So that was 2017, and what have we learnt..

Ooops, just found this in my drafts, it’s only about 6 weeks too late – sorry….


Sorry John Lennon for poorly appropriating your lyrics, but it kind of seemed appropriate, another year over, a new one just begun and all that. And this time last year, I was learning more than I ever imagined there was to know about sperm banks. As far as I was concerned, I’d made the decision that I was going to defrost those eggs and try to get pregnant on my own.

I saw 2017 as the year that was going to resolve a question that had been preoccupying my subconscious (and my conscious for that matter) for a long period of time: The Kid Thing. I even wrote

whatever happens this year, I hope it will give me some form of resolution to something that, whether I like it or not, has overshadowed every single relationship, or possibility of a relationship I’ve had since S: The Kid Thing… I figure that…either I’ll end up dating having had to come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t have my own biological child. Or I end up dating as someone who already has a child.

That was meant to be 2017. That was my year to resolve things. But of course life doesn’t work like that. Things don’t get neatly parcelled up in 12 month intervals, that start in January and end in December, much as we might like them to. OK, much as I might like them to. Life is messy, things spill over from one year to the next. There isn’t clarity, there isn’t tidiness, there isn’t control.

And that for me, as much as anything has been the biggest lesson that I’ve had to learn from 2017. I’m a control freak, I was brought up to believe that if you work hard enough, you get the things that you want. And if I’m honest that that philosophy has worked pretty well for me so far — GCSEs, A-Levels, a good degree from a good university, a successful career. (In fact to my mind, it’s no coincidence that the only area of my life that hasn’t been so successful — relationships — is one that requires another person’s input, one where 50 per cent of it isn’t down to me. I can try as hard as I like, but however much I want something to work, I’ve had to accept (another Cheryl Strayed truism) that you can’t try hard/love someone/want something to work/be brave enough for both of you.)

But yes, basically one of my core tenets is “work hard, get what you want, and if you don’t get it, work harder” so accepting that getting pregnant and having a child doesn’t work like that has been really, really tough. Acknowledging that something is not within my powers to control is hard, but feeling OK with that is even harder. I’d like to think that my theory that it would make me a better parent still holds true. But everything I’ve been through this year, makes it harder to keep the faith that that’s going to happen. I’d be an idiot to assume anything at this point. Maybe it will all just make me a better person, whatever happens. Although obviously there’s a large part of me that would happily stay being a crap person who easily had a healthy baby…

At the end of last year I noted, after a period of emotional fuckwittery

I think that’s probably something I’m going to need to remember a lot in 2017. That sometimes, I’m going to feel OK about things. And sometimes I’m not. And that’s OK too. Because however I feel, I’m not going to feel like that forever.

Well, quite obviously, I’ve failed, on many occasions to remember this, so I should probably try a bit harder on that front. But thinking about what I wanted the end of the year to look like — a baby, or a pregnancy — and thinking about how actually, success today looks like a single frozen embryo, is probably a good reminder that while I might have a plan, the universe isn’t always on board with things happening in the way and the timeframe that I’d like them to.

So I think the other thing I’m going to try to remember in 2018 is to chill the fuck out, and to stop trying so hard to bend things into the shapes I want them to be in. Seriously, sometimes it feels like I’m trying to wrestle a hula hoop into the shape of a triangle or a hexagon or something, and it might temporarily look like it’s working, but in the end it always springs back to a circle. So yes, 2018 is going to have to be the year that I just relax and let life happen (I mean how hard can that be for a total control freak? Yeah, don’t answer that.)

Happy new year to you all, thanks for reading, and for all your support xxx

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