Monday, April 2, 2012

bcc: in real life, chapter 1

I've been doing a lot of talking about expanding the content of Blue Collar Catwalk for some time, adding a healthy dose of life to all that style.  Over the last couple of months, I've written more about living life without fear and overcoming the bumps in the road to self-acceptance.  Now, it's time to explain why.

For the last year or so, I've felt disconnected from the person in my blog.  I've continued to write about my day to day life without actually writing about my day to day life.  So, here it goes...

Like many couples, John and I have decided to try to have a baby.  Exciting, right?  Well, not so much.  We made that decision nearly 2 and a half years ago.  And here we are ... still trying.  The experience has taken me through every emotion I could ever imagine, including a few I never wanted to imagine.  It's become one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with, and at the same time, one of the most defining experiences I will ever face.

I never in a million years thought it would be this difficult.  My life has been a series of goals, hard work and accomplishment.  That's how it works, right?  You can do anything you set your mind to, right?  Turns out, nature just doesn't work that way.

For a long time, this was something that I never shared.  Aside from John, no one knew.  Not even our families.  It was my dirty little secret, buried deep down and guarded from the world.  Part of me felt like a failure.  Why couldn't I do something that seemed so easy?  Part of me felt left out.  Every time I thought I'd be the one, it turned out to be someone else - friends and family that I never thought would be having children before me.  Then, there was the part that felt ashamed, embarrassed and broken.  And that was the part that was destroying me.

So, there it was.  Buried deep, deep down, yet completely and utterly consuming every aspect of my life.  Around the beginning of the year, it became evident that I had to talk about it, or it was going to crush me.  It had become a roadblock on every path to productivity, acceptance and happiness.  At first, I paid someone to listen.  Hey, why not?  If they were getting paid, they couldn't judge, right?  Then, I started talking about it with people who were mere aquaintences.  People I would never see on a regular basis and those whose reactions wouldn't really affect me.  Then, I started talking about it with a doctor, finally dealing with it instead of ignoring it.  Lastly, I shared it with my family.  Once I had a handle on it, I felt strong enough to share it with those who mattered most.

I cannot tell you how free I feel.  I had no idea how big one small, festering secret could grow - how invasive it could be.  I've felt more productive, motivated, creative and balanced in the last three months than I did all of last year.  I'm back in control.  Finally.

Last weekend, I spent some time driving by myself, which always leads to lots of self-reflection.  Now that I was in control of this thing, what could I do with it?  The answer was obvious.  I felt an over-whelming desire to write about it.  Excited (and nervous!) about my new direction, I asked John for his support.  It's obviously an incredibly personal topic, and I would never put it out there if I didn't have him behind me.  He was awesome.  Not only did he think it was a great idea, but even said he was proud of me for taking it on.

I know this seems completely out of the realm of a style blog, but I think we can all agree that this blog has always been way more than just style.  It's my life.  And everything in my life has been affected by this experience.  And that's what I want to write about.  Not only is it incredibly therapeutic to put words with all the emotions, but I desperately hope that my words and personal experience can help someone else.  Because that's the real kicker in all of this - for every person I know who's gotten pregnant, there's someone else I know who can't.  Unfortunately, we never talk about the latter.  And that's when the vicous cycle of a deep, dark secret begins.

So, this is chapter one.  The beginning of my story.  I have no idea how the story will end, but there's lots to tell in the meantime.  And I hope you'll be there to listen.

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