Saturday, April 17, 2021

Growth Spurts

No, I am not getting taller. ;) But I am changing. I guess we always are. 

Unless we're staying stuck.

Growth is painful. It's so hard. But staying the same isn't any easier.

I've shared that I'm going back and reading my old posts to add labels to them. Last night I read posts from January and February 2018. Wow. I remember hating my grad school program, but I forgot just how difficult it really was for me. Especially that last semester of coursework. I was still so raw with grief and I was studying pediatrics with a bunch of recent college graduates (i.e., much younger women), toxic professors, and one very pregnant classmate. 

I have come a long way.

(Thanks to all of you for playing a big part in my growth!)

It was kinda weird to read over my old posts knowing that I would be leaving my husband in six short months but not having any idea about it at the time.

So much growth.

And now, as I've also previously shared, I am trying to make good use of my time while being unemployed during a pandemic. So far, I have read three different self-help books about various topics in an effort to understand myself and my patterns so that I can be empowered to change what isn't working for me.

Growth is hard. It's so painful. But what's the alternative?

I've also previously shared that I thought I'd be more settled by now. In the past I imagined I would have bought a house, made some friends, and be well into my new career by now. Instead, I am renting, quarantining, and on the job market. But part of my growth from infertility is learning to lower my expectations. I am okay with where I am in life. Mostly. I am definitely grateful.

My past behavioral patterns make sense to me. I understand how they came to be, and I know that it is within my power to change them. I'm practicing saying no to things I don't want to do. I always thought of myself as a strong person, and I am, but I also have lifelong habits of just doing what others want to do. 

I am communicating what I need to my boyfriend.
It is up to him if chooses to meet those needs.

I am setting boundaries with my mother.
It is up to her if she chooses to respect those boundaries.

(I love both of these people very much. My relationships with them are worth our efforts.)

I think a big step in my most recent growth was quitting my job. Yes, it got bad enough to where I didn't feel safe, but I'm also proud of myself because it was really, really hard to tell my boss that I would NOT be attending meetings in person as expected.

Another big step was leaving my marriage.
It was fun until it wasn't. It worked until I realized it didn't.
There were definitely major problems there.

The growth just never stops, does it? Innocently, I thought I'd be done once I made it to the recovery side of infertility. Hahahahahaha hahahaha. At least I haven't lost my sense of humor.

Would I have time for all of this introspection and personal growth if I was raising children? Maybe. Maybe not. More importantly, I have to stop thinking like that. I'm going to practice not asking myself that question anymore. There is no way of knowing and it really doesn't matter. That would be another life in another realm and who knows what I would and would not be making time for.

Which... Is another sign of my growth.


  1. I also love reading some of my very old posts (not often, but sometimes I just feel like reading). I think it is very therapeutical for me in many ways.

    I am glad you kept your sense of humour! It is great way to surviving... whatever life brings.

    And I am glad that you talked to your boyfriend.

    Wishing you all the best!

    sending lots of love from Europe,

    1. I'm glad I started blogging when I did, and I'm glad I wrote so honestly. I captured how I was thinking and feeling in the moment. That information would have been lost and forgotten had I not documented it here. It really surprises me what used to upset me and what only annoys me now. ;)

      Humor is a GREAT survival mechanism!!

      I am glad that I talked to my boyfriend too. And I am glad that he listened. I felt heard and well-received, and I also asked him for feedback for me too. We are both trying. Dating in your 40s is interesting. You are two grown adults with all of your habits and experiences... It's just different from when I was in my 20s and still figuring out what I wanted. I am thankful for him and our relationship.

  2. PS: I love playing a small part in your growth <3
    (I hope I don't sound pretentious)

    1. Oh, Klara... Honestly, you have played a big part in my growth. I remember reading posts of yours (way before I ever started commenting) and seeing pictures of you and Wolfie hiking in the woods. That's what inspired me to move. I was sitting in my house in the suburbs of a large city thinking... *This* isn't what I really want. What am I doing??

      And now I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I can see the stars at night and I've never been happier with where I live.

      Thank you endlessly. <3 <3 <3

  3. Oooh, I love your last paragraph. Particularly this, "That would be another life in another realm and who knows what I would and would not be making time for." Exactly!!! It's letting go of what might have been, which is so important for healing, I think (as I wrote in my last post). I love watching your growth. The growth itself is a gift, but I also think that being aware of that growth is a great gift to yourself.

    1. Your posts on healing are SO GOOD, Mali. You are really capturing how to navigate a difficult journey!!

      Oh I love that. "Being aware of that growth is a great gift to yourself." Thank you! For everything. <3

  4. Growth IS so incredibly hard, we see why a lot of people don't engage in it. But you, you've made so many power moves over the past number of years.

    And regarding being "done" once we reach a certain point in our infertilty recovery....I know. I think we need to believe that because for the longest time, that's all we can see and deal with. I've reacently taken advantage of an opportunity to do some "inner child" type work and found myself thinking about how I never could have done that even a few years ago as there was an amplitude of recent stuff that was more urgent. The good thing is that I don't feel held hostage by current growth effort. They are infinitely more elective.

    1. Ooh, "power moves," I like that! It's so... Empowering! :)

      That's a good point. I needed to believe there was a "done" point to my recovery because, at the time, I could not handle the idea of ongoing stress on a major level. It was all I could do to just deal with each passing hour of each passing day.

      I'm glad you're not feeling held hostage anymore. Growth is hard!! <3

  5. Yes, growth is hard, but it is also good... at least in hindsight ;-). I do prefer it to feeling stuck. It brings us further on our path and makes us who we are. I am glad that you have such a mindful and accepting approach to things.

    Wishing you a lovely Sunday!

    1. I am grateful for growth. Like I said in another recent post, I got tired of repeating the same patterns over and over. Plus, I *hate* feeling stuck. We are never stuck!! Even when it feels like we are. :)

      Thank you Elaine. Here's to another good week!

  6. This post feels very zen-like to me ... I admire the way you are practicing being where you are, but seeing it as part of where you've come from, and knowing that you're continuing to learn.

    1. Oh wow, I love the way you put it into words! Thank you!!

  7. Love this post! Such a great metaphor, and so powerful to look back and see how far you've come. It is so strange to be in a time machine of sorts, knowing what's going to happen and getting this glimpse of your thoughts in old big parts. I do that, too, because it's such a gift to have this time capsule and reflect on all the growth and growing pains. I'm so glad you are where you are now, and I look forward to seeing where you go from here! 💜

    1. It is a time capsule! And a gift!! It was an unknown benefit (to me anyway) of blogging. I was sooo nervous, but I'm so glad I started writing when I did. It's been a lifesaver through recovering from infertility AND enduring this damn pandemic. Thank you Jess!

  8. This is a great post. :) I've done the same thing, adding tags to old posts and getting caught in a time warp, reading through old stuff again. I don't keep a diary/journal these days, but I do have my blog posts and I am so grateful for that! Sometimes you don't realize how far you've come until you look back...

    1. Exactly. It's hard to see things when we are in the middle of it all. But looking back... Wow!

      Thank you Loribeth. <3