I’m on the floor, writing this on my phone. This book that you are about to read had to be typed up like some horrific text message that I was scared to send because of the person who inspired it all. I’ve also written this book in three different ways. This one is the right one. I’m not subjecting myself to this again. Goodness sake.
(I forgot to mention the fact that I’m restarting this entire book and need to finish it in 18 days. Are you ready for a bumpy ride?)
This is a perfect example of the life I worked hard to create. At 37 years old I am able to confidently say that I’ve managed to survive and thrive while working from home by doing actual jobs or selling my ghostwriting services here and there. I had snagged some excellent management opportunities for remote contact centers. I could really get to the point where I could work and travel and even blog while I do it. I could help empower others and show that you can have a sustainable and happy life that doesn’t have you chained to an office or commuting. I wanted to prove that you can minimize the amount of time you miss out with your family while keeping a roof over their heads. I could show that it’s possible to work from home and create a life for yourself that makes you truly happy.
I felt victorious, to be perfectly honest. Today I found myself enjoying the biggest luxury in life that was a result of my hard work. I could lie next to my niece (and foster daughter) on the floor so she could cozy up next to me and work on my book. She’s content, we are comfortable, and I’m staying on task. Once in a while, I have to rest my hand on her tummy as she nuzzles against the plush blankets I’ve laid out for her to cover her “u” shaped pillow. She looks up at me time to time with her big brown eyes and a serious scrunch to her brow and moments later will break out a smile while never breaking eye contact.
Allison smelled of baby powder, diaper cream, and the special hair products I got for her since she seems to have a hair type more similar to mine. She’s almost 5 months old and I was in love. She was the most perfect human being I could get to spend time with. She knew I was trying to work and she doesn’t want to hear it. She wanted my attention and this is the point in the day where she gets almost all of it.
I started to get into the habit of bathing Allison in the mornings after my husband goes to work. You see, she gets to have one on one time with each of us but with me working from home, sometimes I feel it’s divided. Sometimes it has to be, and it’s okay. But our morning routine was my favorite part of the day because it forced me to slow down and relax.
The entire process of bathing the baby and giving her that undivided attention is sometimes like a science experiment. Her bath has to be at the optimal temperature. I needed to make sure her hair was conditioned properly so I could manage through the thick curls she was starting to develop, thanks to having a full head of hair at birth. I had to talk to her while I did everything in order to keep her relaxed and smiling, so I’d explain each step that I was taking and sing songs to her in between. It kept her still while I have to make sure to clean under her neck now that she’s drooling so much. She’d let me check and clean around her ears and leave the conditioner in just a little bit longer before I rinsed it out.
I’d scoop her into one of her hooded towels and give her a light hug before walking her over to the bed, where I’d have my arsenal laid out. She was a ticking time bomb as long as that diaper wasn’t on and I wasn’t ever in the mood for surprises. So my first objective was to get her bottom half totally dried, lotion applied, powdered, and diaper-creamed so I could put on her diaper and be safe to take my time with the rest. This is the part of the day that I would enjoy the most because I spoiled her with my time and attention. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it for a happy baby. I lather her in lotion for her eczema and my time for her soul.
I’d take my time and slowly comb through her hair and speaking to her softly. Sometimes there would be music from my set playlist for her “calming time” or a YouTube video that I know she likes. I’d take the time to apply a light layer of baby hair oil and brush it until it’s evenly distributed. We’re not totally sure of her ethnic background but her hair was starting to become thick and the curls becoming more defined. Regardless of what she was made up of, she was going to have hair I had to teach her to let me manage. This usually took a lot of patience as I’d navigate the process of trying to calm her down enough that I could take my time brushing her hair or making sure her skin wasn’t dry.
I loved the days where she calmed down so much, I’d be able to actually put in ponytails. I don’t get those days often, but usually, at this point, the baby is much more relaxed and even chatty.
