Sometimes I look around at the world, the news, the people, and I wonder if I shouldn’t just stay single forever. I’m not going to lie — I seem to have very little faith in humanity on most days. I see glimmers of hope here and there, but not as often as I’d like.
While the only thing ticking on my person is my watch, I wonder what I’d think about if I wanted to have kids. Would I think that I could raise them as contributors who would help the world and make it better? Would I see their existence through rose-colored glasses? Or would I constantly worry about how the economy will treat their generation, whether they’ll be able to have a retirement or if the world will be so far gone by that time that I’d wish I’d never had them at all? The possibility of the latter terrifies me.
I look at Boston and wonder what the point of love is. Is it worth it to love if the life of your other half is taken by a senseless, selfish act? The negative side of me thinks that staying single forever would save me from feeling the excruciating loss that only someone who finally let their walls down for The One — then lost them — would feel. The other side of me knows it’s ridiculous to live life in such an insulated manner.
I hear people say that I should have children so that I have someone to take care of me when I’m older. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a terrible reason to have children. Who’s to say they’d live long enough to take care of me? Who’s to say they’d even want to take care of me? Who’s to say I’d live long enough to need to be taken care of by them? It’s assuming a lot. It’s assuming that a lot would fall into place, but it mostly makes the terrible assumption that I’d be OK with having kids for such a selfish reason. And I know I wouldn’t be OK with that at all.
One of my favorite singers is Dido, and her lyrics to “See the Sun” see to summarize love for me perfectly.
“Do you remember telling me you found the sweetest thing of all? You said one day of this was worth dying for.” She goes on, urging her subject to be thankful they knew that person at all, even though they’re now gone.
Whether they’re my children or my significant other, I realize in the wake of tragedy that I actually do believe in love. Although I haven’t for a long time, I believe in loving fully even though loss is always a possibility, in living even though our timelines are not known, and in all the learnings we get from both because of the better people they turn us into. Of a terrible boss I once had, I say that he taught me a lot about the kind of manager I never want to be. Of love, I say that whether it’s good or bad, long-lasting or not, it will teach me about the kind that I ultimately want for myself. For forever.
And for love, I am thankful.