Samantha Walsh

Back in July this year I was on holiday with my mum at my parents’ villa in Alicante. I awoke before dawn, as is my habit these days, and lay there in my bed, listening to the sounds of the countryside: a dog barking; cicadas buzzing in the trees; a cockerel heralding the new day. In my room, the aircon hummed methodically.

I thought about my life: about how I arrived at this place, in this room, at this moment, alone with my thoughts. I pondered how far I’ve come in this past decade: from a place of extreme sadness, fear, helplessness, anger and injustice, to the current feelings of strength, wisdom, contentedness, acceptance and peace. I had been unable to change my fate: the inability to have a child. So, slowly but surely, over time – in stages so tiny and gradual as to be almost imperceptible until I look back at them retrospectively over this lengthy period – I came to terms with my situation.

I can finally see all the great things that I am, rather than focusing on that one thing I’m not: a mother. And I thought that sharing this seismic shift in perception might be useful to someone else currently struggling to see a future and find a way out of that dark maze of pain. So I sat up in my bed and wrote this poem. Always remember: you are unique, special and worthy. You are enough. You will get through this, and come out stronger than you ever thought possible. You will not only survive; you will thrive.

Badass Superstar

I’ll never be a mother

Is a statement that has taken

A decade for me to speak aloud

And even now, I’m shaken.

Sometimes the thought pops into my head

That I’m no longer someone’s wife

I never thought that ‘divorcee’

Would become my title in life.

But instead of dwelling on what I’m not

I list all the things I am:

A sister, aunty, boss, daughter and friend

Who answers simply to the name of ‘Sam.’

I’m a lover of life, a writer

I crave adventure; parties; fun

Dancing and travelling are my favourite things

I’m a free spirit; a party of one.

So don’t focus on the things you’re not

Instead remember what you are.

You’ve survived through all life’s highs and lows

You’re a badass superstar.