“I’ll just wait and see…”
This is a phrase I’ve found myself uttering more times than I can count over the last few months. This is also a phrase, before finding out I was pregnant, that I’m not sure I’ve ever uttered.
I don’t particularly like to wait and see.
I touch base with my desires, down my twin shots of enthusiasm and energy, and dive headfirst into new plans. I make things happen; I don’t wait and see…
Backpack around the world? Yes please! Start a business without any formal credentials or financial backing? Bring it on! Live out of my car for 5 months on a honeymoon/speaking tour/adventure around the US? Sounds awesome!
I am an activator at heart. I plan and plan and plan and then I jump. I get juiced by action, summits, putting things out into the world. I work hard for as long as I can, getting my kicks from pushing and creating and experiencing. Sometimes I end, weary and spent, with skinned knees and tear soaked pillows. Sometimes I end invincible, sparkling with success and hungers fed.
Either way, I’ve always had pride in my ability to dream something up and execute it.
This fearlessness can be seen as gift. A strength. A hot commodity.
But part of me knows this seeming fearlessness comes from fear itself.
I’ve never really trusted that things (life, dreams, the good stuff) will happen without me carrying some of the weight. Without me relieving some of my anxiety through type-A planning and measuring-my-worth through-productivity kinds of 14-hour days. Without me pushing a little or a lot as needed.
There’s fear that I won’t be the woman I want to be or lead the life I want to live without continually trying really, really hard.
In October, I found out I was pregnant. It was wanted and I was ready. But all of the sudden, I wasn’t sure what I was pushing so hard for…
As I started liberally throwing around “I’ll just wait and see” to friends, family and clients as the answer to their questions about my upcoming plans, I started actually believing myself.
For perhaps the first time in my life, I’m truly not sure what my plans are…
Will I return to work as I know it? Will I become disenchanted with the online world when I have a wonderfully alive and tiny precious person in my arms? Will I feel deliciously creative, warrior strong, and ready to conquer my professional dreams (as some have predicted)? Or will I tighten my attention to my close circle and live in the cocoon of my husband and baby boy, without giving a damn about my site or my coaching practice (as others have predicted)?
I don’t know. I’ll just have to wait and see. I’ve never been a mama before. I have no idea what I’ll be craving, what’s going to seem right for my journey and for my family.
All I know is that trust seems to be coursing through my bloodstream right now.
Trust yourself, Molly. Don’t push this experience. Let it unfold in its own time. No calendars with To Do lists. No trying to do it “right” or “perfectly”. No judgment. No unrealistic expectations. Just buckets of love and trust and presence.
Love and trust and presence.
I suppose there are a few things I do know…
I do know I want to be present for the joy and hardships equally. To treasure the newness and the crazy permanency of it all. To give myself the grace to be okay with having no clue what I’m doing and asking those who might have a hint on where to start.
I want to keep my mantra of “I’ll just wait and see” and mean it with all my heart. Eyes wide open. Ready to embrace the unknown. Honoring the changes in my world without wishing that I felt, looked, acted, loved, or worked any differently.
The realization? I can’t control or plan or strong-arm my life in this next phase of my journey. I’m not losing myself or my fearlessness or my activator superpower, I’m just trusting that I’ll recognize the next steps when they appear.
Perhaps this is the first lesson my child is teaching me – we’ll just wait and see together.
Learning to Trust the Unknown:
An update 10 months later.
Reading that again, it reminds me what a bewildering journey it is to be pregnant for the first time.
You don’t know what you don’t know! I remember telling people that I wasn’t scared of birth (I think that it’s totally a natural thing for our bodies to do) but that I was terrified about caring for tiny precious person because I had no idea what to do. I have never really been around babies, haven’t changed diapers or babysat infants, so I felt clueless.
I had signed up for an infant care class, but then ended up delivering 2 weeks early, so we never got to go!
Luckily, as everyone tries to assure you, you just figure it out. When and how to get the little guy to latch on, when to change him, when he needs to snuggle on your chest, how much time he can take in the car seat, stroller, or coffee shop, how to best comfort him.
You’ll make mistakes, of course, and there will be times when the unknown is completely overwhelming; but you *will* find your family groove.
But the crux of that original post wasn’t really about my baby, was it? It was about me.
The post was about wading into the unknown of how having a baby was going to change ME.
And that part of my update is still evolving. There are a lot of pieces I still don’t know, but I do feel secure about my professional choices right now.
(I don’t think this is going to shock any of you…)
Since I’m here — writing and coaching and plotting our new site — I’ve obviously not ditching Stratejoy to become a cheesemaker (as I threatened) or to retreat into the safety of j-0-b with insurance and benefits (as sounded somewhat appealing). In fact, when I was on maternity leave and taking a break from client work to care for Max, I became crazy creative. I think my brain had space to dream because I wasn’t dealing with a lot of day-to-day work like emails, holding energy for my clients, or leading groups. In the four months I took “off” I made huge decisions about the future of Stratejoy and dreamt up Elevate Mastermind.
The funny part about all of it? It actually doesn’t feel that hard. Busy, yes; but hard, no.
I’ve stopped doing things that I feel like I should (I’ve revoked my answer every email policy and answering every tweet and keeping close track of all my colleague’s launches) and concentrated my efforts on the parts of my business and my life that I really love.
Client work where I help facilitate connections? Yes please. Spending evenings with my husband? Oh yah. Getting back into writing? Of course. Playing with the Bean? I adore it. Dreaming up offerings that have crazy huge value for you and for me? Just the thing.
I think my manta of “just buckets of love and trust and presence” is totally working for me right now.
Whomever predicted, “you’ll feel deliciously creative, warrior strong, and ready to conquer my dreams” was right.
(Here’s looking at you, Pam Slim!)