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    • sjwoo
      Scout
      5 months agoWriter

      Thank you, @Jessica, for going through the archives and finding this story of mine. I can't believe it's been five years since it came out. I remember it was a bit of a battle with Vox's editor -- this essay went back and forth quite a few times, and by the end, I was exhausted. But goodness, re-reading it now, I have to say that editor managed to draw out quite a bit from me. Maybe too much!

      My point of view hasn't changed at all. I'm now nearing the big 5-0 and feel even more pressed for time. I mean seriously -- our lives are so ridiculously short (and who really knows how short it is -- for all I know, I might be dead right after I click "Submit" here!) that I achingly regret every passing minute. More than ever, I feel like I'm wasting time ALL THE TIME.

      Can you imagine what a barrel of fun I'm gonna be in another twenty years?

      FYI, whenever anyone asks why I write fiction, my best answer is this: "It's the closest thing I can have to living another life."

      • thorgalle
        ScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.

        George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

    • kellyalysia5 months ago

      I am not sure I will ever "mother" in the traditional sense but I can say that as I edge closer and closer to the work that lights me up, I do feel like I have a "motherly" and healing role to play, and that is (and I hate to say it in such woo terms but here I go) really a manifestation of the divine feminine. When I write, when I create, when I birth new ideas into the world, I am also accessing that energy.

      All of these externalities and accomplishments that we place on personal procreation and the pressure that is often placed when one does not feel that strong of a calling to do it, are just that — external. They are performative and therefore a big distraction. You don't have to physically birth or biologically produce a child to play the role of mother in society. There is no shortage of fellow humans to look after.

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        💯🆙 Kelly, Elevating Golden Elder True~True Wisdom With Us Here. Lee~Git 🆙💯

        Especially ~

        You don't have to physically birth or biologically produce a child to play the role of mother in society. There is no shortage of fellow humans to look after.

        • Karenz
          Scribe
          5 months ago

          Couldn’t agree with this more even though I birthed four children of my own!!

      • Jessica5 months ago

        Kelly, I love this comment so much. I keep rereading it. Thank you for these words!

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        Love your reply! And it’s not “woo” - it’s so true! Beautiful!

        • DellwoodBarker
          Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
          5 months ago

          Agreed. Not “woo” one bit.

    • Jessica5 months ago

      Wow. I am speechless right now—in a good way.

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        Another great find Jessica! I have so many starred reads with you as Scout. Keep them coming - love what you are offering!

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScout
        5 months ago

        Duuuuuuude, yesssss. So with you! This is top-quality, platinum-level, super-sniper scouting. 🙌🆙

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      5 months ago

      Excellent.

      I could have used this article a few years ago when my engagement fell apart and my parents had to suffer the agonizing reality that they might never see a grandchild. In the meantime, my older bro finally went ahead and procreated, so the topic had chilled a bit, especially in my own too-crowded brain.

      Anyway, thanks so much, Sung! Yet again, you have inspired me and shot a wonderful bolt of energy into Readup. 💕⚡️💕

      1. Update (5/12/2021):

        *has (not had)

    • thorgalle
      ScoutScribe
      5 months ago

      Good to read this perspective @sjwoo. It's one voice to take into account when making such an impactful decision, maybe the most impactful decision humans can make in their lifetime.

      Some may say it is a life without hope, because children are literally the future and by choosing not to procreate, it's as if I have rejected the very concept of life itself.

      Others may say that it's madness to bring a child into a world ridden by a potentially disastrous climate crisis! At least, that is what is discussed in "Is it OK to have a child?" by Meehan Crist, where she ask the question for herself. Among my all-time Readup favorites. I won't spoil the outcome.

      As always, the saddest fact of living a life is just that, the sole nature of our existence, the singular path of our experience.

      🧙‍♂️I'm not sure whether that's "sad", just fine, or whether we should aspire to infinite life and multiple possible paths of experience. Gets philosophical & sci-fi-feed quite quickly.

