This pregnancy is already so different from my first. 1. I had morning sickness my entire first trimester, which NEVER happened with Amari. 2. I’m on my feet all day on the wards, and it’s a STRUGGLE. 3. My body is just not that young whipper-snapper anymore (Read: I pee a little when I sneeze, bruh).
The biggest, and perhaps most difficult adjustment to this pregnancy has been the realization that I can’t call my mommy and share the news with her. It has been the realization that she’ll never know this child, and that my children won’t get to experience her goodness. It’s been devastating. Up to this point, I thought I had being doing well to manage my grief, but becoming pregnant forced me to realize that I still have a ways to go. I keep most things to myself, get through them, and write about them later so that I don’t make other people uncomfortable with my shifting energy. Handling things this way has led to a very empty me. I’ve always been a highly productive human, but my level of busy has never been a reflection of my level of wholeness. And this pregnancy has forced me to sit with that.
EMPTY CUPS DON’T POUR. We can’t give what we don’t have. I’ve finally bumped my head enough times to understands that these workouts I’m about to start serving, this inspiration mixed with cuss words on the daily, and my ability to pour into my family and my patients won’t exist unless I take care of me. And I mean REALLY take care of ME (Read: not just squat for a side picture of the muscle pump).
The fact that I’ve been able to make it through my mother’s death without failing a single test, keep my son alive and thriving, start businesses and maintain decent health is more a testament to me not knowing how to be anything but busy than it is to growth and healing.
The fact that I still have people in my corner says more about their patience and love for me than anything I’ve been able to consistently offer them. If I’m being honest, I’ve been disappointed by most of the people I thought were better friends. We live in a world where people think that posting on social media substitutes for real-life interaction. We believe that online activity indicates that everything is okay. While I’ve been able to let go of my anger towards folks and restore most of the relationships that matter to me (read: I came to terms with the fact that I’ve been that sh*tty friend too), I still haven’t been able to make peace with how WE function as a society. Social media is certainly a wonderful tool for engagement with personal and business platforms. However, it isn’t a replacement for real-life accountability and maintenance of relationships. Nothing is a substitute for really supporting your friends.
My goal, as I raise two little humans and build my brands, is to get better at actually seeing about people. I want to be the friend I’ve needed for the last two years. I want to tell people I love them (Read: sometimes “I love you” will sound like “you f*cking up,fam,” 🤗). I want to operate these businesses and my social media platforms from a place of sincerity. Which means, I really have to do the work.
I’ve never been more thankful than I am in this moment. There’s still a TON of work to be done, but for the first time in my adult life, that work will be done with the understanding that I can only give my gifts to the world if I am operating from a place of fullness. I’ve never been more certain that no matter what circumstances arise, my response to them is 100% all that matters. Everything that has happened in my world has been a catalyst for my growth. My mother’s death forced me to interact in this world without her covering and guidance, and learn to be autonomous. My first kid was the drive I needed to keep going and not give up in that world. My second kid brings the awareness that continuing to merely survive is not the same as the choice to thrive in that world.
When I tell you that my businesses are about to take off, that my bounce-back is about to be something vicious, and that I’m an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend and almost-doctor, it isn’t with false arrogance fueled by social media likes and the approval of others anymore. It’s with the awareness that I am finally operating from a place of intentional self-care, and there’s absolutely no reason to be humble about the journey it took to reach that kind of intentionality.