I used to think I was the kind of person who had (most of it) it all together. And then I had kids.
I love my kids. They’re mine. I love them.
But they have thrown my life for a loop I didn’t see coming, and then that loop transmorphed into a spiral of death and destruction.
Gotta love how good of a sentence that is, even if it is a terrifyingly true one.
I finished my master’s degree shortly after having my daughter. I got a job as a college professor. I wrote my books. Things seemed to be going well.
Except I was carrying around fifty extra pounds of baby weight, I was addicted to caffeine (even worse than usual) and I had a nervous breakdown about once a week over scheduling or money or other similar stuff. I had trouble sleeping and I didn’t like to move more than I had to, so my husband and my family had to clean up a lot and take care of me almost as much as I had to take care of my babies.
Well, it’s been six months since I got off of soda entirely, and about two since I broke my addiction to caffeine. My teaching contract expired, and I am writing full-time (which is a large part of the reason I’ve had a book out every month for the past four months) and because I am writing, it is easier to take care of the kids and help them learn to clean up and take care of themselves. I am even back at the gym throughout the week, and I’ve lost a good amount of the baby weight.
It’s going back to the gym that makes me the most happy and the most sad. And it’s the gym that taught me the most important thing about myself: I can’t go it alone.
I should know this. I should really know this. But I don’t. I learned from an early age that group projects would make my perfect grade take a hit, and I learned even more quickly that relying on teammates to help you do the work was a set up for disappointment. So I am unusually self-sufficient for my age, and indeed, among my friends.
It doesn’t always work out that way. At the gym, I have learned through personal training sessions and individual friendships how much I do need other people to succeed. I hate that, because it’s part of the way on them, then, and I love that, because that doesn’t mean that it’s all on me.
So you can’t go it alone. There will be times when you have to go it alone, and there will be times when you wish you had gone it alone. But life is not meant to be just me. I was very lonely in high school and even before that, so I encourage you to find a good friend or a community you can rely on to help make you into the better version of yourself you’ve been wanting to be.