This prompt feels like possibly the easiest one to date, but it isn’t really. I decided around the age of about 15 that I would never have children. At the time I felt the world was already overpopulated with many children left abandoned by their parents in children’s homes. If I ever was to have a child it would be through adoption. Where or how I arrived at this decision I cannot really be certain because I feel as a teenager I could not have shown much interest in the world at large, nor any of its social problems. I did not even have time to wonder about my parents and who they were as people, I only had time for my friends, fun and making it from meal to meal. I also remember making the bold statement that I was afraid of the pain experienced giving birth to another human being.

Unconsciously at the same time I seemed to have made a decision that I was going to be a career woman, another justifiable reason to not have children. Writing this now and looking back at that time in my life, I remember being completely enamoured by one of my mom’s cousins. She was elegant, a real lady. Her makeup was always done so beautifully and she earned her own money, had her own house and drove a really nice car. She was everything my mother wasn’t. What she did not have was a husband or children, but she did dote on her nephew. Vowing and declaring that her niece and nephew would inherent one day when she had passed. I remember them teasing Louis saying: “You had better watch out, you are going to get written out of the will.” Whenever he did something that went against what she wanted. To my surprise I find I have done exactly the same thing. I have a nephew whom I took to Euro Disney as a 10th birthday gift. Seriously, double digits only happen once in a person’s life and so one has to make it memorable. He is also one of the beneficiaries in our trust.

How surreptitiously has this woman impacted my life and choices. An invisible thread woven through time that I had not even noticed until now. Is this a good thing or a bad that I have made these choices and somehow lived my life mirroring hers? How will I ever know, that time has gone and somewhere along the way I decided, rather unconsciously it would appear, that I did not want her life anymore because at the age of 45 I met a man and we got married a year later. 6 January 2018.

This was certainly a major commitment in my life. Prior to this I do not believed I was committed to anything long enough to determine its value. It is now September 2020 and we are in a space together better than we have ever been. I can recognise how in the beginning we each behaved as if we were still single and now we show each other the respect of treating every event and decision from the perspective of being married. I was insanely jealous in the beginning checking his phone to see who he had been texting and checking what his Facebook feed was about. Now I live in the confidence of knowing that he will not intentionally hurt me. We are by no means the perfect couple as portrayed in TV shows, but when challenges come up for us, we work to solve them together.

When I look at myself in the mirror in the mornings, I no longer recognise the woman who went on that first date. Internally everything has shifted and now instead of arguing for why I should leave, I recognise all the reason why I want to stay and how this relationship has taken me places I have not gone before.

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