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Not Just Waiting In Vain. There Is A Purpose Behind Every Delay.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” – Brene Brown

I’ve never thought the question “so when are you having kids?” was an intrusive one. Especially being a newlywed. I mean, it’s almost expected. That is, until we had to make the tough decision to put that part of our lives on hold for a while. I don’t know if it’s because it’s at the forefront of my mind that I’m noticing how many times it comes up in daily conversation, or if it’s because we’re really so conditioned that this is the ‘next step’ after marriage that it has just become a societal norm to ask such a personal question to a complete stranger. Either way, it makes me wince a little.

If you don’t know us personally, then you may not be aware, that for the past year or so my husband has been dealing with some unexplained medical issues. Shortly before we got married, things intensified. In sickness and in health, right? Without giving too much detail, because that’s his story to tell, he has dealt with several different infections and some crappy (no pun intended) GI issues. The doctors have their speculations, but no concrete diagnoses have been determined. As a result of the unknown and the ‘what-if’s’, he was put on a very intense medication. He was placed on the medication as a trial. Bad news: it didn’t work and they’re now trying other things. Good news: it didn’t work and they’re now trying other things. If you’re wondering why that’s important, and what it has to do with that first paragraph, keep reading.

Unfortunately while taking the medication, and for six to eight months afterwards, that medication can have dangerous effects on a pregnancy. It is listed as a ‘Category X’ medication. If you don’t know what that means, Google it. So in the months following our marriage, my husband was given his options, and we made the tough decision to hold off on starting our family; because ultimately his health comes first. As far as we’re aware, these effects will not be long term. But it’s still long enough. When you’re in your thirties, tried for several months prior with no luck and have an extensive family history of fertility concerns, it feels like a lifetime. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve always had a fear of being unable conceive; I just never thought it would have to be a choice.

I’ve cried many tears in the last couple of months and more often than not, the sight of a baby or a child is like a punch in the gut. So for those of you with children, especially those who had no concerns conceiving, or for anyone who may think I’m overreacting, please don’t undermine our situation by saying “oh relax, it’ll happen”. You don’t know that; we don’t know that. And we certainly don’t know when. I have no doubt we’ll get through this season of life, look back and smile, seeing it as a road bump. But for right now, it’s very real and it’s very hard. To those of you who are reading this and dealing with an unchosen path of infertility, know that you are loved, you matter, your story matters; most importantly, your worth does not come from mothering a child.

You Can’t Fly With Someone Else’s Wings.

📷: Pexels

Do you ever just feel like you’re going through the motions? Like your day to day routine is just “getting you by”. You can feel it deep in your bones. Life is good, your circumstances are good, but you’re stressed and anxious. Maybe you can’t pinpoint why. You just know in your gut that something is off. We’re conditioned to just “deal with it”, to bury it deep. I mean, it’ll all work itself out in the end, right?

Do you want to know the root of those feelings? Unfulfillment. Something in your current existence is lacking. And it’s probably not a person, or a thing. It’s your lifestyle. I mean think about it. What are you spending 75% of your waking hours doing? Do you enjoy it? Do you look forward to it? Are you radiating positive energy because of it? Is it your passion? If not, it’s time to re-evaluate.

You guys! We were made for so much more than the mundane! We were each birthed with special interests and talents. Are you utilizing them? You can do absolutely anything you put your mind to, no matter the adversity you’re facing. Believe me, I’ve seen it. But you can also allow the world, and doubt, to darken those dreams.

Do you believe you are 100% in charge of the way your life turns out? You should; because you are. When you feel unfulfilled it seeps in to every aspect of your life. You may not realize it, but your anxiety and bitterness reflect in everything you do. We can’t continue to go through life trying to follow societal norms.  The quicker you realize that you are unique and your talents/goals/dreams only belong to you, the quicker you’ll realize that only YOU are responsible for making them happen. Nobody cares as much about your dreams as you do, I promise you.

Tonight, if you’re feeling unfulfilled, I challenge you to dig deep. Meditate on these thoughts and your goals. Talk with a loved one about them, write them down on paper; it doesn’t matter how – just get them out! Then make them happen. You should never feel like a slave to someone else’s dreams. You can’t fly with someone’s wings.

Happiness is a choice.

I fully believe that happiness is a choice. Sure, some life circumstances suck and the universe doesn’t always have our back. But the way we react to every situation is fully in our control.

