This past year has been a whirlwind of change for the Grey/Cristy household. Starting with hitting a wall, making difficult decisions about career and life-goals (the big one for me was making the decision to work at the Beats' daycare) and ending with a cross-country move that has strained us financially and emotionally (both Grey and I are missing Seattle more than we imagined). All of it taxing and yet filled with hope as we're beginning to see some paths forward.
Over the holidays, a theme of "thankful/grateful" emerged. Sure, there's lots to worry about. We still have a long journey ahead that is filled with so many more obstacles. But honestly, after living through infertility and all that was lost all of this seems very doable.
In 2012, Keiko Zoll published a radical post about being thankful for infertility. The timing of her words was a shock to me, as I was cursing this disease for all the grief and pain it had caused in my life. I remember reading Keiko's words and thinking that I was happy she can see the goodness, but that there was no possible way I ever would.
And yet, over the last 3 years, I've begun to be thankful and grateful too. Realizing that so much self-doubt was shed during that journey. Realizing that I learned what hitting bottom felt like, what being an object of pity meant and what it truly meant to be living as one who was left. That as much as I feared all those things, that the fear was far worse.
I learned that hitting bottom, though scary as all hell, meant a chance to start over, shed all fears and doubts and to start again. I learned that uncertainty opened doors I never knew existed as I was too focused on a certain path. I learned, also, how much stronger I was than I gave myself credit for. That the image I had held in my head for so long of being less and unworthy was not who I really was. I learned the motivational power of anger and the importance of asking "why." But most importantly, I learned that I deserved to love and be loved. All with so much help and guidance from the amazing people I've meant while on this journey.
Looking back, Grey refers to 2012 as the "year of the black." And yet I also remember all the rainbows. Something similar happened in 2015. There were certainly some dark moments, with us wondering how we would even survive (literally). But there are also those insane high points, like the first day I walked onto campus to start my postdoc and hugged my advisor E. And there were also the insane moments like sitting on the plane as a family of (2 cats, 2 kids and 4 suitcases that we would all live out of for the next 7 days) after somehow making it through security with the whole crew.
I guess my point is that 3 years later, I realize I too am grateful. Grateful for infertility and all it taught me. Grateful for all the lessons I continue to learn. Grateful to my family and that we have one another. And grateful to still be a part of this community.