On Thanksgiving we announced to the social media world that I am pregnant with our second babe. I’m so relieved to finally be able to talk about it here on the blog. I’m certain that I’m not the only woman out there who starts growing a human and consequently begins to reevaluate ummmm, basically life as we know it. I look at my daughter when I’m rocking her to sleep at night and think, “she deserves better.” I go to work and I think, “this is not my dream.” I recall my interactions with the people I love on a daily basis and think, “this is not who I want to be.” Pretty heavy, right? I’m not saying I’m a terrible, miserable person (all the time), but I could do better and I know that. All of this recent reflection has led me to one conclusion… I need to know what makes me happy and then go for it. If someone asked you the question “what makes you happy?” What would your answer be?
Before I spill my guts, I want to make one thing clear. I am blessed beyond measure with a kind, loving, supportive husband and a beautiful, healthy, thriving daughter. We live in an amazing family neighborhood in a gorgeous home, we have nice cars, and our bills are paid. All of my needs are more than met, and I am beyond grateful and humbled by every blessing that we have. It is in no way my intention to sound ungrateful or unaware of just how amazing my life is. I only mean to point out that the “stuff” usually has very little to do with your thoughts and feelings.
I am not what you’d call a “glowing” pregnant person. I learned during the first pregnancy that it is a very difficult and emotionally insane process that I am not super excited to relive. When I was pregnant with Lila was one of the most difficult times in our marriage. I was so bitter and pissed off that it was not the magical time that I had always envisioned it to be, in which I was revered for completing the incomparable feat of growing and birthing a perfect child, that I couldn’t see ever doing it again.
Then, after Lila was born, the postpartum depression hit me with the weight of a black hole, and I thought for sure that we’d be a one child family. It took nearly FIFTEEN months for me to look and feel like a normal human again, there was no way I’d survive it a second time.
I didn’t talk about these struggles much, because when people excitedly ask a pregnant person, “how are you feeling?!,” they don’t want to hear, “I’m dehydrated from crying so much, I feel like I can’t breathe, and the looming responsibility of a tiny baby is sometimes physically crippling for me.” So instead you say, “I’m a little tired, but I’m good! We’re soooooo excited!” And we are excited, but the other stuff is also true.
I’ve also learned the hard way that the friends you do confide in then begin to watch you like a ticking time bomb. You read between the lines of their “how are you feeling?” texts and respond, “no, I’m not homicidal this morning.” Or, “No, I haven’t cried today because the Verizon guy is a traitor and now works for Sprint.” (WTF is up with that though? Poor form, ex-Verizon guy.)
Despite my fear and trepidation, Lane and I ultimately decided that we didn’t want Lila to be an only child and have to deal with our insanity on her own, SO, second try, second baby. And now here we are. I’m ten weeks in and my belly is already poking out. My skin is destroyed. Other things are changing in a not so attractive way, and I really do feel like my physical person has been taken over. It’s more than just vanity. But more importantly than all that, my mind is a mess. And all the while I think, “how dare I complain about pregnancy. There are thousands of women who’d give everything to be in my shoes.” That guilt is real, but I have to remind myself that their struggles don’t make mine any less valid or real.
Strangely, in this mess of hormones, I have this weird clarity too. It’s like I’m living in the eye of a hurricane. I can see all of the things that I don’t like about my life swirling around me, and I’m standing still in the middle. Despite the swirling mess of chaos, I can see the things that I want to change. I want to be happy and truly content. I want to strengthen my relationships, be a better wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. I want to be successful and fulfilled at whatever I choose to do to earn a living. But then comes the insurmountable how?
I know that none of those things that I want will come unless I, myself, am happy. Lane asked me recently in the midst of a fight, “what makes you happy?” I was surprised – and then devastated – that my honest answer was, “I don’t know.” Time with my daughter always makes me happy. When I hear her laugh, there is nothing in the world that makes my heart burst with more love. But that is different than being happy with me.
I have friends that seem to glide through life, even the tough parts. They are always smiling, they are always laughing, they always look beautiful in the “glowy” kind of way. I envy that. I wish I was that person. There is part of me that thinks that’s just not how I’m wired. I am the intense, funny, cynical, sarcastic one, predisposed to depression. That’s my thing. But what if I don’t want it to be?…
So here I am, feeling like my life is supposed to be something different, like I need to realign my priorities to match the things that are truly important in my heart and mind, like I should stop hiding in the security of a job that isn’t my absolute passion and pursue my own dreams… (if I can remember what they are) and get myself happy.
I have little to no idea how to accomplish this, but what I do know is that my heart has always been in houses and design. And through this blog I have learned that nothing thrills me more than to hear someone say “you inspired me to….” I LOVE that.
I feel like I’m right on the edge of figuring out how to put all of it together, I just need a sign or a slap in the face or something. I pray every night that God helps me follow through with this vision he’s put in my heart. And then I cry when it seems too overwhelming.
Until I figure it all out, I’m genuinely asking… what makes you happy? I mean what really makes you happy? I don’t mean things like “being outdoors”… if you dig deeper than that, it’s probably the connection with nature that makes you happy. Or the time for quiet reflection. Those are the insights I am talking about. So, if you would be so kind… dig deep. What makes you happy? In the middle of this hurricane, I’m certainly open to ideas.