Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Biggest Thing I've Learned in My Twenties Thus Far

A lot of doors close when you're in your twenties. It feels constant; hearing "No" in all its forms. You're not only trying to find yourself, but build a career, build a family, build relationships, and build wealth. Something is always bound to go wrong while you're building, and you just have to push through it. I have failed. Nothing dramatic, but, yes, I have failed. There are thousands of quotes about failure that I basically come across daily on social media outlets. I have ignored every single one of them. I thought they were just words, like they weren't speaking to me. It's like I thought they were only speaking to everyone else in the world BUT me. It has now hit me, though; all the times I've failed at something, I've let it pile up and define me. I've kept a tally of my failures like they were etched on me as a tattoo.

I am not my failures. I've come to the realization that all those quotes about failure, i.e. "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently" were right (I could go on and on with more quotes). Failure is not final. It's inevitable. It's a wrong turn. The only way to avoid it is to live cautiously. But you will also miss out on the chance to succeed as well.

Every time a door shuts, a new one doesn't automatically open. Sometimes you'll spend days, months, or even years stuck in that limbo land trying to unlock or pry open a new door. Sometimes that door is a trap door. Sometimes it's a door meant for someone else. Eventually you find YOUR door. Eventually you walk through the door and look back and wonder how you almost gave up.

THAT's what being in your twenties is all about. Living the exact advice you've previously ignored. The life changing realizations. Ones that leave me sitting here with tears in my eyes not because I'm sad, but excited for what's to come. Excited that I have failed, because it's bringing me closer to new opportunities. I have been taking this long, messy gravel road and though I have taken wrong turns and ended up on beaten paths, I have been able to navigate through it and find a better path. There are no signs telling you where to go, you're essentially feeling in the dark. You bump into things and hurt yourself, but that only means you're finding your way.

I can't believe I'm realizing something now that everyone else has probably already realized. But it feels good to have a wave of optimism and self realization. I want to remember this feeling. I want to share it. 
Monday, May 2, 2016

Worry, As Told By a Mother

As I got to the grocery store parking lot the other day, an old 90's Buick was sitting in the middle of the crosswalk, blocking the way to cars trying to park. I muttered some comment about how old people shouldn't drive. I eventually snuck around the car and peeked over to a short, 5 foot woman getting out of the car with her headscarf on, probably protecting her newly permed hair from the strong winds that day. I looked at the driver and he was a thin upper 80's aged man, whose head was sitting at the top of the window. These were basically my grandparents if they were still alive. I went from mildly annoyed to a quivering swollen face; immediately getting a headache from trying to hold my tears in.

I've lost all of my grandparents before I ever got pregnant. And while I am sad about it, I can accept it. They were old, it was their time, and most of all I don't think they would've really liked our world anymore. I don't think their hearts could've handled it.

When I'm reminded of my grandparents I often get teary-eyed, not just because I miss them. It's because I'm reminded of what I cannot afford to lose. And no offense to them, but that sad feeling I get when I think of them is only a fraction of what I would feel if I would ever lose someone closer to me.

I have this irrational amount of worry. I worry about driving in my car. I worry when I let my daughter play in the front yard. I worry when someone else is babysitting her. I think of all that could happen and multiply it by ten. And now I'm wondering, am I going to be THAT mom that doesn't let her ride her bike to the park or ride in the car with her friend's parents to get ice cream? Or go to sleepovers? This is just the beginning of the lifelong worries. It'll be never ending, I know this. The innocent sleepovers will turn into boys, which will turn into college parties.

I will cross that bridge when we get there. That is all I can say for now. I just wanted to write about my biggest struggle as a mom. I don't know if it's fixable. But I do know that it has been a positive tool as well, imagining disasters. I have the ability to see the worst possible scenario and in-turn, be so incredibly thankful when everything turns out to be okay. I may be a worst case scenarioer, but I am so so so appreciative of what I have every single day. 
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