Today is my 37th birthday. I don’t mind aging.
Because the older I get, the more credibility I can bring to living childfree. There is a pleasure in saying “See? I didn’t change my mind!”
We hear standard platitudes about what is most important in life. Usually from a parent’s perspective.
As a non-mom, I’d like to offer one word.
Freedom to choose.
Freedom to love.
Freedom to live in luxury.
Freedom of health.
Freedom to express.
Freedom to say “ You know what? I AIN’T doing that!”
You are free to own your dreams. Even when life gets messy.
2019 was a year of emotional messiness for me. A year that required mental cleansing. Pushing passed insecurities. Facing my fear of abandonment. Developing a deeper faith in my instincts.
And here I was hoping for more leisure and travel like I had the year before.
The truth is, my life hit a plateau. It was a pleasurable plateau, I had nothing to complain about. But if I was going to move forward and build a big life for myself, I had to leave the comfort zone.
So I went to the nail salon.
It was a random impulse one April morning. I rolled out of bed and went to the salon down the street. No makeup, just leggings, and a fuzzy sweater.
In the chair next to me was a retired woman getting her toes painted. She had just returned to Canada from four months in Palm Springs.
My dream life.
We had a lovely chat about politics and vacation rentals. I began to relax. You see, I had entered the salon feeling uncertain about myself. Uncertain about my goals. Uncertain about the sweater I was wearing. Uncertain that I was enough, just as I was. Having a conversation with a stranger unlocked something inside of me.
I left the nail salon with sparkly nails and a renewed spirit. And the overwhelming urge to make a video for social media.
Something I NEVER ever wanted to do before.
I went upstairs to my office, with no makeup and a puffy jaw from dental work done the previous day. I pulled out my iPhone and began talking about being confidently childfree. I look mortified in the video. Not because of being childfree but because I’m afraid of cameras.
Three months and several Insta-videos later, I teamed up with Isabel and Kristen to form Childfree Girls.
There is freedom in owning who you are.
If you told me a year ago that I would be co-hosting a web series, I’d have said ‘NO WAY!”
Not until I curb my sugar habit and hire a personal trainer.
But I realized something, as I was shooting those awkward Instagram videos. The message I wanted to share was more important than how I thought I looked.
The message that living childfree is an option. That life can be full and magical and beautiful without having kids.
I live it. I’ve always had a connection to this lifestyle. I couldn’t picture my life in specifics but I knew I was meant to entertain people. And I knew I didn’t want to be a mother.
It’s a privilege to turn another year older. It’s a privilege to share my journey and connect with others. I never imagined that publicly stating my childfree choice would create opportunities. I embrace my personality in ways I never did before.
But that’s the magic of life.
There is no one way to experience happiness and fulfillment. You have to tune out the crowd. Spend time with yourself and discover what it is that makes you tingle all over.
Then, life is going to throw you a few obstacles. Just to fuck with you. To show you that you’re tough and resilient and still don’t want children.
Show yourself some appreciation. We aren’t childfree for the accolades. It’s not that I feel accomplished for not having children, which isn’t wrong, btw. People feel accomplished for having children all the time.
What I appreciate about myself is that I’ve accepted the challenge to grow. Only I will know how far I’ve come in the last year. Only I can celebrate that.
So, whether your year has been profitable or crappy, own it. Enjoy the freedom you have. Move towards more of it. You know the alternative. It’s always your choice.
LeNora Faye is founder of The Bitchy Bookkeeper; a childfree lifestyle brand. She is also creator of Childfree Journals and 1/3 of the founding non-mothers of Childfree Girls.