My Mom is one of those meticulous present wrappers. Every package is wrapped with precision and is always, ALWAYS, topped with a bow. Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t be more opposite. That last piece of tape on a package equals freedom from a task that I begrudgingly undertake with each celebratory occasion. A bow is asking way too much. In the same way I love my ice cream sundaes just as much without a cherry on top, the absence of a bow does not make the present any less exciting. I stand by my no bow policy.
This phenomenon came up recently when I was talking to some friends about submitting one of my essays to a popular blog I follow. They have a pregnancy/fertility category and I felt that a past article I wrote about me and my dog sharing the unlikely bond of having miscarriages would give the topic a unique angle. The initial feedback was good – they were interested in the essay and they asked for some revisions. Normally, I am open to feedback and very much want to improve my writing skills, but these revisions were difficult for me. They wanted a more uplifting ending.
Could I make the conclusion more uplifting? No. I tried, but the absence of a response after my next attempt told me it wasn’t going to work. The fact is, neither me nor my dog realized a successful pregnancy after those particular miscarriages. The end. I get where they were coming from. They have a vulnerable audience that may be dealing with their own pregnancy and loss issues and a story without a happy ending is a tough pill to swallow. I feel that these particular types of stories – ones without resolution – are what’s missing from the public sharing arena. On topics about life in general, and definitely about fertility. I could have spun my story in a way that focused on the fact that I have two healthy children, that the pregnancy for the third child (which ended in miscarriage #4) was a fleeting thought, and that we’re living happily ever after, relieved that we’re not outnumbered by our children. But that’s not true. The truth is that we wanted a third child, but something told me that four miscarriages was four too many and I knew I had hit my tipping point. I didn’t have it in me to play Russian roulette and possibly get #5.
I feel like social media has intensified our cravings for resolution. So much of what we see written in blogs, magazine articles and social posts is manipulated to wrap up the message with a pretty bow. Juxtaposed with real life, this is just not accurate. There are going to be many circumstances where we don’t get the resolution we crave. We will make the wrong choice. Questions will go unanswered. Goals will be unattainable. Those experiences are just as important as our successes or those moments that bring us understanding and closure.
So, how am I going to resolve this rant? I’m not. Choose your own adventure and end this story in a way that makes sense for you. In my opinion, shifting the focus away from always needing closure helps us remain open to new ideas and experiences. After all, presents are still pretty without a bow, right?