• Katie

The Aftermath

I haven't had any words; for anything, for a long time. For the last few months every time I tried to write anything, I just, had run out of words - and I didn't have the energy to go looking for them until now.

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard enough to handle on its own. Then in April 2020, I found out I was pregnant - which, while exhilarating and magical beyond belief - still brings a huge layer of challenge. Not to mention, this was a month before we would move into my husband's parents' house across the state for about three weeks, until unsettling circumstances moved us down to California three weeks ahead of schedule. All while battling a first trimester that truly felt like it was punishment for something. Oh, and our main car broke down a couple times on the drive down. Top that off with my normal depression, PTSD, and anxiety and you've got a nice heavy life cocktail crammed into just a couple of months. Except unlike a cocktail, where you get to have fun and dance on tables before dealing with the hangover, we skipped right to the hangover. And it was a gnarly one. The kind where you are positive that this hangover is 100% going to kill you and you may never make it out of your bathroom alive.

So yeah...I've been stressed.

I'm not trying to complain. I'm incredibly grateful for each of these changes, each of which aides me in understanding the context for why every creative and spiritual vein in me seemed to have dried up and was repurposed to keep my survival mode operating at full capacity. Even writing this now, I'm having a hard time trying to verbally convey how much this all is/was. It's because each one of these things (pregnancy, moving three times in the span of a month, getting used to living in a new state, battling mental illness, starting on a new career path, and a global pandemic) is hard enough on its own. But cram it all together in three months and it's overwhelming, to say the least.

This challenged me in ways I had never been challenged. It would have been easy to succumb to the fear and uncertainty, but I trusted our plan, I trusted my husband, and I trusted myself - no matter how scary or daunting things became - because if life has taught me anything, it's that on the other end of a seemingly insurmountable change, lies the kind of growth that can only come from getting through some really fucking hard shit.

But I did it. We did it, my husband and I (and our dog Gerald, who was an absolute trooper and the most goodest boy through all of it). And now I embark on processing all of this and rediscovering who I am as a soon-to-be new mom, in a new job, in a new place, in a pandemic. It's overwhelming. It's exciting. It's terrifying, and vast. But the pieces are slowly coming together. The words that need to come out about each part of this experience, about what happened, and what I've learned, are inching their way out from within my body and into the light where they can be examined more fully. I hope you'll come along with me on this journey of rebuilding and redefining. Perhaps the lessons I learned and am learning may help you with whatever your life is presenting you right now. When all is said and done, things seem to happen for a reason. Identifying those reasons is where my work continues.

More soon, but until then, thank you for reading. Stay safe out there.


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