This past week has been a doozy. Trevor went on a trip to Texas last Friday and returned Monday, only to be put into isolation for another 2 days to await the results for his COVID test. That means that for 5 days I was alone for the first time taking care of Savannah. It taught me a lot of things – about myself, about how privileged I am, and how damn hard it was to be the sole caretaker for a 7 month old baby girl. The thing is though, after Trev got his results back (a beautiful Negativo) I realized that even though this had been arguably one of the hardest 5 days since having Savy, I still don’t have any reservations about the choices we’ve made to get here. I know I know, kind of late in the game to even think about that! But still – for me, that’s completely unheard of! For my 20’s, I lived with a lot of regret. Mostly from all of the things I left undone or never even attempted to do because of my insecurities or my constant fear of failing. But I never really felt proud of myself for anything besides the amount of money I’d make at work. I was always pretty proud of myself for choosing to be a server and making it work without any struggles, but even then I didn’t really choose to be a server, I was just too afraid to do anything else. So, when it came to having a child after getting married, you can probably understand my complete and utter fear at that notion. I mean, I didn’t even have my life together! Marrying Trevor was the only serious decision I had ever made but its nothing compared to having a baby. But we did it – and I don’t regret anything about my journey this past year and a half because it has really forced me to make changes. And a lot of those changes were long overdue. So, even though I turned 30 a month ago, I feel ready to make my list of things that I’m ok with leaving behind in my 20’s.
5. Wanting to Travel without my family
This one may seem kind of odd but its actually a big thing for me and Trev. We have traveled quite a bit together and it has become a big identifier in our lives. When we had Savannah, we knew that we still wanted to have trips where it was just us two and that we would leave Savannah with someone we trusted. Simple enough, right? But as the months have rolled by, I have realized that I don’t know if I agree with that anymore. We had a situation with some friends where we were all going to travel to Oregon together. They didn’t have any kids yet so when it was brought up that Savannah would come, they politely let us know that it may not be the best trip for kids. I’m not going to lie, it truly felt like a punch in the gut. Here is the first time that I’ve been forced to choose between Savannah and something I want to do – by a friend. It wasn’t a hard decision then and I’m not mad that they said that because I really do understand! Having a baby on a vacation may not be your cup of tea! But for us, we are parents now. That means that Savannah is a part of us – it’s not just Alex and Trev any longer, and it will never be again. And I LOVE that. So, after this situation I have made a little note in my mind that reads, “Trips where Savannah isn’t allowed to come, isn’t a trip for us.” And that’s the final word. We love traveling, its just such an amazing way to appreciate and experience the world. I undoubtedly want Savannah to experience that with us! Like, I get so excited thinking about showing her the mountains for the first time! Or a lake, or animals that aren’t native to Nebraska! (Lets be real, that’s basically anything that isn’t a bird.) But you know what I mean? I want to show her the world outside of these 4 walls! I can’t wait to be able to do that with her. And while others my want to do that alone sometimes, I no longer have that desire.
4. People who don’t want to hang out with Savannah
For those with kids, you know what I’m talking about. For those without kids, you may be like – ok, that’s a tad dramatic, who actually says they don’t want to hang out with your baby? The answer is – they don’t. I’ve only had one person actually say that it isn’t a good idea for her to be around, but that was a trip! How people usually communicate that they don’t want to hang out with Savannah is by saying nothing at all. Not talking about her, asking any questions about her, if I mention her name just kind of sliding past it with a noncommittal response – it’s like they think that if they don’t acknowledge her existence at all, that I wont ask if its ok if she comes. To those people I say, adieu! And it’s not because I’m like, “how dare you not want to hang out with my beautiful baby girl, shes cooler than you’ll ever be!” Which is true – my mama heart thinks shes the coolest thing to grace this earth since hydro flasks were invented. But it’s because I’m done with people making me feel insecure about my choices. It’s so odd, and not something I anticipated feeling when I thought about having my first child, but I had a lot of people make me feel like I had made a mistake by getting pregnant (ON PURPOSE. I had quite a few people not so subtly ask me if it was an accident,) and that I didn’t know at.all. What I was doing. I have said this before but I spent a lot of my early pregnancy depressed with the decisions I made in the past that led me up to that point. Mostly because I was in a tight bind as far as work, and its something I wish I could have changed. I wish I could change that part for myself. What I didn’t say was that I could literally feel peoples judgement radiate from them – even though I rarely actually had someone say something to me – and that was a major contributor to that depression. I told myself every day I woke up that today is going to be a day of change and I made good on that word up until the point of giving birth. We moved out from our downtown apartment into a wonderful house, I got a new teaching job, and I got my license! That last one was a massive move on my part…but people who do not want to really be around Savannah unconsciously judge my decision to have a child. And I just wont have that – I don’t have the time for thoughts like that. My free time is very precious to me so I want to use it in the best ways, but I never want to use it as an escape back to my old life, with the people who make me feel sad that this is my current reality. Because I love this new phase I’m in and I no longer desire negative energies to affect that.
