Sunday, June 14, 2015

I remember when change was scary

Just before the start of my freshman year at the University of Michigan, while at team cross country camp, I called my mom balling my eyes out about how I wasn't ready for college. Similarly, the night before my wedding, standing in my closet trying to decide what to wear to the rehearsal dinner, I came the closest I've ever come to a full-on panic attack. But once cross country camp was over and I arrived back on campus and moved into my dorm I was completely fine, totally unflappable, and ready to take on anything the big scary university could toss my way (except, as it turned out, Econ 101). And once dressed and at the wedding rehearsal I was cool as a cucumber. I slept like a baby that night and woke up ready to marry the love of my life. Indeed, my hair stylist commented more than once that I was the calmest bride she'd ever seen.

So perhaps it's just the anticipation of change that totally freaks me out. And, to be fair, that closet panic thing happens ALL THE TIME because I have no clothes. But regardless of whether it's the change itself or just the thought of change, having a baby has cured me for life. Or maybe not. Life is a long time. But certainly for the foreseeable future, I'm all "I got this mommy stuff DOWN. What could possibly be harder than this?" Of course, he's not walking yet. He's not driving yet. Okay, now I'm starting to get scared again so let's stay in the moment.

My husband and I are currently house hunting and hoping to soon move out of the condo we've been renting. Buying a house? Big change. Even bigger when you consider that we're almost definitely moving out of the town I love (grew up here, came back after 9 post-college years in Chicago and 5 unfortunate months in Nashville). Bring it. I am also about to start a new job. I'm leaving the office I've been at for almost seven years, along with the client base I've built up over those almost seven years, in order to work closer to home (until we find a house and move away, that is). If that's not scary enough, I'll be working for a chiropractor who has never even offered massage therapy before. This is exactly the type of thing that would have me waking up panicked and obsessively stressing over. Nowadays? No sweat.

Taking care of and adjusting to a newborn was (is) the hardest thing I've ever done. At 38 years old I was used to a lot of freedom, my greatest prior responsibilities being keeping two cats alive and trying to make dinner more evenings than not. Not all that difficult. I'm sure I'll return to this theme often (the babies are hard thing, not the cat thing, but maybe the dinner thing. Well, probably the cat thing too, since that turned out to be a lot harder post-baby as one of those cats is no longer actually alive). Anyway, there's pretty much an entire blog of material packed into the first five months of my son's life. It took a lot to get me this comfortable and confident, laughing in the face of impending change, but I got there. Or maybe it's just the pills I'm still taking after tripping face first into postpartum depression and anxiety at the two month mark (definitely will be returning to that topic someday soon), but I don't think so. My son, the little 6 lb 5 oz bundle of need and reflex, was like an adorable basic training drill sergeant; he completely broke me down before building me back up. He, along with the incredible support of my husband and our families, built me up so much that I actually believe I'll have time to post regularly to this blog (along with taking care of the little tyrant, cooking those dinners, finding a house, working, training, and everything else in my suddenly very hectic life). Time will tell if that's the drugs talking.

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