You may recall that in 2018, I wrote a blog post on the topic of falling behind in life. This seemed to have struck a chord with a lot of you, and I received many e-mails and messages from readers who shared their own struggles with the timing of their life. This article also happens to be one of my personal favourites from my blog, and one that I too go back to from time to time.
This has been a theme of my life since I graduated from med school in 2016 and found that my life took a different turn to my peers. It was a topic that filled me with dread in the pit of my stomach, accompanied with this incessant feeling of unworthiness. It was paralyzing and I just couldn’t do anything about it.
But you know what? I did. I did do something about it.
Today, I don’t feel the way I did a couple years ago. My life is still not where I thought it would be, and while it is much closer, I just love where it is right now. I love what has been and what is to come; and I love living life on the brink of both.
It took a great deal of daily practiced courage to change how I felt in and about my life. And I felt compelled to revisit this topic today and share with you some of the things that have helped me feel more secure in how my life is unfolding.
Shortly after I gave birth to my stillborn daughter Mia, my husband and I were given the difficult task of picking a place to scatter her ashes. And though this task was both tragic and morbid, we somehow found ourselves embracing it for what it was. We knew that this would be one of the only things we get to do for our daughter as her parents. All our other parental responsibilities that we so longingly dreamed about, were stolen from us.
My daughter turned 6 months two days ago. 6 months of her. My life feels almost unrecognizable now. Everything is new – for the both of us. I felt this was a good time to reflect on the days following her birth – a precious time of my life that was equally chaotic as it was sacred – imprinted into the fabric of my soul forever more.
As I write you this letter, you are 3 weeks old, and nestled up close to me. And I want to tell you something. I want to put pen to paper, and write down the beginning of your story. And your story begins with us. We are your parents. Your father is a kind man. He is loving and courageous and golden and true. He protects my heart and in so many ways, it is because of him that I am the woman I am today. And I am your mother. I don’t much know how I would describe myself, but I get the feeling I won’t have to. We have a lifetime of getting to know each other. Your father and I found a big love in our togetherness, and this is what you were made from, and are born into.
I’ve asked some friends and they said they would consider me to be a positive person. In fact, as I walk this unimaginable path of the loss of our first unborn child, so many have told me they admire my positivity.
Even my husband often says that I’m a positive person.
Imagine you are in a batting cage, and you have balls being hurtled towards you, and you just keep knocking them out of the park in a frenzy. You don’t know how many balls are coming, or how long this game is going to go on for, and you’re not even sure how long you can last here. It’s exhausting. The balls are coming from all different directions with no real pattern to them. You are using so much energy and attention on just avoiding getting hurt, that you don’t take the time to regroup, to question your gameplay and game tactics, or to even change your stance.
Instead of taking this approach to life, we could stop for a second, and figure out which direction these balls (life challenges) are coming from (and realize that there is actually some kind of organization amongst the madness), and how many balls are coming and at what speed. With this in mind, you can approach this game much better. You will actually have a chance to play to win instead of playing to avoid losing.