Maybe I do not want children.
Maybe I am not ready to have children at twenty-four.
Maybe I want to experience the world, and embrace my freedom.
Maybe I am not ready to sacrifice my figure.
Maybe I have suffered from a miscarriage.
Maybe my miscarriage has resulted in me not being able to trust men or my body.
Maybe I am afraid I will not be able to love another person because my heart is so filled with love for my dachshunds.
Maybe my dachshunds don’t like children, and I am scared of how they will react.
Maybe I am selfish.
Maybe I have not found a man worthy enough of me carrying his child.
Maybe I enjoy being an aunt beyond your own imagination.
Maybe my nephew has been the perfect birth control.
Maybe I enjoy my life as it is.
Maybe I think logically enough to know I do not need a child right now.
Maybe I want to enjoy my youth.
Maybe children are the most expensive investment you will make.
Maybe I enjoy being able to go where I want when I want without extra baggage.
Maybe I don’t want children.
Richard Francis Burton once said, “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself.”
I grew up in a small Christian community where most of my peers were Catholic. Once upon a time, I accepted Christ as my lord and savior as I was later baptized. My family was active in the church, but I changed my views on religion after I left for college. I was constantly wondering what if. There was no proof that a higher power ultimately existed or not, therefore, I remained skeptical.
I am Agnostic. For you to have a better understanding of Agnostic(ism), it is defined as: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. This term is not to be confused with Atheism. I am not arrogant or selfish enough to believe there is not a higher power out there beyond what my own mind can comprehend. On the other hand, I am not ignorant enough to fully believe in something that has yet to be proven. I just simply do not know.
My mother uses religion as a comfort blanket. She lost my sister when she was only 32 days old, and religion allows her to believe she will have the opportunity to see and hold her first born again. She deserves that peace of mind, as would anyone else. In my mind it is not practical, however, I do not have the heart to tell her about how I perceive it. Although religion has many good aspects about it, there is a lot I do not agree with. Especially within the church. I was living a life in fear as a Christian. Do not live you life this way, or you will burn in the fiery pits of hell. Life is about living out experiences and learning from them. Just because I do not believe in a God does not mean I lack morals. If you need a higher power to tell you that murdering a person is bad, then you should reevaluate yourself. It should be a natural instinct to live a morally correct life in all you do. I am Agnostic, and I am still a good person.
Another topic that has me perplexed is the beautiful architecture of buildings we worship in and what they are filled with. We do not necessarily need a church to go to every Sunday morning to praise God and all of his glory. There are people in the world who are struggling to survive in this world. The financing that has gone into these building can go for a good cause such as feeding the hungry. Putting clothes on these people’s backs and shoes on their feet. Would that not be the moral thing to do?
There is also the whole ‘my God is better than your god’ complex. I have never understood why religion was not universal. I know that a majority of it is that we have no proof of what religion is the right religion.
I have always been open to learning about different religions. It is intriguing to see how similar most religions are, yet how different they all can be.
For most people this would have been a sad experience. Maybe it was a little bittersweet for me, but if anything it was an awakening. Difficulties are to be expected when there is a change in your life such as calling off a wedding, but I have made the best of it by allowing it to teach me a few things.
- I am not ready to be married. I was only twenty-two when the proposal happened. Before I was engaged, I had wedding bells chiming in my head. It seemed like the next logical step in my past relationship, but I was far from being right. I was so young, and at the point of the actual proposal I was asking myself, “why are we doing this?” Amidst the congratulations, we received a lot of “you guys are so young” comments. They were right. I barely knew myself, and I knew we would both make a huge change of who we are soon. I was not ready to be tied down to one person for the rest of my life. I did not want to go home and play house every night. I craved freedom, and that is what I went after.
- I want to experience being single. I was never single for long. Since I was fifteen, I was in a relationship with someone with only a few weeks to myself in between. I am a very free spirited person. I do not necessarily enjoy answering to someone. I want to do what I want when I want to do it. I do not want to have to justify why I need a girl’s night or a night to myself. I have been single for seven months now, and I have had the time of my life.
- Love is not enough. You may argue with me on this one, but love is never enough. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a relationship work, and your overall happiness does not stem directly from love itself. I made a huge sacrifice while in my last relationship, and I soon realized I do not need to live states away from my family. Love will not keep you from arguing or becoming detached from your significant other. When the cons outweigh the pros, love becomes microscopic. You will continue to love the person, but you will fall out of love with them.
