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the what ifs of IF …

Reading through another blog tonight I had a bit of a sad aha moment. I realised that I keep willingly putting my life on hold due to treatments and the what ifs of IF.

I am treading water.
I have put SO many plans on hold.
I am preventing my career.
I am turning my back on my art.
I am dismissing myself.
I am limiting my relationship.

How sad is that?!

When we moved over here I was SO excited and fired up about taking a break from teaching (I was a lecturer of Photography) and I’d been inspired by nurturing and supporting the development of my students craft. I was ready to really go for it. I was going to give my business the attention it deserved and allow it to become what I know it can easily be.

BUT … Instead I gave myself permission to take early retirement (if mr me asks I’m taking a career break!). As a photographer that mainly specialises in weddings I convinced myself it would be terribly unprofessional to book a beautiful lavish wedding eighteen months in the future! What if! What if I was preggers?! What if I had a teeny baby?! What if I was in the middle of a protocol?! What if?! Sigh…..

That was almost two years ago now. Two years that I’ve held myself back and as a result there is no area in my life where I’ve moved forward recently (other than my advancing years but I’m in denial about that!)

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been lovely! I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful wench! I know that having a mr me that’s able to support that crazy mindset is rare. I’ve learnt more about myself than I think I’ve ever known. I have almost cured my shopping compulsion! I’m healthier than I think I’ve ever been. BUT …

It’s been pretty much three years since I was diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and we started our dealings with fertility specialists and so far in that time I’ve only really attempted Clomid! I had an extended IUD treatment to reverse my hyperplasia to allow me to move on and that’s where we’re at.

In three years I’ve moved country and left my dream job but I’ve not really grabbed the opportunities that I know exist for me. I’m not realising my potential. What sort of lesson is that for my future child/children.

Do not hope!
Do not dream!
Focus so much on one thing that you forget to live.
Just sit in a bubble for extended periods of time. It’s ok! Your mother did!

No way! Nobody would ever give their child that advice?!

So my what if moving forward from here is going to be …

What if I try?! What if begin to embrace and pursue the person I want to become?! What if I take this shitty challenging situation and use it to become a stronger person?! What if I allow myself to see again?! What if I begin to capture the aesthetics that surround me?! What if?!

What I.F?!

Infertility is a condition that I’m dealing with … It does not define me.

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my mum told me …

When I was little my mum used to always stress that there’s an easy way of doing things and a hard way.  You know the sorts of chats that I assume come in the Mother Handbook the stork drops off when the time is right.

Anyways … I digress … 

My chats were pretty much always as follows:

Mum – “Study hard and get your degree while life is simple!  If you wait and do this when you’re older you’ll have the added pressure of a family and financial obligations and blah blah blah rhubarb” whilst I listened I don’t actually think she was 100% right!  Just as well this blog is pretty anonymous or she’d be super pissed!

i did go to uni and I followed the academic route.  I studied Engineering and I hated it!  So of course being the stubborn strong willed arse that I can be at times I packed it in before graduating.  It didn’t do me any harm.  I had enough of a technical background that I always managed to get good jobs off the back of it, oh yeah and!  I met my mr me through that course.  Waaaaaaay back in 1994!  Twenty years ago!  That’s crazy scary thinking I’ve known him that long!

As I say I really didn’t feel the love for Engineering and whilst I had a great salary and great colleagues I packed it all in to let my inner artist out.  I wanted to be a photographer and mr me wanted a happy wife “happy wife happy life!” Is his mantra!  So in 2004 I went back to education.  I had a mortgage, I had bills to pay, I had a car to run, I had a house to look after and a garden to tend.  But you know what I’ve never been happier!  It was a doddle!  I was a straight A student, I got student of the year at our final exhibition, I met some amazing friends, I loved every second of the three years I spent as a mature student.  And at the end of it I landed my ideal job!  As well as being a wedding photographer I was employed by the college where I studied as a lecturer!

Today as I was weeding, which I HATE doing, I started thinking about the easy way vs the hard way and trying to reflect upon the journey we’re on now.  This is FAR from the easy way!  BUT I’m ok with that.  I think that my past experience has kinda let me see that it’s not a blanket one size fits all route into parenting.  So tonight as I bow out aching from head to toe from the gym and my garden I’m feeling content.  I don’t want this to land on my lap without the effort, for me doing it this way is my way of being really committed and involved and engaged with the process.  It’s evidence that I do want this.  That I can cope with whatever may come my way.   

I hope that no matter what stage of the process you’re at that you’re all doing ok.  I know some days suck WAY more than others and you just don’t know 100% what day you’re going to get when you open your peepers bleary to the morning.  

But whether you’re following the easy route or the hard route just stay present as much as possible … 

Night night x