I clearly recall 10 years ago feeling wary and apprehensive about what my life would be like a decade later if I didn’t succeed in conceiving. When the nagging worries of an unknown (and surely unfulfilled) life took hold during a frantic last engagement with a team of reproductive endocrinologists at Stanford University Medical Center I pushed them out of my head. Not gonna go there.
I was the Elder Price of infertility treatment. (Elder Price being the protagonist in The Book of Mormon who had an intractable view of the way life had to be.) Like Elder Price I had a rosy-colored one-dimensional outlook on what would bring me happiness. It was only when it all didn’t turn out as I had dreamed that I came to realize there was much more waiting for me. Better still, I was on the verge of meeting some amazing women whom I otherwise would not have come to know.
Marni, for instance, a doctoral candidate whose dissertation topic is Living Without Children After Infertility. We met on a warm night at a lively restaurant in her Manhattan neighborhood accompanied by our significant others. Marni simply radiates peace. You can’t help but feel calm in her presence. Over a series of appetizers and small plates Marni and I shared more than good food. Seated next to each other in a u-shaped booth, we shared a deep, instant connection that allowed us to leap from bashful first greetings into a series of “you, too?” moments, reliving our awakenings while the guys conversed about topics, well, more guy friendly. The evening rushed by.
The next afternoon, Christina and I met after a business conference. Seated at an outdoor table in a restaurant humming with happy hour patrons we caught up on our lives since our last get together a year ago. We talked enthusiastically about our new dreams, confidently looking ahead to still more reinvention with new projects and new plans. Christina’s petite size makes her expansive enthusiasm pack a powerful punch. She is fearless and draws you into world of possibilities.
From there I had the musical The Book of Mormon to look forward to. Soaring music, energetic choreography and a story that can’t help but make you think propelled us into a hot and humid Time Square with a swell of tourists on a Friday night. Every fiber in me felt alive and joyful.
So it was not surprising when Marni shared this kindred spirit observation in a follow up email, “if you want to change something, it has to be associated with joy. Joy gets people to move. Fear makes them stuck.”
I wish I could go back to the woman consumed with fear 10 years ago and assure her that joy would be in her future — that everything would turn out more than just fine.