“You’ll never marry. And you’ll never have children.
The clairvoyant who told me this 30 years ago in Melbourne’s western suburbs might have looked more like a factory worker than a prophet, but he was spot on.
I had known I’d never have kids ever since I was a little girl. Or maybe I’d decided it all those years ago. But that didn’t make hearing it out loud any easier.
No, not then.
While I knew that I didn’t want the marriage and the children, I spent years torturing myself with wacky therapies and ‘self discoveries’ to find out why I didn’t want the picket fence, a husband, two and a half kids and everything that comes along with that.
I’m sure I had some ‘a ha’ moments along the way … maybe during equine therapy when both horses left me standing alone in a paddock full of bull ants and flies.
Or deep in the lush green rice paddies of Bali where I paid a small fortune to get in touch with my true being while wishing I was running up a large tab at the pool bar.
Or maybe in past-life regression therapy when I was told I was a mean man in my past life who treated women appallingly. So now I had to pay a price in this life …
Needless to say, none of these or the many other ‘therapies’ I tried, helped (except possibly the pool bar drinking).
I still felt completely inadequate. How could any woman who didn’t want a family not be broken in some way or just completely selfish?
These days I don’t give it a second thought.
I revel in the fact that I am happy. I don’t take my life for granted. It’s a lucky one, with work I’m proud of, great friends, a yearly overseas trip, a clean and tidy house I love, and a dog who is pure joy.
And there’s something else Barry the clairvoyant was right about all those years ago.
“You’ll always be surrounded by lots of children,” he said.
Well yes, it has turned out pretty alright. In fact, it’s an important part of my life.
I’ve always been the crazy indulgent pretend and real aunt to friends’ kids and my sister’s kids.
My nieces started having ‘magical’ experiences at my place from an early age.
We went to theatre in the park and stayed up all night telling stories and eating icecream and lollies.
We made up our own language and told stories of our own land. I have always been unpredictable and extravagant with the kids, and make every visit special.
When my younger niece turned 12, I gave her an indulgence of 12 different cuisines and we went to some of Melbourne’s top restaurants throughout her 12th year – French at Bistro Thierry, Greek at Gazi, Peruvian at Pastuso, Spanish at Movida.
Not to be outdone by 12, her 13th birthday saw the gift of 13 new experiences from an artisan chocolate making course, to trips to Alice springs, an indulgent weekend in a suite at Crown Towers and a wildly expensive trip to Sydney to stay at Pier One and eat at Icebergs.