When I was in 4th grade I made a pact of sorts with my best friend that we would never smoke. My parents weren't smokers - I'd never been in a smoking environment really - but her mom was on a pack a day. Her house smelled strongly of cigarettes (and looking back, other smoked "delicacies") and the culture in her family was simply a smoking culture. We both agreed at that young age that it was a disgusting habit, one we'd never partake in. We remained close friends for years, although our peripheral friends diverged and changed. It was obvious that we were becoming a different species (as often happens in high school) but our friendship endured. Walking home from school together as sophomores we encountered some of her friends. One of them offered her a cigarette (Newport Menthol - I'll never forget) and she took it, lit it, smoked it. It was clear that this wasn't her first time, she held it confidently (or as confidently as a 15 year old can). I didn't say anything, I wasn't one to start a conflict, but I was hurt. Not that she was smoking - it was her body, she could do what she wished with it - but that she'd left this part of her, a part that we'd shared, behind. It felt clear to me then that a line had been drawn. She'd moved on, become someone new, and I'd stayed exactly where I was.
One of my early boyfriends relayed a similar experience while we were dating - he and a friend had always been fun but sober. They'd go to the high school parties and provide much of the entertainment, but while others' were swilling schnapps stolen from an unlocked liquor cabinet, Mike and his friends stuck to Coke. They never made a statement, weren't anti-drinking - they just didn't feel the need. But one day Andy got drunk. There was no dramatic after-school-special style climax, nothing terrible happened. But like Newport Menthols did to me, his friend Andy's first drink revealed a chasm that Mike hadn't seen before. Andy was exploring and maturing while Mike sat behind, stuck in the shell he'd always been. He listened to Weezer's "The World Has Turned" on repeat for awhile, feeling pathetic that a romantic ballad was representing a change in his friendship, a change due to a simple drink or two. But he knew now that they were different.
In the past 2 1/2 years the world has turned many times for me. Friends who got pregnant a few weeks after I did kept their babies, had expanding bellies and showers, gave birth, became mothers and watch their children grow. I don't resent them this change, but I can't deny it either. I have watched girls who'd battled to achieve a lasting pregnancy succeed and come home with babies - their attitudes sometimes changing so quickly, seeming to erase where they'd come from, what they'd gone through to stand where they stand, forgetting what they'd left behind. I've had family, friends, acquaintances and virtual strangers shift our relationships by virtue of their own growth, drawing an unintentional line in the sand between those who try and those who succeed. My world has turned. And turned. And turned.
Today I find myself on the other side of the globe. I am, for now, a success. Someone who caused the shift rather than had it thrust upon them. And although none of my close friends are battling the beast of infertility, there are those who are trying, who I know have cheered my win but wonder where that leaves them. And countless more (you?) who have less invested, who might very well write me off as "One Of Them" as I celebrate my pregnancy, the canyon between us seemingly too grand to jump.
I don't feel guilty for my joy and I don't feel undeserving. I won't apologize for this victory, however lasting it may or may not be. But I don't forget how I felt, just weeks ago, when hearing of another pregnancy. I don't forget the conflicted heart, the bitter and the sweet, the feeling of being, yet again, left behind. I know there are girls for whom the world has turned upon my announcement. And regardless of what I say from this moment on, I promise you I won't forget.
I might be lucky enough to become "One of Them", but I will always be One of You.
On a much more fun (and immensely flattering) note, my dearest Busted, one of my most favoritest bloggers, has bestowed me with an award. Hear that, high school math teacher who didn't believe in me? I've been given an award! Pfffffttt!
To claim this most prestigious of prizes I need to answer a meme of sorts, this one with one word answers. And so:
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? eggplant
4. Your mother? herself
5. Your father? good
6. Your favorite thing? carbs
7. Your dream last night? strange
8. Your dream/goal? mom
9. The room you're in? living
10. Your hobby? knitting
11. Your fear? loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in six years? home
13. Where were you last night? couch
14. What you're not? energized
15. One of your wish list items? socks
16. Where you grew up? Wisconsin
17. The last thing you did? wrote
18. What are you wearing? scrubs
19. Your T.V.? on
20. Your pet? cats
21. Your computer? overworked
22. Your mood? hopeful
23. Missing someone? always
24. Your car? beetle
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Anthropologie
27. Your Summer? hot
28. Love someone? always
29. Your favorite color? brown
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? week
And the fun part - time to pass the award on to 7 other bloggers:
1. To Gretchen, for being my official Fairy Godmother (and because maybe she'll have to update her blog now).
2. To G, although I completely understand if she's not up for quirky meme's right now (from One of Them) she needs to know that I heart her and her blog.
3. To TheWorms, for being one of the kindest, most giving people I've never met.
4. To Lifeslurper, whose posts always make me think and sometimes make me wish she could do my thinking for me. She's better at it.
5. To Amy who has been far too quiet lately, and is just too cute for words.
6. To Kymberli, for being a fantastic writer, a great subject for stalking and an even better mom.
7. And I cannot resist giving this award right back to the woman who gave it to me. I heart her and her blog so much, she deserves it twice. The girl crush is so totally mutual. Thank you, Busted.
I have to fess up to something. When I had a mere 3 (ish) posts under my belt but was getting the hang of commenting, my dearest Busted bestowed me with another award: the Kind Blogger Award. I was so touched (and still am!) but was frankly too much of a newbie to know what to do with it. I've always worried that since I never gave my acceptance speech she thought I was too good for her award, and yet months after the fact I felt ridiculous suddenly acknowledging it. But now's as good a time as any, right? So thank you for this too, Busted. YOU are too kind.