It's funny how time has a way of putting things in perspective.
2011 was full of surprises, challenges, and changes. I accomplished some awesome things, struggled through some tough times, said hello to some good things in my life, goodbye to bad things, and ultimately changed as a person. For the better? I'd like to think so.
I started off the year with high hopes of getting pregnant. Actually, almost exactly a year ago is when we said we would start "trying". I had the whole plan figured out. I was proud of myself for finally being ready after many years of geuinely being afraid of having a baby. At first we didn't tell anyone. I didn't want the added pressure from friends and family asking questions or giving advice. That lasted all of a few months, and then my world began to crumble.
When I didn't have a period for nearly three months (and was not pregnant), I decided to get checked out. My doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I started taking multiple medications in an effort to get my body to cooperate with my plans. I was terrified. I couldn't believe this was happening to me... me of all people, the person who had their entire life figured out. Yet every month I would hold on to some glimmer of hope, only to be continually disappointed. I began to realize how very little control I actually hold over my own life.
I finally had to start talking about it. At first I started a seperate blog so I could write out my own thoughts without anyone knowing. But I slowly realized that this hurt too much to hold it all inside. So I started talking. Along with that came my own guilt of thinking I was too depressing to be around. I couldn't feign happiness or hope when I truly didn't have it inside me. What friends of mine want to talk about hardships, struggles and heartbreak all the time? Who wants to listen to that?
People who truly love you, that's who.
Along with the realization that I was no longer in control of my life plan, I began to realize how much I need people in my life who care about me, who will listen, and most of all, be honest with me. Yes, my husband is a huge source of encouragement with his never-ending supply of hope and optimism. I truly couldn't be going through this without him and his strength. When I want to be sad and hopeless, he will listen, hold me, and let me feel what I'm feeling. At the same time he will express his hope for the future. Oh, how desperately I wish I could be more like him.
And then there's my friends. It's scary to me how much I've discovered I need them in my life. I am not the type of person who admitts (or even believes) that I must rely on another person, or need what they can give. Yet, how foolish of me to think I could make it through this life alone. I have discovered that when you are depressed and sad sometimes, not a lot of people want to be around you. I have lost friends this year because of my own pain. That's why when you find someone who will stick by your side through bad times, you appreciate it so much more. It means so much. Those friends are the only ones who also deserve you at your best.
So to those people, thank you. You know who you are.
Little did I know what a journey this year would take us on... the hopelessness I would feel, the struggle to stay positive, and ultimately the pursuit of being at peace with the whole situation.
This year was full of thing I never thought would happen.
I never thought we would struggle to get pregnant.
I never thought I would run two half marathons.
I never thought we could live on a $7,000 a year pay cut.
I never thought owning a home would be so much work, yet so rewarding.
I never thought I would lose friendships I held so dearly for so many years.
I never thought I would gain a friendship I now cherish.
I never thought I would be on my way to accomplishing a lifelong dream of being a Psychologist.
I never thought I could be so out of control of my own life situations.
... and yet, I never thought I would be so at peace with my life.
For me, 2012 is all about the pursuit of peace. Coming to terms with the things that have happened this year is a continual struggle for me. I constantly wrestle with believing God has a plan, and that this IS a part of that plan. Believing that He is good. That He is faithful. That He only wants the best for me. Inner peace with all that has happened in the past, the things going on right now, and what will happen in the future -- that is what I'm striving for.
I am by no means there. And even if one ever does get there, it doesn't mean that the pain stops or the struggle ends. Sometimes I will still be depressed. I still need help keeping the right attitude, and I still need people who will hold me up when I want to fall down. One thing people like to say to me to "encourage" me is that this is just a bump in the road, and that they are confident we will get pregnant someday. But I couldn't say I've learned anything from this whole ordeal if I truly believed that.
Because if I've learned one thing, it's that we are not guaranteed anything in life. Whatever actually happens is a blessing. Anything else good in my life is over and above the fact that I was simply given the gift of my own life. Babies are miracles... the eighth wonder of the world. Life is precious. I no longer expect to be given one. All I can do is take one step at a time, do the next thing thats in front of me, and trust God for tomorrow.
I can no longer plan on the future. I do not know what the future holds, but I can thank God that He does.
I find peace in that.