Mourning the Loss of Who I’ll Never Become

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In many ways, I’ve been procrastinating on grieving the loss of my former self while also mourning the version I will never be.

I’m writing a book and the working title is “I would have been a great mom.” It was an aha moment one night in bed and the title matched the tone of the novel I’ve had stuck in my head for months.

I won’t go too much into yet since I am still in the birthing process of the book but the fact that I am referring to my creations through the perspective of motherhood speaks volumes.

When I first came up the name “The Renaissance Empress” it was originally supposed to be “The Renaissance Bruja” because that was the vibe I wanted to articulate.

But it felt off and I was never totally on board with the “bruja” term because the bruja crew online tend to be particular about who gets to self-identify with that term and it wasn’t a battle I was willing to attract.

I was doing readings and the EMPRESS card kept coming up and it just fit. The logo cemented it so I decided that would be the name. It was catchy, the URL was available, no one was using the handle, and I loved the font that I ended up using for the word “EMPRESS.” 

Not too long after, I was having issues with the fibroids that set up shop on my left ovary and lower back. One painful IUD removal + reinsertion made me reconsider my options. I was still pretty anemic, bleeding more than usual, and with ongoing and persistent pain.

I initiated the conversation about hysterectomy, in case there’s any questions about being coerced into the decision.

I brought it up.

I asked questions.

I gave it serious consideration.

Given my age (45) and no prospects for children, nor the desire to pop one out, I went ahead with the removal of my uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix.

Brutal honesty: I was in Costco when I heard a kid screaming at the top of their lungs and immediately texted my gynecologist that my mind was made up and it was a definite YES.

The procedure was done within two months of that text. I didn’t have time to second guess myself even though she said I could always change my mind at any time.

I was grateful for the space and consideration given to me by the team because I never felt forced or pressured to do the procedure. All of the anxiety was self-induced.

My overnight stay at the hospital was full of emotional reckoning with my decision. I saw a meme online about how people without uteruses shouldn’t have a say about abortion. I found myself confronting an identity that I claimed all of my life and watching someone dismiss it for likes on social media.

Without significant funds, a millionaire husband, a renegade IV specialist, and a fucking miracle – I will likely never have a child.

No amount of therapy can offset the decades of feeling like I would have made a horrible mom. No amount of edibles can hide the grief I suppress for an identity I will never know.

So my work becomes my legacy. My products become my imprint. My words are what stays long after I am gone.

Wrapping up the entirety of my existence to this idea that my labor is my purpose has never brought me comfort.

Quite the opposite.

What they don’t tell you about healing is that the new truth you come to terms with brings rage, sadness, and enough angst to resurrect the grunge movement. I don’t remember ever feeling this angry and melancholy at the same time.

My moods have always been cyclical but lately it’s been one composite of every single feeling I’ve ignored since forever.

And now with the OCD diagnosis confirmed, even though it came as a surprise to no one I told, I am now rediscovering a new version of myself that I didn’t know I’d have to pivot to.

Entrepreneurship provides a template for life that if we step back to look at how we go from point A to point B, it’s quite literally the hero’s journey.

And yet in my quest for success I became an expert in failure. In my desire for perfection, I mastered disarray. In my strategy for thriving, I learned how to emotionally drown.

Everything I sought came back to me with the opposite desired effect. So I throw in the towel of trying to figure shit out and just hope that surrendering my expectations leads me down the path of activating my magic.