First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage…right? Well, not quite, at least not in this life that is a soap opera. I got the love and marriage part perfect…although maybe a little later than I would have liked in my thirties. From there the story takes a number of extraordinary twists that I never saw coming – infertility, specialists, tests and treatments, the news we can’t get pregnant on our own, my parents separation, my father’s admission of being gay, the pursuit for adoption…with our family story seemingly climaxing with the newest twist of a possible pregnancy through the embryo donation of a friend of a friend.
Seriously, does all of that even seem possible for one person to go through in a couple of years? And aside from love and marriage piece, can you believe that most of the heavy stuff has taken place in the last 1-2 years. Don’t even get me started on the drama I have experienced professionally with a crumbling industry and economy….that’s a whole other saga.
Now, I am not one to wallow in my hardships…I get up most mornings with a smile on my face and a positive outlook. But my husband and I are often in awe about life. All of these twists and turns don’t even feel real…it feels like someone else’s story (but it most certainly isn’t…you can’t make this sh$t up!). When I do take a minute or two to look back it feels more like a way to keep track of everything and then pat myself on the back, smile and say “WAY TO GO!”
Coming through all this I learned a few key lessons:
1) Keep moving forward…put one foot in front of the other day after day and you will get through it. I have had days where I have been a little stuck, a little down or on the verge of tears, but in order to survive and thrive it really was about moving forward even if it hurt. The next day got a bit easier and then the one after that a little easier than the last too. Always find that way to move forward.
2) Find Outlets – for me it was my husband, my close friends, this blog (thank god I started this blog!) and of course, therapists. There is ZERO shame in going to someone for a little help. Professionals help us navigate the most trying of times and they don’t judge. I even learned through the adoption home study process that it was more of a positive than a negative to seek professional help because it showed you knew how to manage difficult situations in your life. I would be naïve to think that I will only deal with one or two difficult situations in the span of a lifetime. We all need all the help we can get!
3) Everyone is Dealing with Something – as much as we may think we are alone or the only one struggling. I truly believe that every human being on this planet is walking around dealing with something. Not everyone may share their struggles with you, but they are there. Despite what Facebook or Instagram might show…everyone has rocks in the baggage they are carrying around.
Now, I could get stuck if I continue to look backward. But, as my self-help book “The Power of Now” explains the freedom is in the present moment. We are not our past and we are not our perceived future…we are who we are right now. And right now, I am on a business trip sipping a nice glass of wine in a fancy hotel lounge in a beautiful city and the truth is – life is good.