Thursday, April 24, 2008

Broodiness vs. wanderlust

I'm ready.

I'm not ready yet.

Damn it, sometimes it sucks to have the world as your oyster.

Let me explain what I mean. I'm in my 20s and if I lived in a big city instead of a Caribbean island, I'd be pretty much what you would call a yuppie or buppie (young urban profession or black urban professional). Since I'm not, I have taken up the term islandista. I think it implies a certain excellence at and dedication to the best and most sophisticated elements of an island lifestyle.

Anyhow, I'm a 20-something islandista with a good job and good job prospects - excellent really. I'm very well educated, not living at my mother, earning a decent salary (at last!), in a great, stable relationship (at last, at last, at last!). Basically I can do whatever I want to do.

I'm just not sure sometimes what that is. On the one hand, I have been feeling terribly broody and maternal these days. Every where I turn it seems another friend of mine or friend of my man's is getting pregnant, engaged or married - sometimes all three. In the last two years there have been something like 6 or 8 babies among my circle of friends and 4 weddings (well, one is coming up in August). Next year threatens to be busier.

I see ads for Luvs diapers (you know that one with the cute little black baby wrestling the teddy bear?) and I go all soft in the head. When my period comes, I'm vaguely disappointed (even though I know I'm on the pill so I don't know what the hell I'm really expecting).

While the reasonable, rational part of me says I need to get a few more things in place first like more savings, a car, a wedding, another part of me is a bit envious of my friends and associates who got 'surprised' by their babies (which is basically all of them -LOL) and are now loving parenthood. I think 'well they didn't have every single thing in place and they are making it work - most pregnancies are unplanned anyhow - why not do the damn thing?'

On other days though, I'm relieved that I still have my freedom. And even with the freedom I have, I feel a bit hemmed in by expectations (mostly my own). I envy my friends who are living overseas and travelling the world, seeing exotic places like Korea, Japan, Egypt and Nigeria. I want the freedom to jump in a few more carnivals around the world without having to think that I am sacrificing vacation time that should be used on my child. I've already spent 4 years living outside of my homeland but I could do with two or three more- particularly in a large city. It would be fabulous to be living in another country and experiencing all it has to offer - but with a job and money instead of as a broke student!

And the thing is, these feelings are almost equally strong. Some days I want nothing more than to settle down, establish myself, have a baby, get married, set up a business. Other days, I am filled with wanderlust, like I haven't finished seeing the world yet.

Is it possible to have both? Particularly as a woman? I'm a true feminist but I am also a realist. I know the sacrifices my mother made for me and the accommodations she's had to make to raise her children.

Am I ready to sacrifice like that yet for another human being? I'm not sure.

And I'm sure I'm not the only islandista feeling that way.