The Other Side of My Life

One of the things that I hate about infertility and all that comes with it is that it really does consume your life. Understandably, it especially consumes my writing here-after all, that’s our common thread. We are all faced with this demon without a face, ironically. It has taken a giant chunk out of our lives. It makes me, quite honestly, really mad to think about.

Would my life have been better this past year and a half if I had never started trying to have a baby? I feel almost certain it would-because I never would have been through all this pain, this disappointment-this inadequacy. Why couldn’t I have just been blessed as an infertile person to also be one of the people out there who never wanted to have kids. My sister was. She has never wanted kids-was pretty hell bent against them. Then her ovaries started acting up and she had no qualms about getting her tubes tied and 1.5 ovaries removed (they kept half of one just in case she changes her mind-weird to think about really). The surgery sucked, but it was sort of like God (who I am now CONVINCED has to be a man) granted her wish-no kids, no worries.

I didn’t get that lucky. I’m the one who has to train myself to believe that my life will be okay without kids-damnit, that my life will be amazing. Because if they don’t come I still have an amazing life. I have my family, my friends, my husband, my education, my voracious love of books and pets and traveling-I have SO MUCH.

But infertility, while we’re in the throes of it, makes it all feel like maybe it’s just not enough.

But I really refuse to let it do that to me anymore. My life IS enough for me. My life WILL be enough for me even if the kids never come.

I’m going to do a challenge I ran across on the work tumblr account. I’m three days late getting started, so forgive me, but this is going to be a catch up post. It’s a book challenge and it consists of the following:

  1. Your 10 favorite books of all time.
  2. Your 5 least favorite books of all time.
  3. Your favorite characters and which books they’re from.
  4. Characters you hate and which books they’re from.
  5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you take with you? Include one reason for each.
  6. The best book you’ve read in the last year.
  7. The worst book you’ve read in the last year.
  8. Your favorite quotes from books.
  9. Your favorite quotes about books.
  10. Name five absolutely great film adaptations of books.
  11. Name three absolutely awful film adaptations of books.
  12. Your favorite authors.
  13. Your favorite book from childhood
  14. A book you regret not having read sooner
  15. A book you haven’t read but is on your “will read” list.
  16. A book you haven’t read and have no intention of ever reading,.
  17. A book you want to like, but can’t get into for whatever reason. Why can’t you get into it?
  18. A book that you think is highly overrated.
  19. A book that you think is woefully underrated
  20. The environment you most enjoy reading in
  21. The most disturbing book you’ve ever read
  22. A book you once loved, but don’t anymore. What changed?
  23. A book you once hated, but now love. What changed?
  24. Your favorite series
  25. The nerdiest book you’ve ever read.
  26. Your favorite type of nonfiction book
  27. Your favorite genre
  28. The first book you can remember reading on your own
  29. An author you wish was more well-known
  30. The book you’re reading right now.

So here’s my ten favorite books of all time. I’m going to do very brief summaries because this post is so effing long. Feel free to ask me about any of them-or Amazon them to read longer summaries. Then check them out from your local library!

1. The entire Harry Potter series, by Rowling (yes, I know-there are seven of them. It’s cheating. But I’m infertile bitches, so fuck that)

Um, are you kidding? I’m not summarizing. Let’s just call them the BEST BOOKS EVAR!

2. The Forgotten Garden, by Morton

A mysterious family tree!

3. Jane Eyre, by Bronte

A crazy lady in an attic, a nanny, and a mysterious gentleman.

4. Divergent, by Roth

Dystopian, but better than Hunger Games

5. Julie and Julia, by Powell

Cooking, some IF, blogging, marriage. Reality.

6. A Dirty Job, by Moore

The most hilarious book about the grim reaper you’ll ever read. Also possibly the only one.

7. The Name of the Star, by Johnson

Jack the Ripper ghost story with hilarious southern girl in London leading the way-what more do you need?!

8. Little Women, by Alcott

Four sisters take very different paths in life during the Civil War

9. The Help, by Stockett

Oppression in the American South with an uplifting end. Sort of.

10. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by McKillip

Fantasy, mythical creatures, all good things!

Now let’s be honest-these can’t possibly be my ten favorite books of all time. I’ve simply read too many. And I’ve loved so many. I’m already thought of 30 other books that could easily be on this list, but I’ve tried to pick books from a wide cross-section of genres, juvenile, young adult, and adult. However, as a librarian, I am certified in the art of recommending books to people, so if you ever need a surefire good book, I guarantee you you’ll do well with anything on that list (although if you don’t like classics, I’d skip Jane Eyre).

Now my least favorite books of all time (five of them to be exact)

1. Eat, Pray, Love, by Gilbert

(I’m missing something-why do people love this book?! The writing style was so disjointed-I need a book to flow people!)

