If I had the ability to time travel, to do things again, to change my future, I would choose to keep the memories and offer up the time machine on Buy Nothing. Ten years ago I was a newlywed who had just bought her first home and was contemplating parenthood. I was a twenty-something, blonde, supervisor at Costco who had just quit smoking and hadn’t made a piece of art or touched a sewing machine in years (who even was I?)! I had no earthly idea what the next ten years would bring.
I know its been said to death, but the pivot point of my life was becoming a mother. I’ve always been “maternal” in nature, maybe it’s the Pisces in me, a natural caregiver. I went into the whole motherhood thing thinking it would be an extension of who I already was, a blossoming of goddess-like creation and protection. I was so damn naive! Being pregnant was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve done. It sucked from beginning to the 28-hour-labor, emergency trip to the hospital end. Basically my entire 2010 was pregnancy; WELCOME TO THE DECADE!
I did not immediately bond with the human I made. In fact, I’m not sure we’ve ever bonded in the ways that you are indoctrinated to expect. We are VERY different people, my son and I. Would I do anything for him? Of course. Am I grateful that I get long breaks from him? Absolutely! I am a much better mom because I don’t parent full time. I am also a much better mom for having some amazing co-parents who have completely different world views and skill sets than I.
And then that “twinkle in my eye” became a person, and then became a person “with a disability.” And my world shifted on its axis again. Before his diagnosis, I think my sum knowledge of autism was from “Rain Man.” I sometimes have to remind myself of that fact when facing down the ignorant masses. I also have to remind myself, even while writing this, that his diagnosis is not his identity, nor is it mine. BUT, it did frame my life for a good part of this decade, and so I look back on it. It also was an influential factor in my decision to become a self-employed maker-of-things. You can read elsewhere about my journey to my current business, but suffice it to say that I wouldn’t have done it without all the rest.
In this past ten years I have made some startling self-discovery, mostly through the services of a really good therapist. I learned how to advocate for myself. I learned to advocate for others. I learned how to be a slightly better ally (there’s still a lot to learn here.) I learned that success, in whatever you deem important, doesn’t matter as much as we’re told it does. I learned that I don’t need much. I learned how to love, and how to be in love, which also, ultimately led to my divorce partway through the decade.
You have perhaps met Raina at a con or event. If you have, you can definitely see why I adore her. She is so much better at remembering your face than I am. She is also much better at follow-through and planning then me. Raina makes up for so many of my deficits and my life is so much better with her in it. As much as I am grateful to have found my person, I am also grateful for the other parts of my family, including our son’s other parents (and grandparents)! I am grateful for the grace in parting and support in being a blended family. I definitely deserve all of you, and don’t deserve any of you, and love you nonetheless!
The resounding theme of this decade, for all the changes it wrought, has to be acceptance. I’ve learned to accept myself and have gratitude for the person I am. I’ve learned to accept the past, with gratitude for the path it set me upon. I have had to accept my limitations, whether I want to or not. I am struggling to accept the world, and meet it where it’s at. I’ve voted in every election this decade, and plan to in the next. I’m down one gall bladder, one uterus, and one full-time job. I’m up one offspring, one amazing life parter, one semi-successful creative business, and one supportive and inspiring community of humans (that’s you)!
I am so full of gratitude to you all for supporting me! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!
Love all; all love,