There are times in my life when I have felt currents of change rippling through my life like a shifting tide that is pulling me in a direction. I have learned that if I put myself in the right place at the right time, and open myself up to experiences and people, that in an almost mystical fashion, things begin to happen. These periods of change often come after periods of great internal struggle, or some suffering, or a change I was resisting. Sometimes, they come after I accept a truth about myself that I had refused to previously acknowledge. When I am moved by the current, despite the tumult of change, I feel almost at peace when I submit to the gifts of the universe in my life.
Recently, I have experienced some major life changes. I became a mother. I left the working world after 15 years and two degrees to be a stay at home mom. I moved across country with my husband and daughter and left all of my family and friends. With these changes have come some doubts, some “grass is greener” thinking, some personal revelations, and a good deal of loneliness. What I have learned through previous experiences with “clumps” of change is that often these feelings are temporary. Continued momentum through the change often brings me to a place where I can again rest and feel stable and secure within myself.
With every new job, I have experienced trepidation, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, but these feelings drive me to learn, to listen and observe, to utilize my intuition, and to quickly grasp hold of my position and find my bearings. It should have been no surprise that I often felt these feelings as a new mother, but I fumbled through an adjustment period, all the same. It has taken me a little while to feel comfortable in my new mommy skin, but I feel like I have regained the confidence and trust in my abilities and instincts that I initially lacked. My wobbly legs have strengthened, and though I do not always know the answer, I now have experience behind me to help me trust that I can face the next situation and do the best I can. Throughout this journey, moments of indescribable joy have enriched my life. Being a mother is the best and most rewarding experience of my life and while I’ve sometimes doubted myself, I am always thankful and humbled by the gift of my daughter in my life.
Recently, I have struggled with some severe loneliness. I’ve made a few good friends in my new home, but I have gone way out of my comfort zone trying to connect in this new environment. I have little trouble public speaking; I have often found myself in leadership roles; despite all of this, I am a relatively introverted person dealing with some measure of social anxiety, who would much rather spend time with a few beloved old friends then put myself out there to be potentially rejected or judged by a new acquaintance. But as Yoda says: “Do or do not. There is no “try.” So I continue to put myself out there, as uncomfortable as it makes me, in the hopes that I will find my niche out here.
This past week, after a summer of near solitude, I’ve met four mothers who have initiated fledgling friendship. Despite some frustration, I kept taking my daughter to places where we’d be able to meet other moms and kids, and finally, I think the effort is paying off. We also had a nice play date at the park with two dads and their respective sons this week, as well. Some breakthroughs are being made. I am hopeful.
Keeping an open heart and persevering in the face of obstacles and change is always a challenge. Admittedly, I am not always successful at keeping my inner optimist afloat. Yet I find that when I put forth the effort, I yield so much more out of life. In this past two years of change, I have found my writer self again. I have had published two news articles, one letter to the editor, and several poems, including one in a recent anthology. Writing opportunities keep opening up for me, and though so far, they are unpaid, each success is helping build my confidence and experience as a writer. A new path has opened.
With every ripple of change, every pull of the tide, the natural urge is to wrestle, to fight the current. I find if I open myself up to the possibility that I might end up somewhere good, and keep treading water, I will be moving. I will move on, like everything and everyone does. Everything changes, even loneliness, doubt, fear, if we can keep our hearts open and maintain momentum. This year, I’m thankful for the possibilities that change has brought to my life and the lessons I am learning about myself along the way.
Linking up with Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out.