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Our journeys need no judgement

So life is about to make a turn for me once again, a little sooner than I had expected but I am one of those weird people that loves these times of uncertainty. The possibilities of where the world and my actions could take me. I am always keen to be in control of my life, as far as we are able to that is. It makes me considered in my planning and subsequently allows me to be pretty risk adverse through doing my research before hand. So when life suddenly changes I have a plan B, C and D in my back pocket. Although for some people this constant change and variety of life is something to be fearful of. They enjoy the security of one place and choose not to travel and to enjoy the comfort of home. That also is admirable. I have always been adventurous even before I experienced grief but it just enhanced my 'go get them' attitude. I have believed for many years this way of living is pretty easy, I don't understand those that allow work, partners, friends, family to control their life decisions, but I also appreciate that you can not make judgements on anyones life until you have walked in their shoes. I call myself adventurous some people call me 'flighty', a description I would class as less flattering and I guess thats my point who are we or anyone to judge with negativity. This brings me up to talk about children. It is something that has come up a lot in recent weeks. People asking me if I have children, saddened for me in some way that I don't. I can remember a few people saying to me when I became a foster carer, that they were so pleased I had, later implying in some way that I was a lesser person for not experiencing the commitment of children. I was somehow not complete without being a parent is their thoughts. It is something I find strange to wish upon someone, to have children, just because thats the choice they made and it changed their life. It does not mean it is necessarily the path for me, it is also unlikely to enhance me as a person. Parenthood for me would not necessarily make me a better person, probably just a bit grumpier, the guilt of not being enough would plague me and I would definitely be tireder. It is like me saying to someone, oh yes your partner should die because you will then know what grief is like and it will make you a stronger person. Peoples lives and stories are their own, the same as our parents were unable to teach their life lessons to their children, we can not do this for our peers either. I have also been told, 'If you don't have children you are selfish!' It is genuinely the strangest statement I have ever heard. My grandmother said she wouldn't even bring children into the world as it is now. That to me is unselfish. We have children to feel love and give love, to build a family and support structure around us, to protect each other in a unit. Maybe thats more selfish than standing up to the world alone facing the unknown, making time for the masses rather than the few. Either way, thats my point, its just a judgement. It makes no difference if we have children or not, if we own a house or not, if we marry or not, what our pasts were and what we plan for in our dreams, they are our lives, you do not need to conform to someone elses or the masses expectations. I don't believe we should follow a path that someone else thinks we should, walk your path and hold your head up high. The hardest thing on the journey is to find out who you truly are, we dwell too much on the past, we worry about the future and then we make plans that judgement and fear ends up stopping us from completing. Those that judge our pasts and even our future should be silent in their judgments, instead spend time to reflect on why they feel it ok to judge. I am a different person to who I was 20 years ago, I have seen and experienced life, but I see people in the street who may judge me on the child I once was, the mistakes I made. It is easy to throw stones but most of us live in glass houses. Make plans, face your fear and most of all, just be you, whoever that is. You are amazing.

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John White
John White
Dec 22, 2023

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