The final stage of active labor is transition. It is the most painful. I wept and moaned and cried during labor. But during transition? In transition I got quiet. I was scared. Scared and excited about what was surely going to happen next.
Transition is hard. Even when I am not preparing my body to deliver a baby I have been known to get quiet as I move my mind and body in to a new stage of life.
I have been quiet. And reflective. I think I am in transition.
I have been reading about the idea that we all reinvent ourselves every seven years. According to a lot of medical research all of the cells in your body are replaced every seven years. Granted, you do not wake up to a brand new body overnight. One cell at a time your body rejuvenates itself. And who I am today may actually be a different physical person than I was seven years ago. It stands to reason that I would feel different emotionally, spiritually.
Seven years ago I felt it happening. I was a new mother. My marriage was dissolving. I didn’t know what my future would look like but I could see small stretches of the path to get there. There were tears and glasses of wine and friendships forged and promises made. I moved my body hundreds of miles from my home. I got a new job. I made new friends. The change was slow and painful. I fought against it even though I knew my smile would be brighter when it was over. I held on to bitter moments because I thought they defined me. And perhaps because I wasn’t sure who I was going to be if I let them go.
It’s happening again. The quiet. The quiet that precipitates evolution.
Change is hard when you aren’t running from anything.
And so I run in place. Or around and around my neighborhood. But I still don’t know where I am going.
I have been home with the kids for a year. I don’t want to leave them.
I have been married for three years in April. I am still over the moon for my man.
I am putting down roots in my community. I don’t want to move.
I have been writing here for almost four years. I don’t want to stop.
I have a dozen drafts in my files. Half-written essays abut the girls and motherhood and fitness and my velour sweatsuits. But none of it speaks to me. If it doesn’t hold my attention it won’t hold yours.
Change is paralyzing. Odd that growth makes me feel so frozen solid. As my mind races and my cells replace themselves I can’t seem to make a complete thought.
My big girl is reading chapter books and Tiger Beat magazine and painting her nails with her friends. My baby girl is eating a sandwich and chasing the dog in a itty bitty track suit. They are growing so fast. Days are moving so quickly and I can’t hold on tight enough. I am running short on the time needed to sit at the keyboard and write it all down. As soon as I sit down to finish a thought I no longer really feel that way anymore.
My girls are growing fast all of a sudden. And so am I.
I don’t know what will become of my girls. But I know that no matter who they turn out to be they will be fine. Because they are loved. And I know that someday we will look back at pictures of their childhood and laugh and say “Of course! They couldn’t have become anyone else!”
And I know that days, weeks, months from now – when my transition is over – I will laugh and say “Of course, this is the path I have always been on.” But today? Today I am not really sure where I am going. But I know I will be fine. Because I am loved.
I’ve now decided, babies should always be in track suits!!
Ha, yep. Always.
What a good point about re-inventing yourself every seven years! Having just had a newborn last week – I remember that transition so well and appreciate your words of wisdom as they relate to other uncertain times of change… I never thought of that, but it’s interesting looking back in seven year increments, which I can also identify in others. Love your blog and this post!
Thanks a bunch! A week!! Oh man…. sniff that baby head for me, please.
Amazing post. Your words really resonated with me. Just today, I wrote this on Facebook (and am trying to accept/believe it): “Sometimes when life guides (shoves?) you in a certain direction, you just have to go along — even if you can’t see where you’re going.”
You are right. Sometimes you gotta fake it ’til you make it.
Great post, great timing with my own changes and transitions in life. Love the photo of the baby in her track suit. She may not know where she’s going, but it’s irrelevant: she’s going and that’s what matters.
That makes a lot of sense about our cells changing. I am trying to come to terms with the idea that I will always be evolving, and struggling to not beat myself up for not reaching some ultimate state of being. I think we will always be running. Sometimes, as you mentioned, in place and other times a cross country sprint.
As with all things finding the balance that makes you fel good bout just treading water most days is key.
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This is all very exciting. I feel in transition too, but it doesn’t feel good…I am, however, an anxious one by nature. Change freaks me out almost as much as stagnation. I’ll be rooting for ya, or whatever it is that people do in these situations…quietly look on? Peek into windows? Place bets?
Feel free to peek in the windows. Just tell me when so I can suck in and look fabulous. ;)
I feel more like I’m spinning plates at the moment but I have been and probably will be where you are again. Transition is scary but you’re right, you’ll end up on exactly the right path. I love the love you have for your family. It’s beautiful and fierce. Much like you.
That is an awfully nice thing to say… Thank you. I long to get to the spinning plates part again… that is where I feel good!
This is so refreshing. I call it “stuck” – that phase where you *know* you’re headed somewhere, but you have no idea where or what the path looks like. You’re bumping up against the gate, waiting to charge through. You’ll know the sound of the start when it’s called, but you won’t know it until then. So you just wait, and spin your wheels a bit, charging up for what’s to come – quietly.
It’s not the same as this, but it feels to me like we’re in similar places. God help the world when we both get through the quiet of transition….we shall be deafeningly loud. <3
Deafening, my friend.
Change is paralyzing. Odd that growth makes me feel so frozen solid. – Wow! this is powerful and puts into words how I have been feeling. Oh – it’s just that change shit! LOL
Ha. Dammit, Change!!!
Love. Such an important thing. I am glad you and your children are loved. Wherever your path may take you, may it always contain love.
I am fairly certain it will. I am a lucky girl. :)