband and I went through some major health issues just 4 months after we got married. Trust me, I want to tell you more than ever that we are trying to get pregnant. I want to tell you that on my 27th birthday (1 month after we got married) we decided that we would start trying. I want to tell you that we have an ovulation calendar taped to the back of our bathroom door, and that we have a little basket of pregnancy tests waiting to be used.
I want to tell you that we are pregnant so bad.
Instead, I have to tell you how harsh the chemotherapy treatments were on the man I love. I have to tell you that I watched him suffer on the coach for three months and couldn’t do anything about it. I have to tell you that we ate Mexican food and pizza for 30 days straight because that’s all he could taste. I have to tell you that my husband held me while I cried when I found out all of my friends were pregnant. I have to tell you that we may not be able to have children; every time you ask if we are pregnant yet, this is what I want to say...
That’s what goes through my mind every time you ask me. So to save you from the downer story, I say, “It’s in Gods hands!” because it is at this point.
So the next time you start to ask someone those two very important questions-- just don’t. Don’t even bring it up. If you really want to know, ask someone else or wait for them to bring it up. You never know what they are going through.
It may not be cancer, it could be infertility, sickness, loss, financial problems. At the end of the day, it is none of your damn business--even if you do love them.
For all of my friends who are still living out their short-lived yet exciting pre-adult-life. Consider this your warning. Once the clock strikes midnight on your 25th birthday, the world expects you to drop your dreams, find a suitable partner and procreate. That’s what it feels like, at least.
Don't listen to them, live your life to it's fullest and everything else will come when it's supposed to. Life is short. Trust us, we know.
-Mekayla Eppers, Miss Indiana 2014