I used to think that one day I would magically know what, when, and why to do things, and that day would mark my entrance into adulthood. Luckily, I eventually realized that being an adult was just as paradoxical as anything else, and while knowing more about yourself, the world, and your place in it was one part, recognizing that you will always have infinitely more to learn than you actually know is the other. Whether working in an office, on a site, or in the home, understanding your priorities is important, but as we get better at doing what we do it becomes more plain and instinctual once we accept that the unexpected is inevitable. When those unplanned issues arise being able to adjust (or “bob and weave” as I say constantly these days) is an amazing attribute.
When I got pregnant, suddenly not having control became really freeing. Knowing that there were just a few truths I had to live by made living so much simpler. As long as I was taking care of myself and my family, all the dilemmas of the world seemed so much easier to deal with. The bed frame I’d had on my wishlist for five years was off my radar because obviously a furnished nursery was more important. The vast details and decisions of my work projects were made quickly because they weren’t worthy of the stress worry would put on me and, thus, my family. The trump card of being a partner and parent – and, even more important, absolutely loving those roles – made everything less ambiguous. Suddenly, I felt there were more “no brainers” in all aspects of my life.
This shift in my usually high strung brain came epiphany-style, but it could just as easily have happened with a combination of advice, time, and perspective. What’s important is recognizing that responsibilities can be liberating when you accept all their complexities and challenges, in a mind set that boils them down to being in service of your most beloved people and passions. After all, most mundane actions can be remedied if need be. Often making mistakes isn’t as dire as I’d forced myself to fear. Now I’m thinking allowing myself to be paralyzed by fear and inaction is probably one of the worst mistakes I could make.
I’m sure it’ll always take hard work to mostly look on the bright side and trust my gut, but so far welcoming possibility and seizing ideas has been worth any effort.