It's (actually very) Complicated
It’s been two and a half years since I started this blog. Two and a half years of trying to make sense of it all, of using the skill of writing to get the thoughts swirling around in my head out and into the world. When I first started, it’s safe to say that I didn’t quite know the direction I wanted to take. I just knew I needed to get my thoughts out, and keep my friends and family up to date. The blog has morphed into a place of connection, a place of advocacy, and a place of expression.
I’d like to revisit the quote I used to use, “life is as complicated as you make it.”
Two and a half years ago, this was the thing I needed to hear, or at least tell myself, to get through very trying times. We were constantly in the hospital, figuring out how to parent, and trying to keep our marriage strong while Chris was still in law school. It was a phrase that I used to remind myself that, “ hey, I have a lot going on, but it’s all doable if I just take things one day at a time. Don’t overthink it.” And, yes, we got through it. We have managed a lot of medical stress, hospital bills, moving, career changes, toddlerhood, and a long distance marriage. We are moving yet again in another month, and I’ll be starting school. My husband and I like to keep life interesting, apparently… let’s see how many hurdles we can put in the way of our personal and collective growth — it’ll be fun, like a game! Ha!
I think the phrase still applies in the sense that it’s easy to spiral when I think of everything that’s going on and everything that needs to happen all at once. But, if I step back and approach things little by little, it’ll keep my life less complicated.
The truth is, life is always complicated. Sometimes more so, sometimes less so. We can not control the fact that there are so many layers to life. That joy coexists with grief, loss, and suffering. That three steps forward can also mean ten steps back. That you won’t always get help when you need it, that you won’t always feel strong, and that you will inevitably feel exhausted. I think, if we can accept these facts, and learn how we cope with these moments — then we can make our lives less messy, less complicated than before. If we can put away the self judgment and guilt, and practice acceptance and vulnerability — we will ultimately make our lives less complicated. This requires a lot of self work — which doesn’t come easily. Self work requires introspection and the ability to objectively see your strengths and weaknesses in all types of relationships. It requires the motivation to improve. It requires the ability to forgive, to accept others, and to take responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and reactions. One could say it is quite complicated.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, life is actually very complicated. This is a fact. I accept this fact, and I will take responsibility for how I handle the complexity of my life, for how I treat others and myself, and for how I react to stress. I will do my best to choose rest over activity when I am tired, forgiveness over fights, and asking for help over being a martyr. I will put my role as mother before anything else, and do my best to balance caregiving and motherhood. I will put my marriage above anything else, because I believe in love and I believe in the vows we exchanged. I will do my best to maintain my relationships with friends and extended family. I will work on self improvement. And I will always fight for a better world for my son.
And when I need to, I will take time off, within reason. I will recharge, and when I am ready, I will get back to whatever needs my attention. Because my mental and physical health matters, and I will not feel guilty for resting when I need it. I will not feel guilty for saying “no” to events or outings. I will make every decision with purpose and with love. I will take responsibility for making my life more or less complicated at any given moment.
And that, my friends, is what I mean when I say,