2021 Keyword: Reflection

I had to take a step back from work this year.

Unfortunately, I had to do so. But fortunately, I got to do that. Because I was told by a health professional that I needed time to heal. And in my heart, I knew I did.

Starting in March, I was on this journey called “healing while being pregnant”. It was chaotic in my head — many thoughts, sadness, anxieties, fears… I didn’t know when and how to start to feel better, what to do to make myself feel a little bit better. Even a painkiller would have done the trick.

But there’s no real healing from quick solutions like taking painkillers.

Pain is part of this journey. It can’t be erased. It can only be transformed.

And transformation needs time.

My instinct was to not think about anything else in my life but focus on my pregnancy. Yet the pregnancy can’t prevent me from thinking about my own mother, who passed away not long ago. 

Life has given me time to work intensively on the biggest trauma in my life. 

Because I needed time. If I kept working and running around in this world, this wouldn’t be possible.

Interesting timing.

So I started thinking about the word “motherhood”. Never pondered on it. Ever.

As someone who never wanted to become a parent, I pushed myself into finding the little hope in my heart, shining through the cracks in a think brick concrete wall called “cynicism”. And that, the “cynicism”, was just fear wearing a mask.

What came with the hope I found was reflection. Day and night.

I reflected on myself. Who am I and who do I want to be? Where does this kid stand in my world when it arrives?

I reflected on my mother. Who she was and how she was like as a mother?

I reflected on my own childhood. How was it and what has possibly caused me to be me today? Both the pleasant and the unpleasant parts.

How do other people raise their children? What kind of mothers are they? 

I watched documentaries about babies and read books on children’s early development. I saved articles on the psychological impact of childhood on people, and mother-child relationship dynamics and their effects on the children’s lives.

I was restless.

Now I’m here. A baby in my arms.

I feel happy and peaceful.

I still relentlessly reflect on everything. I’m here, and still going on the journey of healing.

But I’m proud to say it’s been going well.

I’ve started this journey and been doing well without even noticing it. 

All thanks to focusing on my one and only task: learning about motherhood and parenting through reflection.

And when gratitude comes as a by-product of this process, healing is working in the background, silently.


2021 Keyword: Courage

The end of February of 2021 gave me a huge surprise.

“I’m going to be a mom.”

It was also a challenge.

At first, it’s like for most people: “What? Okay. I’m not sure what just happened. I’m going to need time to digest this very brief but implication-rich information and to process all the emotions heading to my brain…”

When all the reasons noising in my head, my gut made me realize that it was the right thing to do.

So I have done something that I don’t usually do easily: I gathered all the courage in me and listened to my gut. I normally would think and calculate for a long time, and often go with my reason, even if it’s against what my instinct tells me.

But this time, instinct was overwhelmingly strong. So I said: “Challenge accepted.”

It was not an easy journey.

Hell, it was extremely hard, especially at the beginning.

The instinct was strong, but not new.

What’s new was that courage to follow that gut feeling, that instinct.

I was not a fan of children. I couldn’t imagine myself being a mother. I still need to work and develop myself professionally. I still want to make my own dent in this world. I still have so much I want to do before it’s too late…

But amidst all that noise, I felt this was right.

So I just went for it, even though I would need that great courage during this year again and again.

Now I’m here, with a new person in my life, who I don’t need courage to protect — because that’s just default, and default doesn’t need courage — I’m thankful.

The courage to trust my instinct made the best of my 2021.

There’s a reason why the road is long and wearying.

Because nature’s way is tough but rewarding.