Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tears Without Pain

I'm PMSing at the moment and I've been a crybaby (as usual, getting touched so easily/crying so easily if I see/watch/read a touching event/story). The other day I saw a touching scene on TV between a mother and her daughter and I instantly shed some tears without any twinge, any pain, any grief on my part.

There was an instant when I thought to myself, "Oh, how beautiful it is to be able to have that moment with your own child" but it was more like a moment when you see someone else's magnificent photos (your not being a photographer yourself nor do you attempt to be a photographer) and you're so touched by their beauty that you can't help blurting out, "WOW! To be able to witness all those moments/places and to be able to capture them in their glory must be something!"

I want to write this down for future use, as this is the first time I've felt something like this. That moment surely felt surreal.

That said, I felt something when I saw an article on myself in the newspaper (it covers Lapland). You see, a few weeks ago a reporter contacted me because he was writing an article on expats in Lapland and I agreed to be interviewed. I assumed he was covering other expats, too. Turned out the article was only about me (Doh! My introvert side cringed!). Anyway, during the interview I told him that we had no kids because the interview was also about what kind of services that expats needed or what challenges expats were facing. I mentioned our childless state to let him know that I couldn't give any input in terms of daycare/school and stuff like that. And no, he didn't ask why we were childless.

The article came out last week and when I read the part where "she and her husband have no kids", I felt something. I searched my heart to figure out what I was feeling...I believe it was fear/worry. Fear/worry of being judged by random people. It was hard not to wonder what the article readers thought about that sole fact. It was one thing to let selected people/my regular customers know that we have no kids, but I have no clue who else the readers of the article could be and how many of them had read the article. It was not only the scale of the article (as opposed to talking one-to-one), but also the fact that it was written in black-and-white for the public eye to see, I suppose.

However, funnily enough I was also somewhat glad that the article mentioned my age (the reporter was very polite, he even asked me for permission first if he could ask about my age or not with a very apologetic look on his face he he he...), because people here think I'm younger than my real age. Even though people here don't pry about children as much as Indo people, a few of them have blurted out, "Ah, you still have time" when I told them that we had no kids (without giving further explanation).  


  1. I'm glad you had such a lovely moment, without pain or fear or grief. I've had those - it is very liberating to feel you can be moved by something because it is moving, not because we are grieving for ourselves.

    I kinda wish I could see that article! And I'm sorry you had to brace yourself against being judged. I think so often though, we brace ourselves against the worst case scenario, and the worst case scenario rarely happens. I know I do that. I hope that this too was liberating, simply in the fact that your status (a married couple) was mentioned in a matter-of-fact manner, and I hope it leads to only positive responses.

    1. Thanks for the confirmation that I'm going to the right direction, Mali. :-) Ah, you want to see the article? I'll post it later in another post then...but yeah, the matter-of-fact tone does help. :-)

      Actually I've received only positive feedback from my customers, but it unnerved me that they had read the article before I did (we don't subscribe to the newspaper so waited until that week's Saturday to read MIL's copy) whereas I had no idea what it was about. It was unnerving to have someone write an article specifically on yourself (as opposed to the thought of having a reporter write an article on a few/more people).

  2. I loved reading this.
    It has taken me a long time to simply say, no we don't have kids.
    I use to always say, we don't have kids, we have two cats....I finally decided that it seemed dismissive on my part for myself. Now I am looking at owning it and being strong.
    You did perfect! I'm looking forward to seeing the article too!
    ** applause **


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