I love you. I am sorry I forgot that for a moment.
I just said that to my daughter. I have recently said something very similar to my fiancé.
I have just found myself, this is relatively new for me. As in the last few weeks. At 30 you could say I lost my way and thought I wanted something more than I had. But it is not that. I never had my way. I did not know who I was, what I wanted, or what I was doing. I thought my mistakes were me moving away from what I had, now I see it was me finding my path.
For so long I have been travelling through life, month by month, challenge to challenge. No specific goal or purpose, just falling into things and seeing them through. There was never a teenage moment of clarity where I realised I wanted to be a Dentist. I just fell into it.
I spent seven years in university doing what seemed right at the time, there was no specific end point. I qualified, got engaged, bought a house and had a baby. I do remember specifically thinking about having a child, I did not just fall into that decision, there was a thought process behind it. She was wanted. But did I confuse that feeling with need?
So I found myself with all that I have and realised I still have a shit load of questions. Something was missing. Did I miss something I previously had? Is there something I am yet to experience. Do I have a fear of missing out? What is my purpose? Where am I going? Is this what I do now until my retirement and grand-babies?
On my quest to find these answers I make some ridiculous decisions. I almost lost an important part of my life. I genuinely wondered if I wanted to lose that part of my life. I thought I did. I ended up feeling quite low in myself, which is not a foreign feeling for me, this is something I have struggled with since I was 11. I dreaded the future and wondered what the hell I was doing here.
What happened next is something I can only describe as a series of life changing moments.
I thought I may have been having a midlife crisis at one point, but there is no way I can use the word crisis to describe…this.
I have found myself having an appreciation for things that I never noticed before. History, photography, philosophy and reading something other than gangster fiction novels.
My thoughts have done a 180. I am not depressed and feeling lacking. I am enlightened, positive and… happy! I look at everything differently. Everything is better and my thoughts are different. I wonder if this is what therapy would help me do. Perhaps its how CBT works (I shall check that) have I done something myself which takes others years and thousands in therapy to achieve? I struggled to know what I wanted, who I was and what I was doing. I was unhappy and pointless. I had no substance, I was stupid and knew nothing other than what I knew and now… well…
I love my work. I did love my work once, briefly after my maternity leave. But this is different. I wake up, I am interested in my career future. I am extremely focused and I love what I do. I am fantastic at it. I have a better rapport with both my colleagues and my patients. I have so much more to learn myself, but I am ready to help others learn. It is like a switch has been flipped. I have gone from feeling like someone who did not know what she was doing, someone finding her feet in her world, to someone who has something to give, to teach, and advice and knowledge to share.
I stopped drinking (not all fluids, just alcohol). Or more importantly I found I did not want to drink. This is a major change. I have previously drank too much on occasion, and struggled with a depression which was rooted to a fear that I was on a path to alcoholism just like my father. I drank to relax, to cope, to forget about any worries. I never had a desire to change this, it just happened. Me and alcohol had a bad relationship, it was destructive and it could likely have been the reason I lost everything.
I am a better mother. My patience is amazing, the interest I have taken in my little girl is overwhelming. I can see her. She is an amazing little person, with these huge emotions which she needs help figuring out. She has got so many things to learn and it is me that gets to teach her. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by this, instead of feeling incapable of providing her with what she needs, and instead of being impatient with her. I feel excited. I feel honoured. I feel blessed that it is me who gets to shape this future woman. I feel honoured that it is me she comes to when she is frustrated by her world and overwhelmed by her feelings.
I am looking forward to certain events in a way I have never done before. I have long suffered with a social anxiety. Take me away from my small group of friends and I clam up. I get serious anxiety, realise I have nothing to say, and need alcohol… lots of it. I am yet to be in a social environment since my life changing moments, however there is a couple coming up. And I am excited. I am excited about speaking to people in a way I have never done before. To have conversations perhaps on subjects I know nothing about. To strike up discussions with people on matters I know lots about. To be in a room full of people, not feel overwhelmed with anxiety, and to not need a drink in my hand. I am excited.
I am less stressed and more laid back. Seriously a huge improvement. Pre-life changing moments I would be overwhelmed by my day. Work, home, a major tantrum from the toddler who decided to draw all over my new foot stool. This would not add any negativity to my day anymore, I am better able to handle situations such as piss all over my favourite stores floor. I am patient when mid-typing my daughter is demanding my attention because her play mat wont lie down flat (a serious problem to an almost two year old). I see the mess of various bricks and pencils and books, not as a job for me to later tidy up, but as signs that my daughter is happy, entertained and well educated.
I am a better friend…
I am a better fiancé. I am no longer frustrated by irrelevant things. Although I have never been a nag, I often left my other half to his own devices. But this was the wrong thing to do. Instead of letting him get on with things and let him make mistakes, I speak up. I help him realise what is the better decision. I am helping him realise what is important, and this allows me to also reflect on what is important to me. I am loving, like ridiculously, more aware of our needs, and taking time for one another. I see him, I see him in a way I have never noticed him before. I see his struggles and I want to help him. I see where he needs encouragement and I give it. I realise he is not a perfect person, he wont every be, and this is fine. Because he is perfect for me, and that is all that really matters. No one is perfect.
Most importantly of all, finding my way has helped me realise I really love my daughter and fiancé. I feel blessed on a daily basis for them. I have made some wrong decisions, but without making those choices I would not find myself where I am now, and honestly, this is the very best place for me. I like who I am and I cannot wait for the future. Do I wish I had come to this realisation sooner… Yes, most definitely but I cannot change anything I have done now.