Before I married Evan… actually before I ever even met Evan… I had decided I did not want children. I liked kids, don’t get me wrong; but, my mother and father were poster children for people who should never have procreated, and I was slightly afraid I would be the kind of parent they were. That thought scared the crap out of me, so I convinced myself no kids were ever going to be in the cards for me – I even managed to convince myself that I should never marry either.
As I got older though, there was something inside of me that kept longing for something… searching for something, really. And I tried to provide that something by learning new things or trying out new lifestyles in the hopes that something would eventually click and fill up that place that seemed to be eternally empty. It started with me going out all the time – to bars or dance clubs – and staying out to all hours of the night. But that wasn’t doing anything for that searching feeling other than making me more tired during the day so that my job felt like a weight around my shoulders. So I learned how to fish from my friend, Jeff; and I took that to the extreme by fishing almost every day for a while.
Jeff and I would head out from Tallahassee to go to Bottoms Road in Panacea to go flats fishing down at the end of the road by the boat ramp. We’d do this together several times a week or on the weekends, and I’ll never ever forget the first time I caught a speckled trout and had to take the darned thing off my line without getting bitten (who knew trout had massive teeth that HURT when they sink into your fingers). Heck, we even made it a party by taking Melanie and Claire along and eventually Mark and Wolfie who were present the day I tried to kill myself by becoming shark bait (but that will be a story for another post). It was a few months of wonderful, but then Jeff moved to Atlanta. And Melanie and Claire broke up. And Mark had a baby and I lost touch with Wolfie. And after almost being shark food, I didn’t like being in the water alone anymore. And then I got bored.
So I took a class about underwater environments at FSU and became enamored of the ocean (actually, I was already pretty in love with the water), and fell into the scuba class at FSU after an offhanded comment by one of the other students led me to the PEN 1136 class. I was terrified at first. I was not the typical 18 year old male that traditionally took the class – I had way more padding than the other girls in the class, and I’m not athletic. But it was wonderful! And the very first time I jumped off the boat in the Keys to dive the Christ of the Abyss, I knew the ocean and I would always have an incredible bond. I took my scuba experience to the extreme by signing up for the leadership classes once I finished my first class and then pushing myself to earn new certifications and make myself do things I would normally have never done (I did tell you I am a big chicken, right?). But then my life changed and diving was not longer really an option because my ears – specifically my Eustachian tubes – wouldn’t let me get to depth anymore (boo bad genetics!).
So I started hanging out in the woods with my hunting buddies (who I actually had met through scuba) more and more. I never shot anything (other than the odd Mountain Dew can at the rifle range every now and then), but I had a blast being out in the woods listening to the dogs bay off in the distance and hanging out by the campfire afterwards. My friend, Richard, and I would ride the back woods roads until the wee hours of the morning talking about life, friendship, love, God, work, and everything else you could think of, and we had fun. And Richard was with me the day I actually had a buck in my sights but the gun was shaking so badly I couldn’t pull the trigger. He had such a good laugh at that! But then Richard started dating a girl pretty seriously and I was focusing on my new house a little more and my days in the woods started to become fewer and farther between. Eventually I was more focused on school and Richard was more focused on running marathons until I before I knew it, I wasn’t in the woods at all anymore.
And I met Evan. And life changed. And Richard died suddenly. And my scuba friends all came back together for a while, but we were changed because we had lost our glue. And I became unglued a bit in my sadness. And then I married Evan and life changed again pretty seriously. And somewhere along the way, that emptiness began to change… my searching behavior began to shift. Marrying Evan made the emptiness not so empty, but there was still something missing. So we talked about kids. He didn’t want them. And I didn’t want them. But really, I think we both did want them and were too afraid of ourselves to realize it.
We went through fertility testing until both of us were sick of being poked and prodded and stuck and studied. Finally, they figured out that his little guys were misshapen, lazy and too few to count, and my girls were too weird, and lazy and unreliable to work with. Basically, biology was against us. Who knew Mother Nature could actually decide she didn’t like you??? And so it was that we had to decide… adoption or be childless. And in my next posts, I’ll take you through those decisions.