Its been heavy on my mind lately the way I let others and situations I can’t control have such an effect on my mood. Obviously it’s not a daily occurrence, but just interacting with some people or being certain places (driving on 270, for example) just puts me in a foul mood. You know what I mean? When I think about that, I’m always struck in the gut with feelings of guilt. “Like why does that bother me so much?” “Surely they’re not pissing me off on purpose?” – And then I laugh, because I know that’s so not true.

It’s times like that when I sit back and meditate. It’s amazing what taking just ten minutes to calm and open up your mind can do. I often come to the conclusion that we’re all struggling with stuff. Money issues, relationship drama, unemployment, infertility, death, loss. Life. You name it; we’ve all been through it.

So the next time you come across someone that rubs you the wrong way, ask them how they’re doing, if they’d like to talk. Really. I can almost guarantee you they’re not intentionally trying to pissing you off . They might just be going through some shitty stuff. And if you’re the ones going through something – if you’ve been given a horrible bunch of lemons – think about how you’re reacting to the situation. Did you just cut someone off in traffic because you had a bad day? Did you yell at the cashier because they were moving to slow? Did you just get horrible news so your cursed at the person next to you? If so, apologize. Take some time for yourself, by yourself, at your favorite place. Or talk to someone. You guys, we all get lonely; we all have bad days. Reach out to your people. Meet up and get coffee (or wine!). Give someone a hug. You’ll start to feel better, promise.

We’re all warriors. Think of all you’ve been dealt, all you’ve gotten through and accomplished up to this point. How you react to everything from this point forward is on you. And just a tidbit of advice: if you can’t control the situation (and your safety is not at risk), then ‘let that shit go’.

Fear.

📷: Feathered Flaws
I have such a fear of flying. So much so that I usually only get on a plane once every few years. This most recent trip, to Sedona for a week and then back to Columbus, consisted of five flights. FIVE! Five take-offs and five landings. With the turbulence on a couple, I almost didn’t think I’d make it through.

But then I look at this photo and think of the missed opportunities I would have had, had I refused to get on another flight. Gorgeous views, like the ones captured in that photo. Opportunities that allowed me to rely on my husband as my protector and my rock. Breathtaking scenes of mountains so high and wide that pictures just can’t do them justice. Relationships, and people we met from across the country including Georgia, Texas and Utah. The peaceful and serene lifestyle of the west that we were able to experience firsthand.

You guys, to think I almost missed all of that because of fear. Fear can be such a debilitating thing. Whether the perception of what we’re scared of is real or imagined, it still exists. But the thing is, without that fear, I don’t think these experiences would be so sweet. I don’t think we’d appreciate what it means to overcome those anxieties and relish in the beauty of being on the other side.

Failure.

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📷: Pexels

As I’ve been taking the time to re-imagine and re-create this blog the past few days, I keep coming across the word failure. It’s not that I feel this new venture is going to dive-bomb me in to ridicule and laughter, but there’s just a sense of the unknown, fear of putting myself out there. Not wanting to fall short.

One of my biggest struggles is that there never seems to be a sense of completion; especially with my long-term goals. Sure, I just trained for and ran my first half marathon and I planned and executed (with the help of many) my dream wedding. But those were short-term goals. Things I could plan out and complete in a short[er] time period. Stuff like pursuing photography as a business venture or choosing to write continuously and about tough topics; that’s where I fall short. Never settling on one for too long before jumping back to the other.  But then I think about it. Failure. Fear. The true reasoning behind why I often just dip my toe in; completely afraid to jump.

I often spend my hour-long car rides to work (yes, you read that correctly) listening to meditations; specifically those by my fave yogi/meditation guru/warrior , Ceasar F. Barajas. Lord knows we’re all better off having our sympathetic nervous systems calmed by him when people are continually cutting you off in traffic. At any rate, one of my current favorites of Ceasar’s meditations is called ‘Passion Project’. In it, he describes his favorite saying: “I never lose; either I win, or I learn”. I’ve heard it several times, in many of his meditations, but for some reason this week, it struck a chord.

Maybe it’s because the older I get, the more I realize you can’t go wrong if you follow your heart. I can “win” and things may turn out great, or I can struggle and learn from it. Which brings me to this. I’m going to try my damndest to blog continuously, writing about my accomplishments and imperfections with honesty and humor. I hope you enjoy the journey.

And tell me, what’s one thing you fear? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fall short?