When I turned 35 last year, I had a lot of expectations for the year and for 2013 in general.
I was 10 days into my job with Dysfunction, Inc. Though there were quite a few things on the first day that made me feel ambivalent about the move, I was trying hard to dismiss these feelings as new-job jitters.
I had been off birth control for two months and felt that my husband and I were just getting into the swing of things with TTC. I was temping, using OPKs, and had sworn off caffeine, alcohol, and was trying to make healthier choices (oh, those halcyon days of early TTC attempts).
I was optimistic. I thought everything was going to tee up perfectly. I was hoping that the job would be a longtime gig. I was hoping that my husband and I would conceive in a relatively quick manner. I was hoping that the job would allow me time to focus on my writing outside of work — after all, if I didn’t have to write all day, maybe I could channel those skills to my creative writing. I was trying hard on all fronts, but immediately hit walls.
You know the job story. You know the TTC story. I had high expectations for my 35th year and was devastated when nothing, absolutely nothing, panned out. My career was again at a dead end. I had no time to run or bike, let alone write; sometime it felt like I couldn’t breathe. And my husband and I couldn’t conceive. Ouch.
What I did have, though, were alternative paths. Instead of reconciling myself to a life with Dysfunction, Inc., I kicked a job search into high gear and found a great position. Instead of not writing while trying to extract myself from Dysfunction, Inc., I took a challenging writing class that helped me focus my novel. Instead of drowning in despair from TTC, I took steps to see an RE, then later another doctor when I felt I wasn’t being heard. It took me a while (and I credit some of my commenters here with helping me realize it), but I had options I could exercise. And that made the back half of 35 so much better than the first half.
So, for birthday #36 this Sunday, I’m less about expectations and more about living life, recognizing opportunities to grow. There are always new ways to look at things and new things to do. My husband and I will continue on our TTC journey, but will examine next step together and share our feelings. I will continue to work hard at my new job and try to learn its intricacies; I will have moments of frustration and anger, but that’s okay — I’m surrounded by a truly professional group and we all share the same goal. With writing, the thing I talk about the least here on the 3B’s, I’ll probably take another class so I can get going again.
Through it all, I’ll have the support of my husband, my family, my friends. Everyone, of course, is free to knock me over the head when I need it. But the past year has helped me remember that, with the help of people around me, I’m resilient.
Or, in the immortal words of Chumbawumba: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.
I leave you with those inspirational words! ;)