      • Jessica5 months ago

        Thor, thanks for sharing Meehan Crist’s article! Wow, I read that a year ago and clearly, am continuing to grapple with the should-I-have-biological-kids question. Crist wrote: “The future will always be more terrible and wonderful than any of us can possibly imagine.” And now, as I think about a future with or without my own kids, I can’t help but think about how we have since been drenched in a global health pandemic in addition to the never-ending climate and resource crises she detailed.

        On top of all this, I shudder thinking about how my body is less fit to have children as I get older. Such agony associated with the ambiguous deadline placed with this decision.

        I'm not sure whether that's "sad", just fine, or whether we should aspire to infinite life and multiple possible paths of experience.

        I feel more at ease thinking that another version of me somewhere is experiencing a life that could have happened had I made different choices. Some back-to-the-future vibes.

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        Great comment, Thor and I,too, was Excited to realize (once I wiped away my early a.m. sleepyhead fog) that by reading this I Am Supporting another @sjwoo/ReadUp Reader Writer article!

        Really interesting topic and interestingly enough seems to be on the surface of Consciousness A Lot lately. ‘Twas in Santa Fe a couple of days ago and a 47 year old man was discussing kids and how he felt he was too old. I, conversely, disagree about being too old. I feel that older parents would offer Even More Wisdom and in light of many Wise Grandparents Raising Children I don’t see a difference; a Plus in my book.

        I am 42 and up until this year considered remaining childless. However, this year I Am Experiencing a Major Inner Awakening and realizing I Am Actually interested to find out if my biology is still capable of producing offspring. I have a physician checkup soon and that is one of the items on my list. I am developing a dream of having kid or kids with a male partner (possibly in the context of a throuple...still Visualizing this More Clearly). Anyway I am realizing I want to know and whether or not I end up being the biological dad or not; I am excited that my perspective has switched on this.

        I used to work with children more than I do now and my first job was with a group of kindergartners. A life-changing and rewarding job. I allowed a lot of external forces and fear to sabotage that Divine connection with children for a long time. What a Gift for Our Future and I Encounter Sooo Many Being Born Wise Beyond their years (which reminds of the recent read of the kid who knew his past lives).

        Because of my recent change in perspective and interest of having kids (not a decision I will make or take lightly) I would lovingly encourage SJW to remain Open just in case the winds of change bring a baby blue/rainbow/pink bundle your way.

        For so long I have been closed to it. Life is strange and weird and Wonderful in all the contours.

        Grateful for this read and for SJW publishing here.

        💯

        • thorgalle
          ScoutScribe
          5 months ago

          Good luck with your decision process on this!

          Sung J. Woo, S. J. Woo = @sjwoo! was a sudden revelation for me too this morning. In Flemish we’d say, “mijne frank viel”. In fact, I proposed to Bill & Jeff to see if there should be more visibility of the writer-on-Readup status next to a username. I’m suddenly very curious to see who else in the Readup community has writings to their name :)

          • DellwoodBarker
            Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
            5 months ago

            Thor, I Loooooove this proposal and 2nd it Highly, Highly! As a ReadUp Supporter/Reader/Writer/Enthusiast it gives me as an Active Participant even more Excitement Knowing Community Writers Inherently Here.

            Kudos! Well done!

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      5 months ago

      This subject is right up there with religion and politics - very charged! I had an aunt and good friend who chose her career over marriage and family. She was glamorous, traveled the world and the life of the party. When she became older and her health seriously declined, she was envious of my family life of husband and 2 adult children. She was unrealistic in her fantasy of the perfect husband and kids - all healthy, all successful. As if it were a given. I told her all decisions in life have risks, uncertainty, compromises and consequences. I could have a husband whose health was not so robust or children born with many possible health or cognitive challenges as well. “The grass is always greener” is too simplistic and immature a view that will cause great suffering if dwelled upon.

      • thorgalle
        ScoutScribe
        5 months ago

        Valuable reflection! ⭐️ Never good to compare and assume.