30 April, 2015

A snapshot in time

I’ve occasionally read posts by people who, after they have had their babies, have wished that  they could send a snapshot of their lives today back to their younger selves, a year or two ago, so that they could see that they would be okay, that they would get their “happy ending.”

I read these posts, and wish too that I could take a snapshot of my life now, and send it back in time to show myself when I was "in the trenches," or just at the end of my journey (and the beginning of the next one). I wish that the woman who had been stuck in the trenches, or was enduring loss, or was suffering in those first days, weeks and months after learning I would never have any children, could see the snapshots I’d send now. Could see in fact, the snapshots I’d have sent over the last ten years. I wish those who are now right in the midst of despair could see themselves in the future – happy and fulfilled, not despairing or bitter or sad, not living grey lives of unremitting sadness. I know many of them can’t imagine they’ll ever be in that position. And don’t want to imagine this. But they will.

Still, which ones would I send?

I could send a snapshot of me sitting at the computer, volunteering, helping people who were going through loss and infertility, learning more about myself every day, feeling valued, and having that reinforced by responses like this:
“ … this year was made so much more bearable by your kind and thoughtful and encouraging words.”

I could send snapshots of my travels, perhaps most recently of me hiking up to the Monastery in Petra, at the start of a five-month trip, to show that there is still excitement and adventure in my future.

I could send a snapshot of me  (and my husband) meeting Klara (and her husband) for the first time, or of a reunion with my ectopic internet friends a few months later, still close after over ten years.

I could send a snapshot of me chairing the Board of Directors after we had signed a huge contract, feeling relatively confident (never 100% - that just feels like arrogance to me), and managing to herd difficult personalities towards a result I wanted.

I could send a snapshot of me with my nieces, young and old, enjoying their company, loving them, shopping for them, no longer afraid of the feelings they might prompt.

Or I could send a snapshot of my husband and I celebrating our thirtieth wedding anniversary, happy and enjoying life.

Just because we didn’t get the result everyone who is still “in the trenches” desperately wants (to put it mildly), we can still take snapshots to show that a No Kidding life doesn't feel empty or shallow, but rich and fulfilling. Although we can’t send a snapshot back in time to our younger selves, maybe there is as much or more value in these snapshots if we take them and show them to those who  follow.  


  1. dear Mali,
    it is lovely to see a great traveling photo with you on it on your blog. I am still not courageous to do that.
    And I just love your post. So beautifully written and so very true.
    It was lovely to meet you. And I hope we meet again. Someday, somewhere...
    lots of love from sLOVEnia,

  2. Dear Mali,

    Thank you for this glimpse of hope. I am only a few weeks into this journey after stopping treatments and am so thankful for the perspective that I will not be miserable forever...

    Elaine, Switzerland

  3. I can't tell you how much I needed these words today. It's been a rough week and I needed the message that it does get better!

  4. Love this.

    I think that what we're really responding to, emotionally, when we're in the middle of the experience is our fear of the unknown. And once the unknown is known, we wish we could go back and let our selves know it would be okay. Now why can't we remember this from experience to experience?

  5. Love the post, love the message, love the photo! I feel this way about myself now versus myself in the middle of my awful first marriage. I know things can seem awful in the moment but later you wonder how that old life was your actual day to day when now is SO MUCH BETTER. I am not quite at the Future Me spot yet where I am feeling like I'm on the other side of all this, but I feel like I'm getting closer. And your words always feel encouraging, and hopeful, and supportive. Posts like this are a lifeline when you're in despair or wondering when things will ever be bearable. Thank you for all you do!

  6. Absolutely love this. Because it is so true. Resolution doesn't have one path. And your life after infertility is lovely indeed.

  7. I wish I could send myself a snap shot of my life right now to myself in my early 20's to better prepare myself for what I was going to face in my early to mid 30's.

    Great piece.

  8. This is such a wonderful post. You made me think of the very end of the movie "Titanic," when the camera pans over Rose's collection of photos of all the places she had been & the amazing things she had done after Jack died & she had survived. He was the love of her life, and I'll bet she never imagined that life could be good again as she clung to that piece of wood in the frigid Atlantic -- and yet she survived this horrible tragedy and went on to do all the things they had talked about doing together.

    You also made me look for a particular photo (which I may have used on my blog in the past) -- me & dh on Cannon Beach, Oregon, in August 2001, just weeks after what we knew would be our last IUI. That trip was such a tonic for my bruised and battered heart, and it helped me to realize that life could be still be good.