If I knew then what I know now, nothing would be the same. I like it that way.
About eighteen months ago, my life changed in just about every way possible. I was a second time new mother, and learned that we would be moving across the country almost immediately. So, I started writing. I wrote to entertain myself, and to open up a venue where my family and friends could see where our urban travels took us. I wrote about my faux mullet and how swimming was oh-so-good for you, and eventually got brave enough to reveal my apprehension about leaving my extended family.
It seems that even since moving to New York City, my life has changed even more drastically due to my involvement in social media. That’s two complete life overhauls in 18 months.
I’ve been through every emotion, starting with fear. A fear that paralyzed me, quite frankly. Fear that I wasn’t adult enough to “make it” in Manhattan with my babies virtually alone. I found catharsis in sharing my struggles, fears , and monumental moments with the world, who even if it was TWO of you who were listening.
The fear turned into anxiety. The first couple of times I went grocery shopping, I nearly cleaned out our bank account. I stood in line with my two babes in the stroller, dragging an overloaded cart full of groceries behind me. Looking back, I was hoarding food like a mother bear before hibernation. It was HARD shopping with two babies out in the city. What once took 45 minutes to and from the market now takes no less than two hours. Add in the elements and subtract a vehicle and I was convinced that I needed FOUR gallons of milk in case I never made it out into the wild again.
I started traveling with the kids on public transportation. I’ll never, ever forget the feeling of sitting on a picnic blanket alone with both children, in the middle of glorious Central Park. It was our first trip together alone on the subway. I remember beaming with pride and feeling like all I was missing was a cape.
This is when the excitement set in. This city is remarkable, and I can actually live here. I started to feel the heartbeat of the city pound with my own as I walked the streets, to and from preschool, the post office, and, yes, even the grocery store.
The Winter came closely behind, and the temperatures stung with a ferocity that I have never seen. This California girl, no matter how tough I make it seem, can simply not hang with the cold weather. It was still new then, and when the snow covered the ground and kissed the buildings, I’m sure I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.
I made sure to document all of these new, exciting, daunting experiences. Soon, my faithful, beloved two listeners grew to more. I built a small army around me here and on Twitter who went to battle with me in some of my darkest hours. Sitting utterly alone and scared in the ER with my children while Justin was in California. Talking me off of the ledge while I was stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel with two vomiting toddlers. Rejoicing with me when my husband aced his tests and when Jack was finally potty trained.
All of this, it seems, has culminated into the last two completely insane weeks, between attending close to two events a day, writing for myself and various others, and appearing on a segment for the Nate Berkus show. I was shocked, thrilled, and humbled about being named one of Babble’s Top 50 Mom Bloggers. I’d say it’s been quite a fantastic run, and I am so grateful.
So fantastic, though, that it nearly derailed me entirely.
Most recently I experienced one of the scariest things to happen to my own health. What I thought was surely an impending stroke or heart attack, I carried myself to the doctor to find out that not only was I NOT dying, but my stress had manifested into severe anxiety. What shocked me was that the stress was actually stemming from being overwhelmed with deadlines, events, and other blog/media related things. All of which are GOOD things. AMAZING things.
I’ve come full circle it seems, dealing with this anxiety issue, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. Even if I had foreseen this insanity I would do it all over again.
Thank you, all of you, for being so supportive over the last year and a half. This has been one of the most amazing times in my life and I’m soaking it all up.