i’ve been working on my resume and job-hunting a bit this week, as i contemplate my new role as mother and career woman (or so i am hoping).
in perusing my files i came across a short essay i wrote for a vocational and occupational class i took in 2008 as part of my graduate education. it was to be my statement of intent—a declaration of my career goals and pursuits. i wrote it just one week after the first day of my very first miscarriage, when i found it difficult to declare even what i’d wear that day, much less what i was going to do with my life. my graduation was just a few months away and i didn’t care anymore…it reads as follows:
A mere eight weeks ago, my statement of intent may have read: when I graduate I plan to celebrate in a big way—months of celebration, culminating in a two week exotic vacation with my husband who consistently believes in my ability as a therapist even when I do not. Along with celebrating, I also intend to begin the process of setting up my private practice by securing office space and designing my webpage. I also intend to pursue possible agency work to gain experience and hours in a clinical setting. I set goals for myself including securing fifteen clients by December 2008 and creating an office space that reflects warmth, tenderness and safety. I felt like I would burst into the sky like a rocket ship from anticipation at the thought of embarking on fulfilling these goals and dreams.
Just four weeks ago, my statement of intent completely shifted when I discovered I was pregnant. Fear and delight gripped me at the thought of rearranging my timeline, my vision of what life would look like in the coming months as I would need to make an enormous amount of space in my life for a tiny little bundle. I had not previously known how deeply I desired to mother. Then, my intention was to put my professional aspirations temporarily on hold, perhaps facilitating a group one night per week until I felt freer to pursue my goals. I envisioned pushing back my “fifteen client” goal about two years from now. I was beginning to wrap my mind around the possibility of being a mom and a therapist as a new “timeline” began to take shape in me.
In the wake of my miscarriage, I no longer have a clue what in the world I will be doing (or even feeling like doing) tomorrow, much less in three months. At this moment in time the idea of making a declaration of my intentions, professing my hopes and dreams, feels unbearable. I feel enraged. I feel scared. As it turns out, I was on the rocket ship Challenger, which exploded in mid-air. In the wake of trauma and death, I am again so painfully aware of the fragility of life. Making declarations such as these requires a level of bold courage and hope that I am currently not able to locate within myself. However, I believe that tiny little pockets of hope are hidden among the ashes. I will wait for them to bubble to the surface and I will honor my desire by continuing to hope for a future as a therapist and a mother, whatever shape that will take. When I graduate, I intend to remain close to my heart, give myself as much space as possible to grieve and heal, and retain the tenderness and passion I have come to love about myself as a therapist. Beyond that, I am unable to say at this point. I will keep you posted.
may i say, i am SO relieved to be past those early, early days. i do not know how i got through them…i do know that i felt clueless as to where i was headed or why.
and while the memories of my much desired pregnancies remain ever with me, i feel so different today. i feel content in a new way that i’ve not previously known. i feel inspired to pursue my career goals more freely and more fully than i have up to this point. i feel empowered.
and i still don’t have a clue where i’m headed…but i know where i’ve been and i believe and trust that my biggest asset today is my ability to find my way through those painful, horrific seasons with some sort of dignity.
what i know now that i didn’t know then is that i’d one day have a lil’ bear whose smile melts my heart to no end.
and she’s exactly 12 weeks old today!