Dear Lana,

I was thinking about the concept of children today.

If you want children, it completely changes the way you live your life. I have always known that I wanted kids, and because I did from an early age, it affects how I approach every part of my life. I live life for the sake of living life, but I also live life for the prospect of having children in the future. The desire to have children is a force that drives my will to life itself. The mere opportunity of having children is enough to shape life for the goal of having children. Because the opportunity exists, there is an instinct to do it.

Lana, if the concept of having children did not exist, I would live my life very differently from how I am living my life right now. For one, achieving financial stability wouldn’t be nearly as important as it is for me right now. I would spend more time taking risks in other countries, as opposed to settling for covered opportunities to explore without taking risks. Realistically, I don’t need that much money to have a comfortable life. My hobbies include reading and writing, which is pretty much free given the advent of the internet. I also like listening to music, but I don’t really feel the need to spend $300 on Billie Eilish tickets. Life could be simple like that.

If the concept of children didn’t exist, I think I would be more comfortable dying whenever. I would take more risks skateboarding in traffic or buy a motorcycle. Instead of going into finance, I might’ve worked for the State Department in some far away territory, switching countries every couple of years. It all seems like a distant life — a life where the family unit did not exist, where I could live life without consideration for my future.

But alas, the possibility of having children exists, and I feel almost religiously obligated to do so. It is biological. It is cultural. It is an instinct, but it is also an instinct that seems more real than I am. Even if I perish, the instinct to progenate continues across species, across worlds. Eventually, my genetic line will end for sure. Whether it be the expansion of the sun or the heat death of the universe, everything comes to an end. But, in my life lifetime, I still feel like I have a duty to create a life for my children. It is one responsibility out of many.