3. Feeling like I don’t fit into a typical mold
Oof. This is a big one. I have to say this has been my #1 insecurity of my 20’s. I don’t remember a day going by where I didn’t think about this. I graduated high school, went to community college for 3 years, then went to a university for another 3 years, and then I just stayed at the job I had during college after graduation. I was 24 when I graduated college ( 3 years past the normal age when most of my class graduated) and I had absolutely zero prospects for jobs. I didn’t even know where I wanted to work or what I wanted to do! I had no desire to aim high for myself, I didn’t want to stand out – I just wanted to blend in. I wanted so badly to be like everyone else, to just get a 9-5 job, get my drivers license, hang out with friends at night or the weekends – all of the little Minuit details that go into fitting into this “mold” that I had created in my mind. I didn’t want to see people I knew come into BisonWitches and ask me what the f**k am I’m doing with my life anymore. I wanted to just KNOW. I wanted to just be like everyone else! To think I literally felt this way even in May of 2019, makes my heart ache a little. I had no idea that my entire life was going to change that month and that no, I was not going to be like everyone else when everything was said and done – but I would still love the person I’d evolve into during that short period of time. The person I am today has done a lot of putting myself second, and putting Savannah first. Thinking that way has helped me overcome so much in my mind, and I know people say that you shouldn’t change yourself for someone else, but I say forget that! It doesn’t matter what got you there, just as long as you tired! Having savannah has changed my current world and has also changed the idea in my head of what my life should look like. My 30’s are going to be for building onto this little family Trev and I have created – and just going where ever God leads us.
2. Being afraid to Fail
This feeling, of being afraid to fail, started when I was in college. I don’t know why or what promoted it, but it became this unbeatable monster in my mind. I felt like every thought I had would be questioned by, “what will happen if you fail?” I never allowed myself to think oh! It wont be that big of a deal. You’ll just either try again or move on! No, instead my mind was like, “oh yeah, good point lets not do that just in case.” Now that I think about it, that’s how I felt about getting my drivers license! I was terrified of failing so I never even tried it! I did take the written and driving test once – when I was 21. Writing test – passed, easy. Driving test – had an automatic fail, vowed to never return. And I didn’t for about 8 more years! I only went back and took the test that I had prepared for day and night for WEEKS, after I got pregnant and I told myself that I needed to start stepping up. It’s why I was still serving at my college job. I told myself (quite convincingly I might say) that I was choosing to be there because it allowed me to have the relaxed lifestyle I’d always wanted. True, I had a very relaxed life with zero complications – but I didn’t pick that job because of that. I stuck with serving because every time I went to apply to a job online, I would be struck with the paralyzing fear of, “what if I failed?” I would stare at the application for literal hours and then come up with some excuse on why I couldn’t finish. Oh, I didn’t hear back from one of my old jobs in time, or I don’t have my resume updated as much as I’d like, I’ll do this later. But later never came. I was scared of rejection from each place I’d apply at, I didn’t want to tell anyone that I had even thought about applying either! Since I didn’t even send them in, that was a failure all on its own. No, the easiest way to move past the feeling of failure was to not take any risks – ever. But having a child changed that mindset for me. Once I got pregnant, I tackled as many things as I could so I could help cultivate a beautiful life for our little one. Getting a house, getting a reliable job, and getting my drivers license helped propel me into a world where failure wasn’t the end of the world! No, instead it was chance to possibly do something wonderful. And if I did fail, as long as no one got hurt, I didn’t have to wait 8 years to try again! So, I’m not saying goodbye to all failure in my 20’s. No, I’m saying goodbye to being afraid of failure. I’m going to fail in my 30’s, that’s a given. But I got this.
- Not picturing my future
I remember when Trev and I first started dating, he asked me what I thought my life would look like in 5 years. I was 21 at the time and was like dang that’s intense – how should I know?! I could barely see my life up to graduation! And it was true. Maybe it was from the anxiety stemming from my fear to fail, or the fact that I didn’t fit into this perfect mold therefore I didn’t know what my life could look like, but I never could picture my future. Since being married, I have been able to see a little bit more, but no more than like, 3 years into the future. I know that sounds kind of weird, but I challenge you all to truly think about it! Can YOU picture what you want your life to look/be like in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? Living a life of very little change makes that actually pretty difficult. It’s easy to see how things could never really change from what you’re already doing, making it hard to visualize where you will be in 5, let alone 10 years. I suppose I never had a reason to want to picture a future. I just needed a reason, I suppose. Now, that’s not the case for everybody! And that’s ok. We all have to find our own motivation! With Trev’s help, I was able to find mine through our family. With them, I can picture what I want for all of us and what I want for myself. It didn’t happen all at once, more like a steady stream of circumstances and events that had me wanting more for our lives. It was such a natural progression that I didn’t even realize it until I started this blog! I’ve been able to talk through so much of the change that’s happened in my life since January, and add the pandemic into it, I love thinking about what our lives could be. Trev and I will just sit there and think of all of the places we want to move to for a couple years at a time and where we would want to call our forever home. For years, picturing the future just wasn’t a way my mind worked – but now, I thrive in the different possibilities. The why nots! I full believe the lord is with us on our journey here in this lifetime and he only gives us so much that we can handle. But he gave us free will for a reason – to be able to freely choose what kind of life we lead. It can all change in the blink of an eye, so I want to absorb as much of it as I can with a fresh mindset, with the people who make me feel like I can truly do anything.
Even if you aren’t 30 – either younger or older, what are some things you’ve learned to let go of? How has that changed your mindset moving forward in life? Are there things you hope to let go of at some point? I would love to heard 💛