I like to think that I live a really beautiful life. I am happy with how I spend my time, I am ridiculously lucky when it comes to who I get to call my family and friends, and I am free. I am free in so many senses of the word and it’s beautiful. However, the world is not free. The world can be lovely, but it’s mostly god damn terrifying. There are truly awful people among our existence, nearly 1.3 million people die from road accidents every year, cancer can be caused by something as simple and innocent as our FDA approved toothpaste, and somehow anyone can buy an assault rifle. The worst part about it all - our country is doing diddly squat to fix these things. These things that are literally killing our people- our friends, our family, our children. While I am happy, I am scared. I am scared to go places alone, I am scared to drive my car, I am scared to buy most commonly sold American products, I am scared to not hear my mother’s voice through my cellphone every day, and the most heartbreaking, life changing, disturbing thing of all, I am uncontrollably afraid to bring children into this world.
I was raised by two of the best humans on the planet and growing up I couldn’t wait to walk in their footsteps. I am proud of how I live, and I want to teach my own to do the same. I have always wanted to be a mother, it always felt natural. But now I sit at a coffee shop in Nashville and I watch families walk by the window. I watch a mother pushing a stroller, I watch a father tossing his toddler onto his shoulders, I watch a six year old skip by with an ice cream cone the size of his face with sticky chocolate cheeks, I watch a group of teenagers sip lattes in their school uniforms, and my eyes fill up. I can’t bring another one into this world. I can’t create a child, my own blood and flesh, and push them into the scariest country that somehow I call home.
Sure, I could move. But who wants to raise babies away from their family and friends? Away from the best people they know?
I can’t be the only one struggling.
Everyone else’s heart has to be broken as well, right?