You may not know it, but in my house, there is a monkey in a room.
He does not swing from vines, cause mischief, or eat bananas.
His job is to sit and wait.
Now, this is not what monkey signed up for. As he was carefully wrapped and gently placed into a box two summers ago, I am sure he felt that he was on the adventure of his life.
What would he see? Where would he travel to? Who would he belong to?
He would end up in a little house by the river, with two humans. As nice as they were, monkey was lonely and thought that he'd like to have someone closer to his own size to play with. So he sat and waited.
Monkey is still waiting.
So are we.
After our wedding in 2014, we found our monkey on etsy. We thought it would be so cute to take a picture of us standing side by side with each or us holding monkey's paws. When the time came, we'd post a picture and say we were expecting our own “Monkey in the Middle”. We laughed about putting him up on the gymnastics rings that hang in the tree outside our kitchen window.
We even bought a matching sock monkey collar for Penny.This was our dream.
Months passed, no good news. More months passed, nothing. How long has it been? Two years and counting.
What is wrong? I can't say for sure.
Monkey felt like a sad reminder and he was put away in a room.
Twenty-six months have passed and we’ve watched family and friends starting their own families. We are so happy for them, but it’s like we are stuck at the bottom of a tree with no branches within reach.
Will we ever have our turn?
The unknown is difficult and so is waiting. What's also difficult is feeling like we can’t talk about it.
Our monkey in the room is like a secret that is scared to climb out.
You know what is also difficult? Saying the word: Infertility.
I’ve said it but it doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.
Actually, it’s starting to make me feel:
It makes me feel as translucent as my Zinc white paint.
Maybe I'll boldly write it in Mars black and pretend that I'm being brave, when I feel...
that this is just all a big mistake to share and maybe I should just shut the door on this all together.
But that is not right.
I’ve decided that it’s ok to feel upset, disappointed, discouraged, and angry. I also don't have to pretend that everything is fine, when it's not. I can feel sad. At the same time I think it is necessary to find the good and to see that the positive is always within reach, if you are looking up.
It’s also important to share.
There have to be others that are struggling too and maybe they feel like they have to hide it. Maybe they also have to gulp back that lump in their throat several times a day and put on a smile.
I'm not one to sit and dwell on sad feelings for too long. Monkey and I are on a mission. I’ve put up a large canvas in the room. When I’m feeling low, I can work on creating something beautiful.
Whatever I’m feeling, I will paint. I can be transparent, I can be bold. I can be dark, or I can be brilliant greens and blues. I will document what I’m going through and not feel that I have to cover it up.
While I feel uncertain about my family's future, I do feel hope. As an artist, I know that even what feels like something wrong, can turn into something beautifully unexpected.
I can't always control what happens to me, but I am in charge of what I create on canvas.
For anyone out there going through something tough: give art a try! I cannot express how the act of creating something can make you feel because there are no words for it. Painting, sketching, knitting, writing, cooking, anything! Choose something that makes you feel comfortable and calm and go from there.
You can message me if you something similar and want to talk about it or if you want to share ideas about art projects. I'd love to hear from you!
I'll be posting updates of the painting as I go, so if you are interested in following me and monkey,
the door is open!