2. The Casual Vacancy, by Rowling

I feel like I’m going to get kicked out of the Harry Potter club for this-but this book was terrible. I couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. NONE of the characters are worthy of any love. There is no good guy to be found. I need a good guy. And the writing is so drab it could be for a technical manual for goodness sakes. AND there was so much profanity that it felt like she was trying too hard. I don’t mind profanity in a book. When it’s genuinely part of that writers style then I think it can enhance a book, but it really felt like she was just trying to prove that she could write adult books so let’s throw as many curse words in as possible. It did not, suffice it to say, enhance the book.

3. The Notebook, by Sparks

Really, to be honest, I’ve tried several things by Sparks, and I’m missing the boat on this one too. There’s too much flower and not enough reality. Too much mush. I need some grit. Life has grit.

4. Moby Dick, by Melville

My. GOD. One of my particularly cruel professors made me read this in college. It was horrific. Let me summarize it for you: whale whale whale Ahab whale spermaceti, whale, boat boat boat, whale. Just DON’T go there.

5. Nightlight: A Parody, by Harvard People

Okay, now I’m all well and good with a parody. I read the Twilight books-I don’t hate them, I don’t love them. They are what they are, which is books, and I don’t really see the need to get so worked up about them. I liked them for what they were, and nothing more. And I thought I’d enjoy the parody of Nightlight-but I didn’t. It was just freaking annoying. If that’s how people felt while reading Twilight then I am SORRY, because I got about twenty pages in and had to stop-which is what I recommend to anyone who ever just hates a book they’re reading-just stop. Unless it’s for school. Then, I’m sorry, but your life will suck while you’re reading that book.

My favorite characters

What?! No limit?! Are you kidding?!

I’m limiting myself to three, because otherwise we’ll be here all day, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)

What? No Harry Potter? Well, yes, I love him a lot. I think he’s great and he saved the world and all of that stuff, but the fact of the matter is, Hermione is my twin. We are cut from the same cloth. We are no nonsense, bookworm, ugly haired, always trying to keep other people in line kind of people. It’s why I also love Molly Weasley (see what I did there? Already trying to sneak in an extra character). And I married a red headed man who is a big old goof just like Ron and Mr. Weasley are. I first read the HP books when I was 11 or 12, and Hermione really validated my existence for me, because she’s badass. The end.

2. Josephine March (Little Women)

Yeah, I know she’s the obvious choice, but where Hermione feels like my twin, Jo feels like the character I ALWAYS wanted to be. The boys all loved her and she wasn’t afraid to be herself-no matter how boyish that was and she would give up anything(right down to her hair) for her family. She was brash and brave and NEVER changed who she was for anything or anyone, even if it meant turning down a marriage proposal from THE most eligible bachelor in town (spoiler alert!). For the 1800’s she was pretty revolutionary. I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who could be revolutionary!

3. Julia Child (Julie and Julia)

Okay, so yes, she’s not TECHNICALLY a character. She was a real flesh and blood person-but that’s what makes her all the more amazing! She was an amazing chef who didn’t really figure herself out until her forties, she MAY have been a spy, (although she vehemently denies it-but isn’t that what all the spies say?) She donated money to Planned Parenthood BEFORE IT WAS COOL y’all! She was sensual and loved her husband passionately, and if I have to share infertility with any historical character, it’s Julia, y’all. Everytime it’s going to be Julia. She was her own person, she never accepted defeat with her cookbook or her career. She is a real life hero for me.

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5 thoughts on “The Other Side of My Life

  1. I HATED Eat, Pray, Love. There were some interesting parts, a lot of really boring, useless parts. I definitely did not like the style of writing. But, funnily enough, I adore the movie (I’m such a sucker for a good rom-com). You’re the first person I’ve talked to who is on the same page as me regarding this book (see what I did there?). My husband tries to defend the book (which he did not read entirely – so I’m not sure his opinion can be considered valid) by saying it’s a type of self-help book. I don’t agree.

    I’m also going to check out 3 of the books on your fav list!

  2. Yeah, Cody loves to read – on his own terms. But I think most people are like that. I’ll give him credit… he’s always willing to pick up a new book that might not be his style and give it a fair shot. I’m sure there will be a book to catch Chief’s eye sometime in the future 🙂

    I’m going to check out Julie and Julia, A Dirty Job, and The Name of the Star. I might also check out Divergent – at the very least, I’ll be telling Cody about it.

  3. Great post!! I’ve not read many of the books on your list and do consider myself well-read, so now I’ve got some to check out!! Both of my parents were high school English teachers, so there is never a shortage of books to pick up, but still… I always like new suggestions!

  4. Loved The Help, Divergent & Julie & Julia (I liked Cleaving, too, but I think I’m one of a few). I need to check out A Dirty Job, I’ve never heard of it. My husband, who has read pretty much every book out there, also believes Moby Dick is one of the worst books ever written and recommends staying far, far away from it.

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