What if the decisions you made yesterday affect your plans for tomorrow? If a choice you made to get to this point in your life affects the hopes and dreams for your future, how would you feel? How do your old future plans stand against the desires of today?
How old futures become new dreams
Many years ago I had such different plans and ideas for how my life would develop. My old future plans bear no resemblance to the hopes and dreams I have for the futures that exist for me now. Before I met my husband, I had no plans for moving to Cyprus. There was a nebulous potential for maybe going to Australia or New Zealand, but I never genuinely believed it would ever happen.
I don’t think I ever truly believed that I would find a long-term, healthy and happy relationship (see the previous articles on normality and making friends), so I rarely entertained the idea that I would have a home, husband and potentially a family. If ever asked, I would semi-jokingly comment that in ten or fifteen years I would probably be divorced or married to a man in the forces or who worked away a lot.
My relationships were shallow and short-lived because I am intolerant and usually convinced that people are arseholes until they prove otherwise. I have a low boredom threshold, and most men turned out to be far too narrow in their personalities.
All of that changed when I met and fell in love with my Honey.
New future plans based on an altered present
My husband is in his mid-thirties, and I am in my early thirties; I am just starting in my new life as a relatively new wife in a new country trying to build a new circle of friends. I am starting fresh from the life I was living in the UK. However, I am living under a shadow of fear stemming from the life decisions made in my earlier life. My husband and I would like to start a family in the next year or so, but I live in perpetual fear that it will not happen for us because of the things I did before we had even met.
I had an abortion, the reasons for which were sound and I stick by the decision; I’m not ashamed, nor do I regret it. I’ve had an IUD for nearly ten years (okay I’ve had two over the past ten years), I’m significantly overweight, I was a smoker for over 15 years, and I used to be a heavy drinker (probably contributing to my weight problem). Additionally, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m inherently selfish. All of these things are weighing on my mind as possible reasons why I will never have the family I want in the near future.
Have I prevented myself from having a family by having an abortion in my early twenties? Has my ability to conceive and maintain a pregnancy been forever damaged by years of drinking, smoking, and failing to keep my weight at a healthy level? Is there some cosmic justice or comedy that will take my initial ideas and beliefs to affect the changing web of possible futures?
Rationality and Irrationality
Rationally, I know what I need to do to rectify the current potential barriers, but I can do nothing about the past and its potentially far-reaching consequences. Sensibly, I should forget the past and concentrate on changing the circumstances in the present. I know that the best way to rectify any barriers to conception, and our future plans for a family, is to fix my weight problem, stop drinking (so much) and make sure I stay smoke-free.
As if I have not told myself that several hundred times, right.
The problem with Carpe Diem, if we always seize the moment we are in, are we taking away potential future moments for which we may strive?