It’s been awhile. Life has been happening. Life is always happening, but sometimes I feel like it’s happening to me, rather than with me. In the past few months, life has been happening with me. And it’s been with my consent rather than resistance.
The journey was rough there for a bit. Some difficult things needed to happen to get me where I am supposed to be. And where I am supposed to be is a scary place right now because it’s in the gray. The gray has been what has escaped me for so long. My whole life has been focused on next: next step, next move, next choice, next decision, next thing, next trip, next place, next month, next year, next lifetime. I’ve not been content to be in the here and the now, in the moment. In the moment is where the life happens.
The terrible experience I had with the marathon is what needed to happen to strip me down enough to see that my plans aren’t the only ones out there. In fact, as I have said before, if my life took the path I envisioned, I would have never discovered this beautiful, crazy, mixed-up, wonderful life I lead. I needed this tough experience to become willing to accept that things might go differently, to be vulnerable, and to let go of the wheel and trust that there would not be a wreck in the process. I needed it to start trusting others with my feelings, to take care of me, and to love me, even when I am in pain.
As a result of the lessons I learned through that experience, Jeff and I came to the realization that we want and are ready to start a family. However, after I ceased all running abruptly due to the injury, my body reacted unexpectedly and my hormones were thrown into a tailspin. I’ve been experiencing a lot of difficult medical issues surrounding my fertility and hormones, as a result. It’s been challenging. Just when I thought the lesson was over, I realized there was some more learning to do. The universe is saying not so fast, this is still my production.
I’ve been to the emergency room with cramps so severe I passed out, having two male doctors poke and prod me in ways that made me extremely uncomfortable in a very impersonal setting. Yet, I also know this happened to continue to break some of the really tough mental and emotional issues I have surrounding vulnerability in that way. The following month, I developed a large lump in my breast and was rushed off to get an ultrasound and mammogram, another very uncomfortable and emotional situation, forcing me to again literally expose myself in ways I have been very averse to over the years. While the lumps dissipated with my period, only to come back the following month in the same way, I was relieved to know that it was not cancer, but simply fibrocystic changes due to my fluctuating hormones. My blood work results came in with abnormal thyroid production, and while this is not ideal, nor helpful to my baby-making “schedule” at least I know that is manageable and fixable.
I was visiting home in the beginning of December to celebrate the holidays with my family, and I thought I might be pregnant. Sadly, I got my period while I was there, and I sat outside of a yoga class on a Saturday morning, in my car, sobbing. In that moment, in my car, in my hometown, through the tears, I started to ask the universe for patience and acceptance. It was the first time I had ever really contemplated living life on life's terms instead of my own, and truly felt capable of it. It was a powerful moment. In an instant, my whole frame of mind changed. I drove to the park by my parent's house that I spent so much time running in as a young adult. Though my therapist had said I was ready, I had been putting off running my first 3 miles since the injury out of fear. Would I be able to do it? Would I be as good? Would the pain come back? I knew it didn't matter, I needed to deal with the hand that life had dealt me. So, I ran my first 5k since I was injured oh so many painful months ago, and I finally felt free. It didn't have to be perfect, or my best, or feel amazing. It just had to be, just like everything else happening in my life right now.
I know that this isn’t a sign that a baby isn’t meant to be; it’s just not meant to be yet. It could be easy to blame the universe. In the past, I could see myself believing this was a cruel twist of fate, deciding to have a child and then suddenly developing these medical issues. But, I am not a victim today, I know this is just what I need to ready me further for the ways in which my life is about to change, to become closer with my husband, and to become closer with myself. I know this doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have choices. And it doesn’t mean I am a failure. I can admit I want this thing and I can admit that it is out of my control, and not feel responsible for it. I can enjoy this time of realizing that the weight of the world is off my shoulders and trusting that things will unfold in the way that they should. They already have.
A few weeks ago, we took a road trip through Arizona to the Petrified Forest National Park and to the Grand Canyon. What struck me at the Petrified Forest, looking at the structure of the wood, is that over millions of years it had evolved into beautiful crystal. The change did not take place quickly, or noticeably, or in a great burst. The same thing was apparent at the Grand Canyon, as the Colorado River did not create this immense expanse overnight. It took time, pressure, movement, weather, and erosion of matter to create these beautiful representations of change over time. If I sit around wondering when my life is going to change, how it’s going to change, if it’s going to change, or when, I’m missing the moments that comprise its beauty.
“Is my life about to change? Who knows? Who cares?”