Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Twilight Zone

I am familiar with the feelings that come when my own life is falling apart.
But navigating my feelings when the world around me is falling apart is a much bigger task.

I write this blog as I live my life after infertility without raising children. Infertility, for me, was life-altering and extremely traumatic. But that's how I also feel about the pandemic for everyone. It is a life-altering traumatic time period. The economic and social changes it has already caused have been devastating. As one of my friends succinctly said, "This pandemic is ruining lives." 

The future is unknown and any illusion of certainty has been removed. As survivors of infertility, we've already experienced this uncertainty on an intensely personal level. But this is bigger than each of our own individual lives. This pandemic is affecting everyone everywhere worldwide.

How are you feeling? How are you doing? How are your loved ones? How is your area?

  • I feel worried, anxious, and scared. 
  • I stay home as much as I can and wear a mask when I need to go out. I'm noticing and respecting my higher-than-usual anxiety levels, and I'm trying to be more patient with myself. I take everything one step at a time and I rest in between.
  • I think the majority of my closest friends (spread out across the country) are also staying home. That's good!
  • My family? I'm not so sure... As for now, everyone is healthy, although they take unnecessary (and irresponsible?) risks in my opinion. Several of them got together to celebrate a birthday at a restaurant/bar with an outdoor space last weekend. I most definitely didn't approve of this, but nobody asked me.
  • I don't know many people in the small town where I currently live, but I will say that it's a tourist town and I observed wayyy too many people out and about this weekend. I go for drives just to get out of the house and I saw way too many people on the roads, filling up parking lots, walking around, gathering at parks, etc. Why??? 

I feel like I'm living in The Twilight Zone.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

House Hunting Hurts

So I'm moving again. For those keeping count, this will be my third move since starting this blog. It will be my fourth move since selling the house I bought for my children. Moving is hard, but each situation I move myself into is such an improvement for my mental health.

For this move, I considered renting and buying. I want to rent first to make sure I like the area before buying a place, but there isn't a lot available to rent. Also, I'm sick of moving and I'm just ready to settle down and I pick this town. I got a job there and I can quilt anywhere. Eventually, I will meet a friend or two. Or at least have friendly faces at work.

The pandemic is making everything so much harder.

And I wasn't exactly at the top of my mental and physical health game before this. I give myself a ton of credit for all of the work I have done with processing my grief, but I am still emotionally injured.

Overall, I am so grateful. I have love and meaning in my life. My boyfriend is wonderful and I love my new career. The last missing piece is a Home. I know that home is where the heart is and home is what you make it and all that, but I really desire a single physical spot where I can put all of my books on the shelves. I want to stop changing my address and I want to finally unpack all of my boxes.

I'm 40. I'm ready to settle down and live the rest of my life. If possible.
But as always, I will go with what reality brings.

So back to moving. I started looking at houses to buy. At first it was kind of fun, looking at places and trying to imagine myself living there. But then three different houses I was interested in went into pending in one week and I felt such a disproportionate amount of loss that I knew I needed to step away from the process.

I cried all last week. By now you probably know that I'm a crier. It's how I usually process my feelings. But those tears HURT. Those tears were all about getting excited about something major for the rest of my life and then losing it before it ever happened. Way way way too familiar.

It took me by surprise. At first, I was so mad at myself. "I'm so damaged, I can't even look at houses to buy like 'normal' people do?" But then I was more compassionate with myself. "It's okay. You've been through a lot. Your resources have been low for years now but look at what all you've done anyway. You will get through this, but it's okay to take a break for now."

So that's what I'm doing. House hunting hurts too much right now. I'm taking a break.
Fortunately, I can share extremely good news: I found a place to rent! It is a HUGE relief.

So I will be okay. I am doing just fine.
I will continue to respect my healing process and where I'm at with things.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Summer Solstice 2020

Happy Summer Solstice (to Most)! 🌞

(And Happy Winter Solstice to Mali! ⛄)

To learn more about what this day means, I found an article I like. I enjoyed a lot of its ideas:

  1. The article describes the solstice as a time for reflection and, as it signifies the changing of the season, a time for new beginnings.

  2. In particular, the seasonal change of the summer solstice is marked by the peak of sunlight which symbolizes "the triumph of light over darkness in the individual."

  3. The author also writes that it is a time to slow down, saying "the seeds of spring have been planted... It's time to let nature take its course."

So, here's to reflecting and beginning again. Here's to also slowing down and allowing what we've already worked for to come to fruition. Here's to honoring our own light and sharing it with others. 

(Photo Credit: Me; Can you believe I saw this massive rainbow earlier this month? Wow.)

Friday, June 5, 2020

Finding Meaning Again

It's a difficult time right now. For so many reasons.
And things were hard before this current time. Now everything is harder. Much harder.

Some things feel impossible. And these feelings are all way too familiar from my years spent in the throes of infertility. Maybe something I have learned while recreating my life after trauma and devastation will help you. For one, when all feels lost, hopeless, and without purpose, please know that meaning can be found again.


During my darkest years, everything lost meaning. What was the point of anything? I had no important milestones left. There was nothing else I wanted to achieve. There were no other roles I wanted to fill. I didn't care about anything other than being a mother and raising children and that wasn't working out for me. I was afraid nothing would ever have meaning again. I thought I would never feel joy. I thought I was in for a bleak existence and there was nothing I could do about it. I shrugged and trudged on.

One day (five years and three months ago) I was scrolling through one of my social media feeds (during a break from reading fertility boards and some newly found infertility blogs) when I came across an informative video that combined two of my favorite interests. I felt something. I felt something for the first time in a long time, so long that I didn't even recognize the feeling at first.

It was excitement. Or inspiration.
Overall, it was interest and happiness and it felt good.

I felt confused for the rest of the day. I didn't know what to do with this newly rediscovered spark of a feeling. I decided to explore it. I decided to check out the profession that I saw featured on the video.


I went to the library and checked out a bunch of books about the profession. I checked out the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics to read about the average salaries and projected growth in the field. I checked out technical books to browse the language and topics within the profession's scope of practice. I even checked out a couple of introductory textbooks to see if I felt like studying that information for the next several years.

I learned everything I could to see if anything turned me off. Nothing did. I kept going.

Then I explored affordable schools in my area, determined what all I needed to do to apply, and just jumped in to see how much, if all, I could get done by the application deadline in five months.

I did it all. And, as I've written before, it all sucked haha. I cried the whole way through the process. But I'm extremely glad I did it, even more so now that it is all over and done and I am employed in my new field (my part-time job at the hospital--I'm back on the schedule, yay!).

I noticed, I explored, I learned, and I pursued.
I applied, I got in, I worked hard, and I graduated.
I studied, I took my board exam, I passed, and I got licensed.

And the day before yesterday? The day before yesterday I left my job filled with such intense satisfaction, contentment, and gratitude. My spirit soared. I just felt so damn good. One overwhelming thought filled my heart and brain and energized my spirit:

Providing comfort and care for my patients gives my life meaning. 

My life feels meaningful again. And I will never ever ever take that for granted.


Finding meaning again is possible (and you don't even have to believe me right now). Yours will most likely look very different from mine, but please hear me when I say that life can be meaningful again. You deserve purpose and you deserve joy. 💜