Change of Outlook

At different times of life, you reach a point where you realize things have changed. As a kid, you never really notice how fast things are changing, and honestly you usually don’t care. But when adulthood comes, and the years have more meaning, these changes are powerful.

When I found out we were expecting a child, my mind literally could not handle or understand what was going on. I felt excited, fearful, freaked out, and nonchalant all at the same time. I didn’t know how to respond, so all I could do was continue moving forward with my regular routine. I told myself that I would eventually find the peace and excitement a new mom ought to feel.

It took weeks, though, before things started changing. I watched my belly get a little bigger and tried not to think that it was fat. When I finally began feeling our baby move, I realized that I was indeed pregnant. This realization threw me through another round of feeling scared and unprepared — but I also felt more excitement. A human was being formed inside my belly.

I’ve reached 25 weeks and only now have I begun to see the real changes in me. Yes, my belly looks definitely pregnant and Michael loves to flip and kick and do somersaults, making my belly jerk and sometimes my whole body. (He’s a strong little fella.) Beyond these outside changes, though, lies the crucial changes of the heart and mind.

It began last weekend at the Women of Faith conference in DC. Standing there with hundreds of other women, as well as the group of ladies I rode up with, my heart and mind were finally in sync with each other. For one moment I realized that I was no longer a young bride, but a mother. My responsibilities have changed, and my priorities have changed. My outlook on my own life and goals are changing. The way I look at myself is no longer a young married woman living the life with her sailor, but a mother whose special job is to care for the little one growing inside her. I felt humbled by those thoughts and really could not focus on the rest of the night’s sessions.

Being in DC again sparked another side of me that I have oftentimes hidden. I have an adventurous streak in me — which is probably why I have adjusted to moving from home so well. I always knew that I would be married and would have kids to take care of, but what about my personal, unique dreams? Everyone has them, and many never go after them. Was that something I wanted for myself?

Over the past few weeks changes have presented themselves to me in various forms. Getting the opportunity to be a part of the Honors Program shocked me, but I took a deep breath and accepted the challenge. Getting braces for my teeth is a very tough thing to do (not just dealing with how painful they are at first). I despaired at having to have them in for two years, and feared that I would look even younger with them AND be pregnant. But it’s all a matter of mindset and I took a deep breath and ran with it. I have an opportunity to participate in a writing contest — nothing too major . At first, I was excited that I could do it, but then I shrunk back and began talking myself out of it. What use was there, though, to receive these chances for my own personal life and do nothing? So, I took a deep breath and wrote my first draft for the contest.

Not only is my life as a married woman changing to being a mom, but also my personal life is changing from being OK with seeing my dreams as only dreams to actually making them happen. And it’s all a matter of the outlook one has. I can’t dream big and feel saddened by chances floating past me. I have to recognize what is laid before me and run with it. I can’t let opportunities for personal growth to pass me by just because it scares me.

There is no joy in life when there is no fulfillment.

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