31 – A Brand New Kind of Life

It’s been a while that I’ve written about my own life, mainly because I am not sure that I think about my own life all that much anymore. Now, don’t take that the wrong way – or maybe, yes, do, but either way, my own feelings and problems and general reasons for doing the things I do are on the back burner. Have been for a while now. Mostly because I have had bigger things to worry about, in the form of a small human. For this reason, and all the reasons that go along with it, 30 has been a rather rough year for me.

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I don’t do well with change – we already established this when I spent the first 2 months at UCLA convinced they had made a mistake in accepting me and that I wasn’t actually smart enough to be there – when I spend the first 2 weeks of every new job I’ve ever had convinced that I will never figure out what is going on and how to function within that company – and even when I spend the first 20 minutes of every new place, shop, meeting, anything really – panicking that I won’t find a parking space, that I will be heinously late or embarrassingly early, and that everyone I meet and/or talk to will turn out to be jerks and it will have been all a huge waste of time, so why bother leaving the house in the first place.

This is why 30 has been hard. Wonderful and joyful, but not necessarily always happy.

Because with a track record like that, bringing home a brand new, strange person who is screaming at me, biting me, and generally making me cry on a daily – if not hourly basis, was something that I was not equipped to deal with in any way. I went into a tailspin shortly after she was born and as I am climbing back out I am realizing that all of my hopes, dreams, and passions got left behind somewhere deep in that hole. I miss my job, I miss working out. I miss being creative, and having time to myself. The scary part? I’m just now feeling like I can tackle these things. Like I have a handle on the baby situation enough that these are things that I might just be able to fit back into my life without shattering all over again.

But here’s the big secret folks. I wanted to go back to work. I resigned because I felt like I literally, physically and emotionally, couldn’t. It wasn’t for months after my supposed “return to work” date that I started feeling halfway human again, that I wasn’t using my shower time to cry incoherently into my loofah. I could barely hold a conversation with a good friend without tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt like I was walking around in a strange dream world. I remember being at a mommy group therapy session just a week before I was supposed to go back, sobbing all over my daughter’s head, while 12 other moms looked on, nodding their approval and giving me hugs.

The good news is that it took 30 for me to feel the way I do today. I am so much more confident in myself. Confident in dealing with change, and being able to find that elusive balance. My baby may have made me cry in those early months but she was teaching me lifetimes worth of patience, understanding, and flexibility. I am much less easily ruffled these days, I can leave things open ended and I have gotten used to being late or early. I happily meet up with relative strangers, who turn out to be wonderful people, for play dates at places I’ve never been to before.

I’ve adapted in beautiful, life altering ways.

So now I’m looking for another job, a better job. Maybe it will look different in hours or content, maybe it will be my own creation. I don’t know yet. And I’m being creative, I’m writing much more. And I’m even trying to start moving my body in ways that don’t just involve crawling around after the baby. And all of these reasons are why 31 will be a great year. Because 31 is going to be about taking care of me again, with a brand new kind of life.

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