- I am stronger than I allowed myself to believe. I never thought I would have the strength to take my ring off and walk away, but that is what I did. I lived in fear of hurting another person, but I knew the initial shock of me leaving would be less painful than me being distant our entire marriage. I had to remain rational about the situation, and the relationship was no longer allowing me to grow.
- I do not enjoy the pressure of starting a family. I am not sure if I ever want children of my own, and I was being hounded about if I was going to work or be a stay at home mom after the wedding. His mother told me that she knows I will be a great mother because I was great with my two dogs. No one could keep the fact that it is my body and my decision in mind. Having children is an intimate decision between a couple, and I feel it is too personal of a topic for outsiders to bring up.
- I am still finding myself. After the breakup of my first long term relationship, I decided to do a lot of soul searching. It continued throughout my last relationship, and I was evolving into a different person. I was not the same person my ex fell in love with, but neither was he. He is not a terrible person, but he is not the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I need a companion who is more similar in certain aspects. I want someone who thrives off of adventure. Someone who shares similar values and beliefs as myself. Someone who has the same ultimate goal for a relationship.
- Different beliefs will eventually cause problems. He is very atheist, and I am agnostic. Allow this to be a lesson for those of you who are under the impression that these two terms are different. He possesses an absolute belief that God does not exist and religion is nothing more than a hoax. I remain open minded to the idea of there being a higher power. With my open mindedness, I refuse to persuade that my belief is better than another person’s. I was overwhelmed with pressure when he would speak about religion. He hated the idea that I remained skeptical, and he would not support the evidence I had for my opinion. His way was the right way, and anyone who thought differently was below him. That is not how religion is supposed to work.
- My mental health is more important than a fairy tale romance. I struggled with my depression and anxiety throughout my relationship with my ex. I am not using it as an excuse, but it does add difficulties to relationships with anyone. I knew I would not be able to find a stable relationship until I found stability within myself.
The media has been glamorizing anxiety and depress quite a bit lately. There is nothing beautiful about my battle against my mental illnesses. Imagine waking up everyday; knowing that getting out of bed is an accomplishment itself. Imagine being numb to all emotions. What is happiness? What is sadness? This barely creates a dent in the battles I fight everyday. It is not beautiful. It is disgusting.
Most people are not capable of understanding mental illnesses, and anxiety and depression are often the topic people discuss. Depression does not come from a breakup, a bad grade, or getting fired from your job. These are all triggers that affect a chemical imbalance in your brain. They are not the cause of depression. There are some instances that result in the development of depression, but most of the time you are born with it.
I want to break the stereotype of people suffering from depression are sad. They are, in fact, far from it. Some days are better than others, but I feel numb on the bad days. You are not hungry. You are not emotional. You are numb; living on autopilot. You just go through the motions when this mental illness attacks you. I do not sit in my room or the bathtub crying with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I just sit there with a blank mind. This is why we isolate ourselves without noticing our actions.
It is important to remember that feeling anxious is natural. People like me live with anxiety in an extreme level. There are situations that always result in an anxiety attack for me. Time and commitment play a large factor for me. If someone does not follow through with their plans, or if you do not do something when you say you will I have an anxiety attack. I am shaking, hyperventilating, and on the verge of tears. I do not have the mental capability to handle change.
Does it sound glamorous now?
Every case is different, so you cannot compare one story to another. My depression and anxiety has led me to feel the need to escape reality. My drug of choice? Narcotics. If I was feeling down, I would pop a pill knowing it would soon put me to sleep while giving me a short high. This started when I was sixteen. All is fun and games until your are laying in a hospital bed having your stomach pumped because you have overdosed.
Why do we allow ourselves to view mental illnesses this way, and why do we continue to diagnose ourselves with them? It is offensive and disrespectful for people like myself. People who have officially been diagnosed with these illnesses by a doctor. Mental illnesses are disgusting. Most of the time, there is no physical proof of them. I cannot place a band aid over my wounds and expect it to heal on its own. Depression and anxiety do not go away. Knowing you will live with something so terrible is a daunting thought. Please stop making depression and anxiety out to what it will never be.