They say time changes things, and life marches on in spite of those changes. To keep up, you have to adapt and change right along with it. I’ve had lots of instances in my life where I’ve had to do just that, adapt. A lifetime of travel and study could not have prepared me for the adventure I began two and a half months ago. Our beautiful daughter was born, and our whole world changed. My husband and I, the couple who had it all together in terms of commitment and partnership, suddenly felt like we had only just begun, and the feelings of inadequacy rushed in. Late nights, early mornings, the confusion, worry, and overall feelings of those moments with a newborn left us feeling disheveled and uncertain.
Were we doing things right? Is she healthy? Was she okay? Are we going to make it through this? All parents feel these things, but for us, as older, more underprepared parents, we felt like it was just wrong. The rawness of nerves and emotion are scary. The kindness of family, friends, and in some instances, strangers, slowly showed us that this newborn phase was temporary, and that we were in fact, doing everything just fine. Fast forward a few short months, she’s thriving, and loving, and our lives are that much more enriched by her curiosity and wonder.
Her birth has made me contemplate many things, but one that has been resonating recently is that I have always been a wanderer…not lost, but seeking my true self, and an outlet for my creativity. In that wandering, I’ve often felt out of place and different. Over the years, I have finally figured out that true happiness comes from living in joy with what you are given, and sharing your talents with the world.
Even with all that confidence, sometimes that negativity can creep back in. Just a few days ago, I found myself in that place of comparison to other women. They seemed more put together…their lives, their clothes, their bodies, and those feelings of not being good enough flooded back through me. But then, I looked in my daughter’s eyes and realized, I simply can’t do that. I can’t show her the viciousness that being a woman can bring, and the feelings of inadequacy that we as women can feel about ourselves. She needs to know that we are all good enough, we are all strong, and that if we surround ourselves with the right women, we become our best allies.
And, honestly, despite this recent bout of comparison, in the last few years, I really felt I had found my place. I have had the amazing opportunities to travel, a partner to share life with, and a job that brought me joy. My daughter will be my greatest adventure, and my greatest contribution to our world, because she combines all of those things that gives true happiness. She brings joy, and I will share life with her, using my talents and abilities to do so. I have found my true north, my compass, and my reason for being. I can’t wait to show her everything, take her everywhere, and share this beautiful, wonderful world with her.
The greatest part of this particular adventure, is that it has only just begun.