Cali’s story is one of taking her time to find ‘that special someone to settle down with’. Because of her age this meant choosing to be happy with that person without the option of having children. Before then she had a narrow view of love and happiness and she very wisely advises others to ‘be open to the fact that you might be happy later in life without a baby. ‘ I agree completely with her six word memoir which is ‘it’s all OK in the end’ because yes it is.
The name of her website is Gentle Warrior and, having met her a couple of times it describes her and her healing perfectly. The first time we met was at a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert and, I was delighted when she recognised me in the middle of a crowd, the first time that’s happened to me.
Over to Cali,
Where are you on your journey now?
I’m 50 years old and I’m very happy with my life. My husband and I have been married for just over four years and living together in our house for five years. This time has flown by. I’m very excited for the future as things I have been working on for a number of years are finally coming to fruition. I have been practising Buddhism for nearly 30 years and I feel that I have a very solid grounding in life.
What’s your story?
I was the archetypal Bridget Jones career girl living in London. I did have an opportunity to get married in my early twenties and, for various reasons, said no to it. As a teenager and young adult I wasn’t bothered about having children. I loved my London life and was busy building my career, travelling and having a lot of fun. From my mid-twenties I started pining for that special someone to settle down with though in truth, I don’t think I was ready to settle down. I just thought I was.
When I was 29 a maternal urge kicked in. My body suddenly felt as though it wanted to have children but I was rocking up to 30 with no husband in sight.
During my thirties a lot of my friends got married and some started to have children. I found this very hard as my body seemed to be screaming to have a baby but there was no-one to have it with. I didn’t seem to have the skill to pick a nice man and form a relationship. I was single most of the time and any relationship that came along only lasted three or four months. I fell in love with one of my co-workers and, at the time, would have loved to have settled down and had his babies but he just wanted to keep things on a ‘friends’ basis and not be more involved.
It took me years to get over him. On one hand, in my thirties, I was having a blast. I lived in Central London, I earned good money and I had a very full life. On the other hand, there was always sadness and frustration that I was single and that my biological clock was ticking ever louder.
I never expected to be in my late thirties and still single and wanting a baby. I had assumed earlier that things would have worked out for me.
When I was 38 I did consider whether to have a child by what I called 21st century methods, such as with donor sperm. My rational was that by this age, when you are dating, men seemed to be able to smell the desperation of the biological clock and this drove them away. I figured that if I took care of the baby thing myself then in time I could truly see a man as himself and not as a sperm dispenser.
I gave myself a year to think about this, knowing that I shouldn’t rush into it. During the course of that year I realised that what I wanted more was a partner and the partnership that it would bring. I didn’t want to have a baby outside of this.
Approaching 40 I met the man who is now my husband. We were at school together though we weren’t romantically involved back then. We knew very early on in our relationship that we had the potential for marriage, but he also told me that he didn’t want to have children. His parents had been in their 40s when he was born and he didn’t want to be an older parent.
Having spent all my thirties miserably yearning for what I didn’t have, I didn’t want to continue this. So I had a choice, I could be happy with what I had or continue to pine despondently for a child. I chose the former and have never looked back. [Read more…]