December 1 - One Word: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
2010 = Confused. That seems like a sad word to encapsulate an entire year. I guess in some ways it is but it’s the truth. I’ve been confused about life in general this year and reached an “I’m almost 30”(!) crisis. The big parts in my life I really started to question/wonder about – Marriage/Kids and work.
Marriage is tough and full of compromise. I’ve been married for 2 years now (small beans in the grand scheme of things) and I haven’t been the best spouse. I’ve been selfish, withdrawn and absent at times. Part of this is to blame on my job and it taking me away for a week to two weeks a month. This kind of travel is just not conducive to a healthy, normal life to share with someone. On top of it, I come home exhausted and not really wanting to deal with unpacking, a mountain of laundry, chores and responsibilities. Not to mention making a real, honest and open connection with your husband. On top of that, I can be somewhat withdrawn and in my own head. Although I’m very extroverted, I can be less chatty when it comes to the people I’m really close to. I don’t know if that makes any sense but when I feel like I don’t need to try to open up, I just don’t. I am in my own head a lot and that comes off as secretive and closed. Those two words are not something I want to include as part of my marriage any longer.
We decided to start trying to have kids this year. I wasn’t quite ready but went off birth control in January of 2010, got pregnant right away in February and had a miscarriage by April. I went from not being sure I was ready to have kids, to being pregnant and scared, to being pregnant and excited and to finally being crushed and feeling like less of a woman. I wasn’t ready to share this with many people, much less on my blog (not that there are all that many readers out there). There is enough distance between the miscarriage and now for me to be able to write about it. It was the worst thing I’ve had to grapple with because in some ways I already felt like a mother. It took months for us to get over it and so we didn't start trying again until September/October of this year. It’s been not fruitful thus far which has been incredible disappointing. Its so funny how I spent my life from 2000-early 2010 praying that I didn’t get pregnant. Now I spent the two weeks before my period is supposed to come, absolutely agonizing over how my body feels and willing a baby to be growing inside of me. At least now I feel more ready than ever to have kids which is something I definitely couldn’t have said even a few months ago. I have major baby fever now and hope that we’ll be blessed enough to have kids of our own in 2011.
Work. Reference the travel above in the marriage paragraph. It’s difficult and no longer rewarding (unless you count some sweet airline miles and hotel points). It’s confusing in some ways because my pay is great, I just got promoted and when I interact with clients I am actually very satisfied. But it’s the lifestyle and some of the mindless work that necessitates a shift. Especially given that we want kids and I can’t imagine having a job that would have me traveling while I have young children. When it comes down to asking the question - what is your dream job? – there are crickets in my own head. Seriously I cannot nail down my ideal job description for the life of me. I know I’m not some anomaly and that plenty of people don’t figure out what they want to be when they grow up until they are much older. I do know that I want a job that has heavy interaction with people, no travel/local to Boston and in healthcare. More broadly, I need something that is consistently challenging and pushes me to deeper intellectual and professional pursuits.
2011 = Change. Now that I’ve spent all that time griping, it’s time to make some serious changes in the coming year. I know New Years is all about cliché resolutions about change but I’m going to go ahead and join the masses but hold myself to it. I need to change the way I approach my marriage so I am more open and actively adding and participating in a relationship with my incredible husband. As far as kids, I can’t place that squarely in my lap as something I can change, but I want to try to get myself ready for a kid which means spending less on myself and taking better care of my body. And finally, change jobs and find something that keeps me local, challenged and satisfied.
I'm working on the next 7 reverbs. If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with me. It truly makes me feel lucky to have people who might actually care about what I am thinking, feeling and accomplishing.