Each year that passes, I look back at what I've come through. I thumb through old journal entries and letters. I think to myself, I have survived this. I made it through the difficult days and the wonderful ones, too. Each year just seems to get easier.
So, why not? Be proud of how I get older, I mean. It's fantastic, isn't it? Like a puzzle I am building - aiming for a picture of grace, wisdom, humour, and compassion.
You are so quickly thrown into the fire of passion and motherhood that you don't even have time to notice how you are not you. You are other. It isn't necessarily bad. It is just so scary, at first, and so different. It can be hard to know exactly where you are going, anymore, and if you are going anywhere at all. I used to be a steam engine, laying tracks seconds before I powered over them. And now I ask myself if I am even going anywhere at all. We've scaled this mountain side, and now we take pause. Which path leads this train to happiness?
Even now, as I explore this new role, I'm still dig dig digging into the back of my mind, deep in self-reflection. Even now, nearly a year later. Nearly a year since I walked out of the hospital wide-eyed in disbelief that they were letting us take this tiny fragile human being home in our care. To our home. Forever. Even now, I'm still not sure who I am.
But I can see myself, coming through the forest, with a steady pace and a more confident step than I have had in years. I can see all the strength inside myself, the willingness to be magnificent and electric. Without ego. Simply to be the best human I can be, for myself, for my son. Within my own boundaries.
And I like that the glimpses of my old self still shine through in so many tenacious and spectacular ways.