Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fitting the stereotype

I've never liked stereotypes.  When I was a little girl, I didn't like playing with dolls, and hated it when people assumed I did.  I also hated it if people assumed that boys were better than girls, stronger than girls, and I well remember my confused indignation when my mother told me that girls had to sit with their knees together! 

Ironically, it has been infertility - a non-sterotypical condition - where I have fitted many of the stereotypes.  I was a late starter to the conception business, and discovered that late actually meant too late.  I discovered too that a biological clock - whether it is biological, or social, or simply a stereotype we conform to - is real.  And it ticks, loudly.  In my case at times, deafeningly.  My emotions over infertility and pregnancy loss fitted many stereotypes  and cliches - but perhaps some of these are stereotypes and cliches because they're true.  And yes, time really does heal.

So now I find myself filling another stereotype.  That of the childless couple, travelling the world.  I know this stereotype can create uncomfortable expectations on others, who don't wish to do this, and I'm sorry if I'm contributing to that.  But I know that since I was a small girl, just learning to read, I have wanted to travel.  The fact that I have been able to do so, both for work and pleasure, and now in glorious unemployment, makes me very lucky.  If that's a stereotype, then I'm prepared to own it!

10 comments:

  1. I think it's a great way to spend a child free life. Since you like travel so much you would have probably traveled if you had had children... So it's really just being true to yourself

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  2. I also hate stereotypes.
    But I also LOVE to fit to the stereotype of being a childless couple travelling the world.
    (I just regret we won't be able to travel for another 3-4 years... we are saving for our house).

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  3. Hey, I've also always wanted to travel since I was a young girl, though I didn't know how on earth I'd be able to do it. When I was at uni I wrote a list of dreams/goals (lots of them were about places to visit). I've crossed off one goal: to have kids. I also wrote that I wanted to have a hubby and that's come true - along with the goal of travelling. I haven't travelled too extensively, but I'm beginning to see that it's more possible to do so 'coz we don't have kids.

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  4. The best kind of stereotype is the one you enjoy!

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  5. After years of being locked down by cycles filled with doctor visits, hospital procedures, and financial payments for medicine that didn't work coupled with crippling uncertainty and sadness, the imbalance in our life is only now being righted by the liberation from reproductive hell. Our recent travels and the spontaneity that now infuses our life feels like the calm following a very dark and destructive storm. This new chapter is one I'm glad to share with you. Happy trails...

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  6. I suppose it may be a stereotype... but it's a good one to be! ;) Enjoy, & don't worry about what anyone else thinks! (Not that I think you are worried, lol.)

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  7. Don't worry about how people see you- even if you're the "stereotype' of childless couple traveling. Be yourselves! Travel and live for yourselves. :)

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  8. Own it. Definitely own it.

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  9. I love how in the last line you slip in 'glorious unemployment'. Because that can be a difficult 'condition' that could steal from your identity too.
    And ummm, I love travelling too. Maybe my neighbours are not stereotypical, but they packed up their family of four and did an 8 month tour around the world. Not so sure what my future will bring as my DP's comfort zone doesn't stretch to the exotic....
    Enjoy your travels!!

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  10. Since we know we won't be having children, we are embracing travel. Neither Ross or i have done a lot of international travel they way some do in their 20s (which always feels like a check box people want to fill before they have kids than actual enjoyment), so we are embracing getting to do more and more of it through our 30s. It maybe a stereotype, it is a highly enjoyable one!

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