Every now and then, I am reminded of how much of an impact giving birth continues to have on my life. I was not thinking about my goals when my water broke, but they were on my mind by the time my vaginal birth was over. As much as I was told to get rest, I was dealing with insomnia in the hospital. Since I could not sleep, I found myself thinking and writing about my goals more than usual.
It’s not that I never had goals prior to giving birth, but I was afraid to pursue them. Certain things I wanted to take place did not work out, so I began to believe I was not meant to become a journalist. I thought my career trajectory was supposed to look a certain way and I also thought I was going to be “too old” to have a career. Ageism settled into my mind because I saw my peers receiving their bachelor’s or master’s degrees while I only held an associate’s degree. On top of that, I was employed in the legal industry, which was the opposite of what I wanted to pursue.
I ended up giving up on myself for a couple of years and fell into a repetitive rut of going to work, paying bills, and venting in my journal. When Atlanta experienced its first lockdown because of the pandemic, that was the first time I picked up a pen to write short stories. I stopped writing as a means of venting and began to write because I enjoy it. When I received a positive pregnancy test months after that, I found that my creativity was reignited. But, again, it was actually giving birth that made me feel like I could truly pursue my goals.
When I received a positive pregnancy test… I found that my creativity was reignited.
During maternity leave, I began to research and reached out to the school I received my associate’s degree from about their communications program. Once I learned I only have six terms to complete, I felt it was a sign to finally pursue my bachelor’s degree. I did not tell anyone I was going back to school until my second week, but something took place right before that. Around the time I decided to go back to school, I started to pitch articles to various online publications. I was still afraid, but my determination was stronger than fear.
I believe giving birth showed me that I did something I felt was impossible. I am not a fan of pain, but I spent hours breathing through contractions to birth my son. I did something I thought I couldn’t and boosted my confidence in myself in the process. By no means did it make me resilient because I am everything but that. However, it showed me that I can stare fear in the face and move forward anyway.
I believe giving birth showed me that I did something I felt was impossible.
I also have to credit my son for encouraging me to pursue my goals. The physical act of giving birth is one thing, but now that he is born? That in itself is another thing. There is something special about seeing his face each morning that ignites my passion for life. He generally wakes up happy and is always interested in what I am doing. I could be sitting on the floor simply relaxing, and he thinks it’s amazing.
I guess a part of me thinks, “If he’s amazed when I’m not doing anything, then wait until he sees what I am accomplishing.” It’s funny because I told myself my children would not be the reason I pursued things. While he does inspire me to shoot for the stars, I know I am finally at a point where I am pursuing my goals for myself. That means a lot to me, especially since I thought I would never reach this point again. It’s not easy to pull yourself out of a dark hole once you’re in it.
I am now in the process of receiving my bachelor’s degree and am fortunate enough to be starting my journalism journey. I know it may seem like a lot, but I don’t feel as if I am biting off more than I can chew. I feel invigorated and alive in a way I have not felt in such a long time. I truly get a kick out of going to school online and writing articles throughout the week. It gives me something to look forward to.