Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I Wish I Had Known...
I was recently asked to be part of a video series in which women record themselves, explaining something they wish they had known about infertility back when their journey began. I seriously considered recording a video, but realized I just couldn't do it. Why play this awful game with myself again?
I already play, actually: I think about all the things I wish I had known before, in the interest of having that knowledge now. It's a tricky wish. Think about it: if you had known then what you know now, would you still be standing here, in this place, today? Does wishing away your former lack of knowledge minimize the strength it took to get to today?
When I play this 'game' I remind myself of something important: sometimes, ignorance leads to your life's greatest lessons. Sure, it's easy to wish we could change something or pine for the chance to have a do-over; one where we say all the right things and have all the answers, thus allowing us to avoid heartbreak. But really, what would that mean for your life?
If you had known how things would turn out, would you change your behavior? Would you risk ruining everything just to avoid one thing? It's hard to know, really. I can't say if it is a risk I'd be willing to take, even knowing what I know today.
I would not wish my experience upon anyone---even myself, if given the option. But that does not negate the fact that it happened and I can't change that by wishing knowledge upon my former self. I lived in ignorance--and bliss--for years before facing my life's most painful truth. It's changed me for the better, and perhaps also for the worse. But I can't pick out the parts of who I am that I want to keep and throw the rest away; my life isn't trail mix. Neither is yours.
Maybe I do wish I had known something all along: that I would be OK. Really and truly, the dust would settle and everything would be alright. I'd live through the experience and the waiting and every shred of major disappointment. I would have the opportunity to crack open every piece of baggage I carry. Hell, I would live through having surgery--twice. And I'd still be standing, stronger and better than ever.
Maybe that's what my wish would be.