11 October 2017

How do you answer 'What Makes you Most Proud?'

A work colleague asked me of what accomplishment am I most proud, and I blurted out the first thing that came to mind…which was not poignant, profound, or particularly true.

He was trying to make his point that having kids is his greatest accomplishment and giving the reasons why.

He told me about their little faces and the hope he has for their futures… he also said that he is extremely over protective because he does not feel the world in which he’s raising them is particularly safe (meanwhile, he lives in one of the most affluent counties in the nation).

I replied that I neither have nor want children for that exact same reason, the world is not a safe place. Beyond that, it’s also a corrupt, polluted, increasingly warmer place that requires the immediate attention of the people alive now—who are able to effect positive change. He was not particularly worried about climate change, and I was not in the mood to sway him. It was a good conversation, we both saw each other’s points.


I Have Options: Later, thinking about what I’m most proud, it’s definitely the fact that I have options. Yes, the life that I’ve chosen to live gives me a myriad of options and—at my mature vantage point—I’m able to reflect on the decisions that got me here.

Theoretically I could pick up and move to Madagascar tomorrow…or I can make the decision to go to a family funeral thousands of miles away on a moment’s notice… I can hike the Appalachian trail or act as nursemaid to an injured friend for a few weeks to help them get on the mend.

Part of this pride is obviously based in my decision not to have children, but it’s greater than that. I—along with my wonderful hubby—chose a frugal life, with a modest house, a nonexistent car, few bills, and moderate travel. We eat well, laugh often, debate solutions to urban problems from-time-to-time, we share what we have with others, and we see the world--one bit at a time.