There are currently babies flying out of everyone I know. I guess I’m at that age. Relatives, friends, randoms I friended on Facebook six years ago after meeting at a gig, yup, everyone’s starting a family.
But I’m not.
As I’m not a mother, nor am I pregnant, I can’t say I know how it feels to be in that position, the position of holding your little bundle of joy for the first time, or the position of peeing on a stick and being overjoyed to see a little pink line appear. And yes I’m sure it is “the best feeling in the world” and “there is nothing like being a mum” and of course I’ve been told many times that one day “you will understand”.
But what if one day I don’t understand? I love children, but what if for whatever reason, myself and many women out there, don’t start a family? Does that mean that all the other things that make us feel good and all the things we’ve work hard for aren’t as important, or aren’t good enough? That doesn’t seem fair.
Don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon for all my nearest and dearest who are giving birth to these absolutely beautiful little cherrubs; a friend of mine just gave birth to what can only be described as literally the cutest baby I have ever seen, plus I’m genuinely counting down the days till my baby niece arrives next year! But because I’m sans child, I’m not sans ‘the best feeling in the world’. Trust me, I too can have ‘the best feeling in the world.’ It may not involve cuddling a baby, breast feeding or hearing the words “mama” but theres things out there that make me feels pretty spectacular.
Last week I had my own joyous occasion to sing and dance and gush about on Facebook – Machu Picchu. Whilst others posted pregnancy news and gender reveals, I shared selfies at the Peruvian kingdom that was buried away for hundreds of years. I may not have carried a baby around for nine months, or endured swollen fingers, swollen feet and sleepless nights (actually, sleepless nights, yes!) but I did do something pretty spectacular, something that should be applauded, something that made me feel more alive than ever before.
For me, going to Machu Picchu wasn’t as simple as buy a ticket and turn up. First I had to get myself to South America, which I did through hard blogging work as well as months of temp work. I also had to fly across the world on my own, something I’ve never done before (ahem, did I mention I’m terrified of flying) and not only did I fight off several anxiety attacks prior to arriving in Cusco and Aguas Calientes, but I had to fight them off whilst making my way to Machu Picchu via a questionable bus, with a non-speaking English driver, and then again on the morning of my trek when my guide was late and I was wandering around Aguas Calientes completely alone at 6am. I then successfully walked up all the steps and then hiked down the mountain, right to the bottom. No, it wasn’t easy. Yes, of course, it was totally worth it.
I’m not in ANY way comparing pregnancy or motherhood to a trip to the top of a mountain. They are completely different things, obvs. One involves pushing a human being out your vagina, whilst the other, well there’s no tearing of vaginas involved in Machu Picchu. My point is that just because I’m not having a baby, it doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything with my life, which is sometimes how certain people and society makes me feel. But in fact I’m doing plenty, and for all woman out there, childless or not, there are plenty of things we should be proud of other than, or as well as having a baby, whether it’s travel, adventure, a job promotion, starting a business, buying a house, or even just getting that sixth soy latte for free, if it gives you a good feeling and makes you happy, you should be mega proud of yourself.
For me, I know that there are certain people in my life who love me and want to see me settle down, get married and have children, and of course if those things happen in the future then that is absolutely fantastic. But if they don’t, I shouldn’t feel like I don’t have anything to be proud of or that I haven’t achieved as much as those who have had children.
I’ve achieved plenty and I can continue to achieve more!
Machu Pucchi was declared one of the wonders of the world back in 2007, its over 6,000 miles from where I live, and with its decaying formation, soon very few people will get the opportunity to go and experience, stand on and touch Machu Picchu like I did. So standing over this almost-600 year old Inca ruin, I felt my eyes prick with tears and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as I suddenly realised what I had achieved and how incredibly proud of myself I was even if no one else in the world gave a dam.
I may not have made a Baby but I did make it to Machu Picchu, and it was one of the best feelings in the world!
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