For close to a year, I resisted beginning the adoption process because I feared losing myself as a person.
At the time, I worked 60+ hour weeks and locked myself in a closet in order to finish editing Come Alive and rarely showed myself in public because therapy had me in emotional lockdown and I didn't know what it meant to socialize and work through trauma.
Even in the fall, when it looked as if we'd be expecting a baby girl come November, I hesitated to find the excitement because holy cow a tiny human. In my arms. In less than a few months.
And when it fell through, I did lose myself for a little while. For months I'd looked toward motherhood as my next big task. I'd launched my book, I found my groove with my blog, and I was 10,000+ words with a new manuscript. So who was I if my next step ended up being a mirage?
[enter Story Unfolding]
There's an article I use in my Story101 course that talks of breakthroughs coming with a fever. Whatever your "breakthrough" may be, it typically follows some type of emotional or physical upheaval. Whether it be a dream deferred, financial crisis, a failed adoption or the flu, for whatever reason creative people often find clarity in the midst of these difficult situations. For me, my clarity came after copious amounts of Gossip Girl episodes and side eye glances toward my laptop. I couldn't imagine finding creativity again. I couldn't picture what it meant to dream because what I thought was my dream, just being a mother who wrote and published books, it all fell through my grasp so easily.
I don't know anything about what it means to take over responsibility of a tiny human. I do know it's a lot of work.
I also know those months of disappointment following our failed adoption in the fall served as a special sort of refinement for my dreams and who I wanted to be as a woman and mother.
I want to be a mother who pursues her dreams
I want our son to wake up in his rocker sitting next to me or in the carrier resting on me and see me typing away on my laptop because it's what I love to do. I want him to know we are a family who breathes life into dreams and doesn't give up because of a shift in schedule or an unexpected wrench in our plans.
I want to be a woman who doesn't lose her creativity with the birth of her child, but finds a deeper well because of the love and inspiration flowing through her veins as she watches her son discover his hands. I want to capture the delight of hearing his first laugh, or experiencing that first slobbery kiss, or watching him run to greet his dad at the end of the day.
Here's what I believe: I'm not losing my life when our son comes home. I'm gaining a whole other dimension. And while my schedule may seem a little whacked out and while I've allowed time and space for margins those first few weeks, I have every intention to continue to pursue this creativity that pulses through my soul because I have to and because I know in the deepest parts of me that it will make me a better mother.
So. Starting today, I'll be posting my thoughts on creativity+motherhood every Saturday. With exception for June, where I have a few friends on the docket for some guest posts that first month with our son, I'll be wading in these waters of what it means for me as a new mom who needs writing as an outlet. I'll wrestle through priorities, schedules, rhythms...maybe share some lessons learned and new things I'm trying. All of them will be bent toward encouragement and reminders that no one is perfect and we're all in this messy pursuit together.
In the fall, I viewed motherhood as a task. A job. I assumed it would take up every.single.second. leaving me with no breathing room for other things.
I'm realizing now it's a both/and. It will take up every second of my day. It will leave me with what seems to be no breathing room at times. But that will leave me breathless and inspired by the absolute magic of it all. Motherhood is not a task or a project or a job. It's love in action. It's life in motion. It's tripping and stumbling and swinging and flying and soaring and careening toward a single hope that this soul now in our care will know one day just how much we loved, just how much we prayed, just how much we waited for him to come home before his name was even a thought or a whisper on someone's lips.
It's Beauty and Risk and Authenticity and Freedom and Healing.
And for this, I will write.