never married, over forty, a little bitter


I’m starting to understand that my legacy won’t be in having children but will be, in whatever small way, spreading the idea that women can choose to follow alternative paths — that they can live interesting lives free of children. On an even wider scale, I’m thinking my life might turn into a questioning of all conventional paths– the assumed “work forty plus years then retire and play tennis” American way. It’s a motivating thought, anyway.

For another year, I struggled to understand what to do to repair my life. One day the answer fell into my ear – through a phone call offering me a teaching contract in China for a year. I jumped at the chance. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was probably when my vision for my life began to change.

Having the unexpected courage to choose such an unconventional path opened my eyes to the understanding that I could choose any life path. I began to realize that all along I had imagined children in my life because I’d always thought having kids was what women were supposed to do. I’d taken motherhood for the only choice. But in reality, it was only one choice.


This post by Sasha Cagen is very inspiring to me, as I’m in the midst of trying to give myself permission to follow my own instincts, especially in regard to the job offers that have popped up here as I’m in the process of moving.

I’ve thought a lot more about the job I did end up applying for, trying to reframe the whole situation in terms that would appeal to me, as my overwhelming feeling is that I don’t want it and that I need a whole new type of work, way of living, and place to live. I’m still overwhelmingly feeling the latter.

It does feel incredibly liberating, to, if only briefly, free oneself from the shackles of what one “should” do according to everything we are taught in this country.

The post:

In a rational culture like the United States where you are supposed to have a plan (and a retirement plan) it can feel countercultural to follow a quirky whisper, intuition, or impulse. Especially an instinct that doesn’t fit the norm and doesn’t have a list of rational reasons to support it. It might be OK to follow a random instinct in our twenties and sixties, but not so much in our thirties and forties, the decades of career-building and family-building. These are the times when we are supposed to be nest-egg-building, “on track.”

I also enjoyed this post as I’ve been through a few of these frustrating tango evenings myself: