Give birth. Wow – what a physical feat! Probably the hardest one I will ever accomplish. It really is like climbing Everest. Or running 6 marathons back to back. I knew it could be done because…well it’s been done before. But even while I was giving birth I had moments of thinking I could not do it. Immediately afterward though? I had the distinct feeling I could have done it again almost immediately. It really was an incredible experience. That I was so lucky to have the opportunity to birth and care for a newborn is not lost on me. I’m still sailing on that moment.
Own and solely run a business. This always scared me. I’d done business planning and worked on a couple of start-up teams in the past but never quite felt ready to work for myself. Alone. I took the leap recently because I felt stuck at a certain salary level and really wanted to shoot for the moon. I also wanted the flexibility to be there for my son since I don’t have a partner and we don’t have any other family members to pitch in. And in dealing with my own child’s tantrums at home I quickly grew tired of weathering the tantrums of adults in the office.
Weed out the bad. I had a lot of leeway for people before. I also had a lot of space in my brain for bad memories. I’m glad to say the arrival of my child has pushed some of that aside. Having a child gave me very clear priorities.
Stand alone. I’ve had to stand alone in a lot of scary moments in the past few years. When I was homeless during part of my pregnancy. When I’ve disagreed with a doctor. When I’ve felt at odds with other parents. When I’ve felt at odds with old friends who don’t have kids. When I’ve listened to my intuition while my closest advisers have told me no no no.
Be single. I don’t know that this was too scary before – but I know that I had rarely been single since I was 15 years old. What can I say? I had a really fun romantic life. I learned a lot and I’m grateful that I was able to fall in love and have such great times with people. I’m also grateful that I survived my share of heartbreak! There were times that it seemed impossible. And learned how to fight fair – an invaluable skill. It’s interesting, I thought I had loved so deeply before – but now that I’ve had a child and experienced that kind of love… I wonder if I will ever be able to fall in love with a partner again or if it will always seem to fall short.
Get over the fear of missing out. It’s funny now how full my calendar was in the decade leading up to my child’s entrance into my life. I had SO MUCH fun. Would I go to one party on Saturday night? No. Two? Nope. Three? Four? Now we are talking. I was soooo overbooked and could not and would not change that. On top of that I was a complete and total, certifiable workaholic. Now I wish I spent more of those years stocking up on sleep, restful experiences and self-care. But I just could not say no to anything that sounded fun. There were solid years where I was getting on a plane pretty much every month to go somewhere even just for a weekend. Would it be nice if I had saved up all that money for a nice little nesting fund? Yep. But it’s also nice that I get to dip into all that bank of memories anytime I want or need to. These days I don’t feel like the world is passing me by when I’m not up on all the latest hot spots, gossip and trends. I have it pretty sweet with my kid and my solid group of amazing friends.