So I wasn't going to write another blog until 2014, but as I reflected over the past year and the crazy roller coaster ride it's been, I realized I had another post I needed to write.
2013 by far has been the most amazing, terrifying, saddest, happiest, hardest year of my life. In the last twelve months I experienced some of the most intense emotions since my brother passed away fourteen years ago. Nothing prepared me for what I went through this year. Here are the top 13 highlights of 2013:
1. Childbirth. Magical, terrifying, beautiful, ugly. Something I never want to go through again yet I'm happy I did it.
2. Becoming a mom. I never envisioned myself being a mother because I've never viewed myself as the mothering type, yet here I am with a gorgeous baby girl who is about to turn 1 in a few weeks. She is the light of my universe and now that she's here, I can't imagine life without her.
3. My first real surgery. I've always been scared of going under the knife, but when the IUD perforated my uterus, I knew I had no choice. Happy to say, all went well.
4. Postpartum depression. Kicked. My. Ass. But guess what, I kicked his ass right back. Thank you mediation, yoga, swimming, supportive friends, and Zoloft for backing me up.
5. Learning the fine art of Balance. Working 40 hours a week, full-time mom, and trying to write has been a struggle. I might never be a professional juggler in circus, but I've got skill, baby.
6. Letting go of expectations. Motherhood is the best teacher in releasing control--not that I'm not in control of my life, but sometimes things just need to be allowed to play out. They don't always turn out the way I wanted them to, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
7. Accepting help. Another thing I've learned as I was thrown on the deep end of the motherhood whirlpool is I can't do everything alone. The whole saying "it takes a village..." yup, it really does.
8. Discovering my limits. Childbirth pushed my pain limit over the edge and postpartum depression shoved me down to the slimy bottom of the bog of ultimate suck, but by doing so I learned to set boundaries and take better care of myself so I can be the mother, wife, friend, daughter, and citizen of society that I want to be.
9. Passing my CTR exam. In my day job, I work in the cancer registry for a local hospital. I LOVE my job. This fall I took the Certified Tumor Registrar exam (4 hour test, by the way) and passed even though I was completely sleep deprived, didn't have much time to study, and I was going through another bout of depression. I don't know how it happened, but am glad I have that credential behind my name.
10. Watching my daughter grow. The best part of motherhood is seeing your offspring discover the world around them and learning how everything works.
11. Learning to write again. Pregnancy and motherhood did a number on my brain. In the last year and a half I have only written one novel (my YA mermaid fantasy) and started about 10 different stories, but never finished them. Any attempt to focus on one project was like trying to empty the Pacific ocean one teaspoon at a time. But I didn't give up and discovered I had something else inside me I never knew existed.
12. Starting a new blog. As I began exploring new ways to express myself through writing, I knew I needed to start a blog that focused on motherhood, pregnancy, and all things modern day women face today. http://urbangoddessrevealed.blogspot.com/
13. Completing my first nonfiction book. Last week I finished writing the last chapter of a memoir/self-help book about postpartum depression and ways I was able to kick it's ass. Urban Goddess Mama is about 20K words long and will be self-published sometime in February or March of 2014. I never thought I would write nonfiction, but when I started documenting my journey over the last year, I knew I couldn't keep this to myself. There are other mothers out there who struggle and if my story can help lessen their suffering, then putting myself out there is well worth the effort.
There you have it. Happy New Year everyone.