I have little patience for those who preach that traveling helps discover who they are–those people just need to swap their airline ticket with a check for a shrink and figure out what they’re running away from. Travel is travel, exciting, challenging, eye opening, but not that profound.
Or so I thought. I was in East Asia. School was out and families were out in droves. Kids awkwardly pedaled their bikes ahead of their moms walking with a swaddled sibling. I was struck by how genuinely child-like the kids were, embodying curiosity and innocence. And the moms–they were relaxed and in tune with the children. They radiated kindness and warmth, and I had a thought–I could raise a child here.
It stirred. My long lost uterus, devoid of any pulse, let out a silent squeak, “I want a child.” I couldn’t believe it. Sentiments I thought I’d never have, making an appeal for the first time ever. Is this truly happening?! Inside my body?! MY uterus is stirring?!
It was faint, but it was a definite signal. Then it sank in. So all this time, all these years of struggling with why, the answer had been goddamn New York City– I had flashes of the expressions of the helicoptered kids, their expensive clothes and regimented schedules, the vapid eyes of the ones spilling out of their strollers with one hand in a ziploc bag full of goldfish. My body had taken all this in and shut down, deciding the rat race was no place for kids. The fucking Big Apple.
I was wide awake for the twelve hour flight home.