See, I’m terrified right now. This is all uncharted territory and I’m going all-in for this kid. She’s the best thing that could have graced through our front door. It is my duty, as her biggest fan, to make the best of a very tricky situation. I know that the day would eventually come where we’d have to explain to her how she ended up coming to our home. Or, as I naively wanted to believe, she’d be loved so much that she’ll never have to question it. Either way, I am not expecting anything about this journey with the baby to be easy. This will be my biggest challenge yet, and I am greatly looking forward to it despite my level of anxiety.
I spent a lot of time doubting myself. I doubted I was capable, but here I am with a happy baby that’s avidly chatting away about nothing coherent nor simple. Her eyes were always large and expressive. She’d scrunch her nose before every giggle as I asked her to “tell me more about that” or make faces at her. Despite that cloak of doubt, I’d realize in these moments how much I loved her anyway. It would provide me with this pure, unfiltered joy to see her smile and hear her laugh so robustly. Loving her gave me even more reasons to love life.
This entire process will require patience as my foundation because if I am not patient, I won’t see the bigger picture and stay focused. Patience can empower you, but a total lack of it can destroy you. That was a big lesson that I needed to learn about my life. I wasn’t truly embracing patience.
This is why my book will start here. While I’ve been going through this process all out of order. I realized that I should have started here.
Without patience, the rest of my efforts will fail. I took a look at everything I wanted to accomplish and I realized that they all needed to start with patience. Never patience alone, but patience is life’s dance partner and I’ve been missing its beat. I had to accept what I’ve done wrong in life, and embrace the changes I need to make in order to have the life I’ve always wanted. It’s not all about material things or money. It’s about being truly happy with who you are and the choices you make. I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but I’ve made a lot of leaps and bounds.
I want to learn from my own mistakes so this baby will make better choices than I did. I want to be protective and proactive about educating her on the things that aren’t comfortable to talk about. I want her to be able to be confident and make eye contact. And I want her to know when to let go of what’s hurting her so she has more of a capacity for love.
In order for me to teach her that, I had to become that. And this is where I’m at with this leg of my journey. I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance with myself. I’m allowing myself to be happy but to always be mindful of where I need to change. I am reconnecting with forgiveness and learning to stay positive when I normally wouldn’t. I’m relearning how to love myself.
I love that Allison has reminded me that I really should be doing better than I am. She forces me to stop and think and be more considerate. I really wasn’t being the best person I could be, and I can’t say that I’ve been super proud of my life thus far. If anything, I became very painfully aware of how ordinary it was. I hadn’t done my part to grow and make progress towards my dreams. And now she is counting on me to ensure she lives better than I did.
I can’t say that I have been incredibly impatient when I think about it. I was always the odd one out throughout life. I never really accomplished much and scared off easily from things I wanted to be successful with. I never really had a story to tell anyone. What scared me about that was that it might cause her to not realize how amazing she really is. So, I’m ready to change that. It’s long overdue for me.
In order for me to embrace change and focus on my goals, though, I needed a purge of the home, mind, and spirit. One of the things that were holding me back was that my home always felt like a burden. But at this point in my life, things are hard. We’re struggling to stay above water but there’s a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I had to breathe and weather this storm just a bit more before I’d bring in 2019 with entirely different footing.
I let that anxiety and stress knock me off my course too many times and I had lacked the patience to set things right. Instead of maintaining a steady course I was flailing about and just existing. I can’t even fathom how many years of my life I wasted (to an extent) with the mindset that I couldn’t handle being patient. Life kept sending me lessons to try to get me to realize what I was doing wrong. Of course, it takes this baby to open my eyes.
I look at this child every day and try to picture the life I will help her create the foundation for. She’s going to be a reflection of me in so many ways because she will be around me a lot of the time. I can’t be wholly ordinary and inspire the kind of greatness I think she’s destined for. I think she will become someone who can make a difference.
