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Onward

Although in general the focus on Christmas has now passed onto expectations for the New Year I am finding that 2017 isn’t done with me just yet.  I believe I have already mentioned that this last year has been a challenging one so I suppose it is no surprise that more is in store for me still.  In this week alone, so far, I celebrated Christmas, found out I was pregnant, lost my job, and seen the doctor because I might be miscarrying.  Perhaps I should back up a bit….

I was visited by “Aunt Flow” two days earlier than expected, but at first I thought nothing of it.  My cycles have a fairly wide range of normal so I accepted it, despite noticing right away that it didn’t follow a typical pattern.  This was not a normal Period.  Still it was enough to make me believe I was riding the “Crimson Tide” and I spent Christmas feeling rather uncomfortable and unaware.   The next day I still wasn’t feeling great so I called work to see if they could handle things without me that evening.  That’s when the news broke.  Apparently they had known for about an hour at this point that the store would be closing and this was the last day they would be taking customers.  The lease was up and corporate decided not to renew, so everyone was getting laid off before the week was up.

I chose to go into work just so I could see as many fellow employees as I could as we processed the news together.  I think we were all feeling a tad sentimental as well as experiencing shock.  Still, I couldn’t get passed my wandering thoughts, a result of my instincts telling me that something wasn’t quite right with my body. That evening when I got home I decided to rule out any possibility of chemical pregnancy.   On a whim, really, I took a pregnancy test… fully expecting it to come back negative.  My thoughts were that since this process started so early that chances are there wouldn’t be enough hormones left to be detected even if I had gotten pregnant.  I was wrong.  In less than a minute the test revealed a big fat positive, clear and obvious.  For a split moment excitement washed over me, life was about to change forever in an incredible way.  But then I remembered that I have spent the last five days thinking I have been experiencing Mother Nature’s “Gift” to women.  Not exactly ideal…. Scary in fact.

I called my doctor early the next day in order to get some much needed advice.  I tried to see if this kind of circumstance could wait until 2018 as that is when my medical insurance finally kicks in.  The clinic’s professional advice was that I be seen right away so that evening my husband and I sat down with a doctor.  My temperature and blood pressure came back normal and there was no pain when the doctor pressed on my abdomen.  This was encouraging as there appeared to be no immediate danger.  Still, we hadn’t ruled out ectopic or miscarriage just yet.  The doctor took some of my blood in order to check my HCG levels, the pregnancy hormone.  The very next day the results confirmed that I am in fact pregnant with an HCG level of 547.  In two days they would take more blood with the hope that those levels have almost doubled at the very least (a minimum HCG of 800 or so).

And here I am.  It’s Friday and I am looking forward to seeing the doctor this evening as it is the next step into getting answers.  Tomorrow the results could reveal whether or not this is a viable pregnancy, although not sure where to go from there if the bleeding continues.  Although light, and mostly brown, this is not what one wants to see in conjunction with pregnancy.  I am learning patience and once again reminded to stay present.  Expectations are dangerous and more often than not lead to pain and disappointment.  I am trying to be open to whatever life throws at me and it is my goal to take it as it comes, doing my very best with what I am faced with moment by moment.  I know that regardless I will grow though this experience and these things have a way of putting things into perspective.  I feel strangely okay that I am no longer employed.  I know we can get by on my husband’s salary alone and I took this job not for the money but because I wanted to gain experience.  I feel like I gained a lot in my position and I learned so much.  Yes, we have gotten used to having the additional income and this will be an adjustment but I know we will be fine regardless.  The only way to move is forward.

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I have really been struggling with the concept of letting go, as of late.  This has never been an easy thing for me as I tend to get attached easily, especially when strong connections are made.  I hold close memories, time spent, valuable conversations, and all that has furthered my growth in a deep and meaningful way.  What I have trouble accepting sometimes is that there are people, events, moments, etc. that are only meant to be here for a short while.  There to influence, inspire, and change.  Afterwards the very thing you have been effected by drifts away because it has served its purpose.  We often keep aspects of our lives the same because it is familiar, comfortable, and/or sentimental.  One of the hardest of these things is people.  Not all relationships are healthy, in fact some are toxic or at the very least inhibiting.  They may not start out that way but we are ever changing creatures, each on an individual path of self-discovery.

