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.