Options are more limited then they used to be

When I was younger
I knew beyond options, that I had time to do everything I wanted. Anything I wanted, when I wanted, if I wanted

Walking along the ocean
The thick salted air
Plays with my hair
Lifts dark curls off my shoulders
Into the sky
The sun shines down
I’m warm
I see the endless sapphire blue ocean kiss the Alice blue sky
I watch her breathe in and out onto the shore


Sapphire changes to steel blue to grey but she continues to wash; erode her shore. I continue to walk by her side. The sun sinks
I can’t see as far as I thought I could

Some girls just knew they were going to be moms; they grow up into women who just knew they’d always have kids. Just knew.  That wasn’t me.

I didn’t play house with my dolls.
I don’t like the smell of dolls.
I brought Barbie out to play with the neighbor boys GI Joes.
We covered them in dirt, hiding them from the firecrackers
Danny would run and light
We’d watch them blow.

I wasn’t pretending to be the mommy, feeding, changing, rocking my baby.

I thought I would be like my Mom, married at 24, first child at 26, second at 28, but that wasn’t a dream, that’s just how I thought it was done…life.

I imagined following in my Dad’s footsteps, being independent, having a career, becoming successful, holding my own, supporting myself, writing, creating, producing. I dreamed of being married, I didn’t dream of my wedding

I dreamed of sharing my life with my soul mate, I didn’t dream of kids.

Bill and I got married when I was 40. We both didn’t want children, until one night two years later when we did.

We were in traffic on the 405 North by Skirball Center.
Bill looked over at me, “We can have kids”.
I thought we could, that we were solid enough, we had a strong foundation of love and respect. We could have a baby
“We can”, I agreed.

and so….

We tried
We lost
Three souls slipped between our fingertips
We cried
We created a stronger foundation

I know that there is grief, loss, sadness, a longing on both sides of having a family.

I miss myself, the woman I was before I became consumed with supporting another life


I wish I had known what it feels like to create a life from love

On both sides of the story there is longing for a life that is different.

Acceptance disarms my longing, the comparison, the wanting. Doesn’t Buddhism state that the cause of human suffering is attachment and avoidance?

Attached to an outcome, a belief, a person, place, a thing, an idea, an expectation… fill in the blank.
Avoiding an outcome, a conversation, a person, a diagnosis, a truth…fill in this blank too. It makes so much sense to me.

Letting go of all that rich dark chocolate expectation, dripping, oozing, sweet seductive, lava is challenging. It’s a discipline, my practice born in awareness.

This reminds me of when I was 28.

My Dad had been gone for three years. I was living in Santa Barbara. I was lost, floating, moving through life with no direction and a wrecked heart. It was usually over a shot of tequila, my Marlboro Light smoking between my middle and index finger and maybe a line of cocaine waiting for me on a mirror in someone’s living room, that I would say, “God, I didn’t think I’d be here at this point in my life”.

The sun rises and sets; streaking the sky with orange, pink and purple watercolor.  The longing for being somewhere I’m not dissipated, like fog does on a morning in July.

I have mended my strong, scarred, resilient heart and when she fractures in the future I will be patient while she heals.

I will continue to breathe in and out with the ocean because this is my life.

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  1. The way you manage to sway the sorrow of loss alongside the splendor of yesterday as you looked onto tomorrow, is not only beautiful and lyrical but it’s nurturing. Your words place me in your arms and make a child out of me. Bravo Carolyn, bravo.

  2. lovely … brava Carolyn! can’t wait to read more.

  3. Thank you for you essence and openess, you are true beauty and an inspiration.

  4. Thank you for sharing, you are pure essence and beauty and I love the vulnerability, passion, joy, love and YOU!!!

  5. Such a beautiful mixture of poetry and prose, anguish and acceptance… deep as the ocean and blue as the sky…

  6. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    • Hi Margaret,

      Thank you! It is a topic worth much discussion. There is a lot more simmering on this topic and I’m sure it will arise… I have been working on a poem of sorts as well… Thanks for reading and hope you come back for more… ;0

      Write on,

  7. Natalie says:

    It was a nice eloquent piece, nicely written and beautiful connections made regarding life…

  8. Much informative and useful article… I like it personally…