So what do you do when a longtime friend drifts from you in a way that is painful?  A friend that has become more like family over the years, a friend that has been a part of your journey for the majority of your life.  Does she become like that distant cousin who you care for but aren’t really very close to?  It would be easier if you didn’t see that friend on a regular basis because like any family there are connections outside of your immediate circle and avoidance isn’t necessarily a possibility if you want to maintain those other important relationships.  The friend that I speak of is intertwined into my closest community.  She and I have been through so much together, and I care very much about what happens to her.  However, at some point I began to feel like a backburner friend.  A person of no consequence, a backup plan for a rainy day… if that.   When I reached out and made myself vulnerable in order to express my concerns, emotions, and thoughts I was met by hollowness.  My voice dismissed and I left feeling emptier than before.   A friendship cannot survive on memory alone.  Relationships are like plants.  They take time and nurturing to grow and thrive.  If you don’t water the plant, treat the soil every now and then, and expose them to much needed sunlight they will die.  There are some low-maintenance plants that don’t take much work and are easy to keep, even for one who lacks a green thumb… But I am not like this.

It would be easy to be bitter, angry, and blame her for my discontent.  The door swings both ways though, it takes two people to make a relationship work.  At some point I chose to protect my heart.  I could easily continue being a friend to her in the way that she is comfortable with and suffer my own discontent and she would be none the wiser, but I am not the kind of person who is satisfied to live that way.  I already exposed my inner turmoil; I reached out hoping for sentiments of love and understanding that might pave the way for a renewed sense of trust.  Instead I was met with excuses and insensitivity.  Nothing changed moving forward and now months have passed.  I could count the times she has called me in the last year on one hand, and I don’t recall any one of those times being because she wanted to spend time together.  My mind circles back to when I was in a really dark place and my husband and I were struggling as a result.  Where was she when I needed a friend?  When I went back to work for the first time in years and was experiencing a great deal of change all at once, where was she then?  When my sister-in-law died of cancer I had strangers and distant friends & family reach out, but not her.  When a boy that my children knew was murdered at my apartment complex why didn’t she care enough to check in with how we were doing?

This has been a challenging year, to say the least, but not without wonderful memories and blessings as well.  If I focus on the negative I will miss out on the true lessons gained and fulfillment of the experiences that has made life good.  Yes it is easier to be consumed by regret and anger.  It is easier to point the finger at someone else and be miserable because life is hard, and the best things in life come through effort and hard work.  Ultimately we are responsible for our own happiness; we have the ability to choose this for ourselves.    I don’t choose to be unhappy, to let one single person dictate my happiness.  I choose to accept that this “friend” of mine is on her own path, making the choices she feels is best for her life, and if I am not a part of that path it is okay.  We do the best we can each day with what we have.  So I let go.  Let go of judgement, blame, and anger.  Life is too short, live it well.

Winter Winds

With the New Year on the horizon the concept of change has been frequently on my mind.  This time of year is often greeted by transition and anticipation, even anxiety.  I feel it strongly, these winds of transformation.  Obviously I am affected by this movement as here I am starting a blog.  Why you might ask?  I am not in this place to make money or collect followers; in fact I expect to be a bit of a lone wolf in this digital community.  I am a 32 year old happily married woman and mother of three beautiful little girls.  When I am not being a nanny while caring for my littlest one and home I am a photographer, both in freelance and as a part time employee.  Time isn’t something I have a lot of.  Writing, however, is a passion of mine.  Through writing I am able to express, create, and see various perspectives.  My goal is to build a positive space, sacred and honest.  This world is a challenging place and like everyone I can lose my way from time to time.  What I seek is balance and understanding.  How I see it, these uncontrollable changes offer challenging opportunities that ultimately promote healthy growth.  I have no desire to spin backwards and sit stagnant.  Life moves forward. With it comes experience and knowledge. Change is not easy most of the time; in fact it generally is hard and even scary.  It isn’t the change we most fear though I think.  It is how we might handle the change that makes us uneasy.  After all it is in part our choices that help define us.  The good news is, even if hard circumstances break us we can rebuild.  There is always hope and strength in us.