Saturday, March 14, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about decisions lately, and about how we all go about making them. I started comparing some recent decisions of mine versus those of a friend of mine that I've been upset with. Eventually, I started comparing those other decisions to TTC. And I realized that perhaps I should cut her some slack.

She and I both had to make a decision about something important recently. It was the same decision, but we have completely different personal circumstances. I made my decision based on my heart. It's probably not the smartest decision for a whole lot of reasons, but I went with the answer that calls out to me. In contrast, she decided to do something that is contrary to what her heart is telling her, based on other circumstances in her life. In fact, she's doing something that she doesn't really want to do, because she thinks it's her best option at this juncture. In truth, it's not a bad decision, and many on the outside would think it's a really great decision. I could name a dozen very attractive features of her decision. Even though I know it's not her first choice of options, because of all the upsides, I haven't given much thought to how she's dealing with that one very major downside. It's only been since she's really started moving forward with that decision that I've felt like she's not listening to me.

As I was thinking about this situation this morning, I started imagining what it would be like if the decision was about TTC, instead of what it was actually about. I imagined what it would feel like if we were both trying to have kids, and she could have as many as she wanted, but my only choice was IVF and I didn't want to go that route and couldn't afford it, to boot. And you know what? I can imagine a version of me that wouldn't want to be near a pregnant her. I can imagine not wanting to have to face her decision to have kids and get pregnant, because it would make my own predicament of IVF particularly hard. I can imagine not being able to be there for her, even though she might still need me. My experiences with all of this, with this community, has made it easy for me to imagine all of this. My experience with this community has also made me think that there is nothing wrong with needing to pull back from a friendship to protect your own heart.

Which brings me back to our real situation. I have been focusing lately with the things that are important to me. I've made some choices for myself based on what my heart is telling me. My friend has made choices despite what her heart is telling her. And while I look at her, and I think that her choices aren't so bad and her life looks pretty charmed, I know that's not what she wants for herself. I've been thinking that the smoke is clearing for her, now that she's made this decision, but maybe she doesn't feel that way at all. And as much as her life looks good from the outside, perhaps she just can't listen to me talk about my life right now because I am actually doing what she is not and feels she cannot. Maybe it's not so easy to sit and listen to me, as I imagine and hope and torment myself over the possibilities, when she has only an actuality that she really doesn't want.

Of course, I could be wrong, and she could just be being a complete jerk. But friends deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt.


Bluebird said...

What a great post! I feel like its so important to try to learn from the lessons IF has taught us - but its important to remember to implement those lessons in *all* areas of life. We are compassionate to other IFers - but do we treat others with different "problems" the same way? Rhetorical question, of course :) But thanks for the thought! And I'm proud of you for realizing this - and hope it helps things with your friend.

Io said...

Can I just ditto what bluebird said? It was so much more eloquent than anything I could say!