"Because Life is as Complicated as You Make it"
You could say the past year and a half has been challenging, both physically and emotionally. I don't know about you, but I tend to put myself into these head spins over how hard everything is, replaying everything that didn't go right. These negative thoughts and overwhelming feelings of sadness tend to occur at night, when I'm laying down to rest and my brain gets a chance to go absolutely haywire. It's not something I enjoy, and I certainly don't want it to continue to happen. I've been on a journey of acceptance and finding peace with all that is complex about my life.
One afternoon, I invited a close friend to a yoga class at my studio. She had never been to a yoga class before, but I had a feeling she would love it. Of course, she executed every move flawlessly and looked like a pro. This beautiful and talented friend of mine had been in the process of separating from her husband of ten years, her high school sweetheart, at the same time I was embarking on my journey into motherhood. Somehow, every time we spoke or got together, the conversations would revolve around me and the baby. During shavasana, I just wanted to hold her hand as a way of saying, "I love you, I think about you often, and I am here for you. I'm sorry I've let everything be about me for so long." Instead of being a total creeper, I let her enjoy her rest pose, sans hand holding, and instead spoke with her after class. I expressed how I have been continually thinking about how hard the separation must be for her, and how lonely and scared she must feel, and allowed space for her to open up. I wanted to be a shoulder for her to lean on, I wanted to make sure she knew I had time for her.
The whole scenario got me thinking about how I've been living in my own little pity party bubble and have been letting the whole pregnancy, NICU experience, and caring for a medically complex child overwhelm my thoughts and feelings. It became very clear to me that I had lost focus on friends and family who may be going through tough times, too. For example, my husband lined up 3 years of clerkships around the country, which is no small feat. I've been panicking about it, but he really does deserve a lot of credit for changing career paths and succeeding so well in Law School. I should tell him this more often. My twin sister is finishing up medical school this Spring, and I know it's been hard for her to move around for rotations and be away from family and friends while balancing a grueling schedule in order to get her dream job of helping others. Then, I think of all the people in the world overcome with poverty, war, and disease and have little to no means of reprieve.
Yes, my life can get complicated, everyone's life can be complicated. At the end of the day, I've got a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my belly, and a beautiful family. I have everything I could possibly need and more. So my mantra, which I find myself repeating multiple times daily, is, life is as complicated as you make it. It's a reminder that yes, life can get challenging and there are days when everything seems hard, but I have much to be thankful for. It's an attitude of, yes, life can get messy, but I won't let myself spiral out of control with overwhelming thoughts of what hasn't gone right and what isn't fair. I've learned to accept that these feelings are there, and they are valid, but I enjoy putting pen to paper, and fingers to keyboard, letting these negative thoughts, emotions, and memories leave my brain once and for all. And while it is a cathartic process for me, I hope it can, at the very least, provide some entertainment for my readers.
Photo Credit: Scott Simon, @iheartnola