I listened to every fading breath of my great grandmother as she spoke to me about her dreams and aspirations. She wanted to be a nurse. To save lives. Practice medicine. She never had that opportunity and I saw the regret in her eyes as she succumbed to death having been indentured by the standards of society. She was 20 when she met my great grandfather at the movie hall in 1946. Within a year she was married and gave birth to my grandmother. My great grandmother, had sex, became pregnant, and sacrificed her dreams to motherhood and wifedom. Twenty years later my grandmother had sex, became pregnant, and found herself in the same predicament as her mother. 20 years later my mother gave birth to me sacrificing her freedom. And 21 years after my sister’s birth she too now expects her bundle of in January. I see the regret. I see the what ifs and the loneliness. There was no freedom of body nor choice. My great grandmother and grandmother may have scorned my tattoos and piercings and provocative clothing, but I know they appreciated my freedom. My grandmother speaks to me still about my conquests and although she may occasionally reprimand me through facebook comments, I know she means well.
I will not become victim of a reproductive system. I will not be enslaved by society’s expectations of procreation and duty to house and husband. That is not my way. Therefore, for my 25th birthday there I lie. Feet within the air supported by stirrups, a speculum opening my vagina and sharp pains as the OBGYN inserts the IUD, I made the decision to not be a victim. My “small cervix,” as the OBGYN pointed out, shall not welcome quests. I choose to not reproduce. I choose a life not of motherhood but of selfhood. That is my choice. I would have taken selfies during the process but unfortunately or fortunately was distracted by my mind wondering about a career as a doctor. My great grandmother did not have the opportunity to be a nurse. Do I have a duty to my fellow women, both past and present, to be a doctor, a scientist, or a president? I am a woman of the theatre, of the stage, but as much as I adore the stage I adore the progress o my sex much more.
And this is my struggle. The next steps of my life. I am riddled with questions and where to begin. Do I embark on a journey in Human Rights Law? Do I begin my odyssey into sex education? Do I commence the path of medicine? and what of my passion for art? I need to rekindle my drive and I must begin somewhere. I am 25. What lies for the next 25 years I know not, but if these first 25 years are any show of my development I may calm my nerves with confidence in myself and abilities. I am 25. I am unmarried. I am infertile. I am employed. I am free. 25.