My reality is that I need to focus on my health more so than I have been able to. My physical and mental state was 100% my own doing, and I let go of the excuses for how I ended up where I was in life. I didn’t, however, make a plan to change my ways. I also need to give my home the rebirth it truly needs so we can really feel like it’s a space we can be proud of. Right now it’s disorganized and lacking any personality. I’m about to do something about that, though. I just need to make sure that I don’t forget about everything else that needs to be in place before I can be in the right headspace for the next phase.
It took patience to sit and organize the backlog of clean laundry that needed to be folded and put away. I mean, holy shit, I never want to see another sock because I have a husband that will never organize and put away his own laundry. While I hardly own any usable clothes (I’ve been cutting back on spending and adding to bulk until I purge) he has enough socks to bury someone alive. And they were just laying there, clean, and in totally mixed up singles. I spent over 3 hours just folding and reorganizing laundry between his damn socks and rotating out the clothes that Allison had outgrown.
While I was folding, however, I realized that this was another area where I had been lacking patience. Right now I am entirely overwhelmed by life and unexpected motherhood and I haven’t been patient enough to realize that I have to see through these steps towards a bigger goal. I wanted to give the house a facelift but I have to reorganize its contents while I do it. Honestly, no one in the house was going to volunteer to help with it and I have to just get it done. So I am.
Same goes for this book. I’ve been scared to actually accomplish something, honestly, and finishing a book I started has been my weak point. I was a ghostwriter for people that took credit for my work and paid me pennies, but I had never actually had the same faith in writing for myself. I didn’t feel like I had a voice that people would be interested in hearing, but there was a family friend that always felt that my voice had value. I had promised her that I was going publish a book one day. Unfortunately, her passing made it impossible for me to ensure she was able to read it. But I owe her this one.
I need to learn that I am not going to magically fix everything overnight- and a lot needs fixing. I think I’m at a point where I am able to look at myself and my life and admit that I hadn’t been doing things to the best of my abilities. I don’t even think I’m a particularly good writer, either. But with patience, I can really accomplish a lot more than I could if I sat with my doubt like I have been for way too many years. I watched on the sidelines of my own life because I held myself back and thought I was helpless. I’m not helpless anymore.
I know what I want to accomplish and I know that it’s going to take a shitload of blood, sweat, and tears before I’m anywhere near the finish line. And even then, that just means that I need to push for something different. The push for growth should never end. We can always do more and do it better.
My list is intimidating, I’ll be totally honest about that. I’m not even sure if this is going to amount to another situation where I just psych myself up needlessly. But there’s a different kind of accountability here because I need to finish my thoughts. That would be a huge step towards the growth I need so badly. I want to be a winner this time.
I ask for your patience as you try to navigate my oddball thoughts and incoherent statements. I write as I speak and sometimes I just don’t make any frigging sense. My husband has witnessed many of my semi-false starts as I tried to get my thoughts together for each part of this book. I especially appreciate his patience with my journey because he’s seen the good, bad and the ugly. Now I’m ready to show him a little taste of the greatness he deserves from me.
There’s a greater payoff for me at the end of this, certainly, but one of the smaller perks I’m looking forward to is being able to emotionally purge the rough parts of 2018 so I can really embrace this process as someone who is no longer prisoner to past hurt or memories. I’ve never really taken the time to set myself right again so I am operating under the best conditions that I can be. I’ve always had some emotional or mental blockage that made me try a lot less than I should have been.
Maybe today will end up being the day I actually learn to have some faith in myself and push for what scares me. If I’m not scared, after all, am I really living? Am I really doing the gift of time the justice that it deserves? How can this baby learn that she is epic until I learn the same about myself?
As terrified as I am, I need this shift in my life. This child made me see the need for it and now I need to actually make it a reality. If it works, you’ll know. If it doesn’t, you’ll know. But I want to prove that anything is possible if we believe in ourselves and set the example. I want her to be a strong and confident person when she enters adulthood. She doesn’t need to be the one to learn from my past mistakes as much as I need her to learn from my wise decisions. I don’t ever want her to think that her circumstances will determine what an amazing soul she truly is, nor that she should ever limit her dreams.
Here goes nothing.