Isn’t it funny how when you were younger, you thought you had it all figured out? The world seemed clear and everything was black and white. Somehow, over time, life happens and you realize it isn’t so black and white, but there are many gray areas. You start to see that there are different perspectives on things, people are coming from a different place than you are, people want different things than you do, people get to the same place you do but in different ways. Suddenly, life feels very confusing and not clear at all. And, here we are. Maybe this is what it means to be an actual adult. I certainly had less doubts in my 20s than I do now that I’m in my mid-30s.
I wonder about things like how should I be defining success? Am I blaming other people for things when I should be looking at myself? Am I expecting too much? Am I doing it wrong?? Will I ever be certain about things? What I’m beginning to think is that this is what life is. It isn’t about certainty or figuring it all out. Life is about blindly doing the best you can do and taking risks and failing again and again to learn and grow. Some things are in your control, but many aren’t.
I’m still learning this lesson. I’m sure I will learn it again and again. The clearest picture of this for me was when my older daughter was born. Everyone says that you learn that things are not in your control when you have kids and I learned it in a big way. My pregnancy was healthy with no complications. I had a birth with no complications that essentially went the way of my “birth plan.” But, when my daughter was born, she had a hard time breathing. The doctors and nurses surrounded her and eventually took her away to figure out what was going on. I went to my room at the hospital to recover…without my brand new baby. It’s a long story, but finally after many doctors, she was diagnosed properly at 11 weeks – the week before I was supposed to go back to work. She needed surgery and it would obviously take some time for her to recover. I would have to change my plans and I wasn’t sure when I’d be back at work. That whole time period felt like I was thrown around and upside down and I couldn’t figure out which way was up, what my life was going to look like from now on, would my daughter be healthy (for the record, yes, she absolutely is!), etc. Would I want to go through it again? No. But, I did learn a lot from the experience including that you can make all kinds of plans, but life will be thrown your way and you have to figure it out as you go.
I guess instead of offering some kind of advice today, I wanted to commiserate. I’m sure there are others out there that think there must be something wrong with them if they don’t know what they’re doing. But that’s life friends and we’re all in this together!