There’s this scene in the first Sex in the City movie when Carrie and the girls are holidaying in Mexico. They are actually on Carrie and Big’s honeymoon minus Big of course. Charlotte is feeling a sense of guilt for being happy. The conversation goes like this:
Charlotte: Nobody gets everything they want! Look at you. Look at Miranda. You’re good people and you two both got shafted. I’m so happy and… something bad is going to happen.
Carrie: Sweetie, you shit your pants this year. I think you’re done.
This scene came to mind in a recent conversation I had with a girlfriend. We were discussing wanting more (sadly we weren’t discussing the potential of holidaying in Mexico for Christmas.) Anyway, her “more” in this instance is a second baby. After years of IVF, she and her husband have this gorgeous two year old kidlet. He’s a treasure and a terror in equal measure and there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t thank her twinkling stars that he came into their lives. Mind you, he is lucky too, he chose awesome parents. My friend and her husband are the kinds of people you want in your tribe, they are full of the good stuff. But here’s the thing. My lovely friend thinks because she has already succeeded at having what so many people struggle with, she doesn’t get to have it again. Like her, when I was going through IVF I did a lot of plea bargaining. “If I get pregnant I will never ask for anything ever again” kind of bargaining. Never mind that zillions of women have 1, 2, 3 or 10 children. IVF makes you desperate DESPERATE (I wrote about it here once before) so when you successfully fall pregnant via IVF and go on to have a healthy baby it is like winning the lottery so who expects to win the lottery twice?
What is it about us as humans that makes us think or feel that just because you get something that you truly badly want, that you can’t have anything else? That there is a limit to happiness and good things happening to you. It makes no sense when bad things happen to good people. I cannot fathom some of the adversity that some people seem to have to endure. There but for the grace of God go I. Whilst it sure as heck makes me appreciate what I have it simultaneously makes me sad at the unfairness of this life business.
We question why the bad stuff happens to the good people but why do we also question why good things happen to good people?
I suspect it’s similar to when life is going along swimmingly, a bit like “okay, I’ve freakin’ got this shit” and life is just flowing. You’re at your happy place. Of course, by the very nature of how this rollercoaster goes sometimes life turns you upside down and inside out but why then when things are good to we hold our breath waiting for something bad to happen? I’m an optimist by nature, and though I got what I could never imagine possible, IVF has this way of making you look at things a bit more half glass empty. It takes you on this insane emotional journey and tosses you around like a salad. When I hear someone (and I know a few people at the moment) have an unsuccessful IVF cycle my heart drops for them. It’s a weird feeling, even though I got lucky the IVF experience still makes me feel a bit fragile every now and then. Never have I felt such relief when it was all over.
I can’t give any advice to my friend on this, mainly because I suck at giving advice – unless if you want to know if it’s okay to wear sequins during the day then my advice is yes of course. But what I do know is this, she is allowed to want more. Good things can and do happen to good people and I bet somewhere in the world someone has won the lottery twice.