Thankful

Canadian Thanksgiving was a big weekend for me, but it’s kind of complicated to explain why. All the same, I wanted to attempt it, to share all the big feels I’m feeling right now.

Two years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend, I realized I might be pregnant. In my mind, at the time, this was not a good thing. I had made the decision to go back to school for my Doctorate in Music (in Voice Performance and Pedagogy), and was in preparation mode. Applications being filled out, letters of recommendation being requested, repertoire being practiced and coached for the upcoming auditions.

I was so excited to have settled into this career path, after years of trying to make a decent amount of money as a singer. My idea was to go back to university to hone my teaching skills, so that I could teach at a higher level (perhaps as a university professor, eventually), and also continue to sing recitals and concerts. I also had a keen interest in Music Therapy, and my thesis ideas involved using singing as a means to help the healing process in others.

I had convinced myself that this was the path I was meant to take. That I was excited to take my teaching to the next level, and continue to sing, and hopefully help to advance research in the field of Music Therapy. I actually couldn’t wait to start my 4 year degree program, the following year. I hadn’t even gotten in yet.

All of this is to give context to my reaction to an unintended pregnancy, right at that moment. It was not at all what I wanted.

Panic set in, as the reality of my new situation dawned on me. I told the Husband, and we were both shell shocked. Sure, we knew the risks at the time of our intimate moment (sorry, apparently I’m not very good at writing about sex. Especially when I know my parents and my in-laws will be reading this, haha.), but after years of close calls and months of trying before actually getting pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t take the risks all that seriously.

This weekend, two years ago, was one filled with dread and panic. All I could think about was that this new career path had been squashed. That I would spend another long set of years continuing to not be able to think of my needs and what made me happy. That somehow, we’d have to find enough money to cover all the expenses of this new life, when we could barely cover the current expenses.

It was the beginning of a long downward spiral for me.

I remember, at one point, writing a status update on my Facebook that I never ended up posting. I wanted to share it here, because it amazes me how spot on it was:

“You know when you’re like, “Alright! Universe! This, this, this and this are what I want right now! Things are lining up nicely, I’m willing to work my butt off…let’s do this!” and the Universe is all, “Actually, dude, I got this.” And you’re like, “No seriously! Look at these things!! Don’t they seem like they fit perfectly? Let’s work together to make them happen!” And the Universe is all, “DUDE. I’VE GOT THIS. BACK OFF.” Yeah, that about sums up my month. #vaguebooking”

Holy balls, did the Universe ever have things covered.

I am so very, very thankful for the change in plans. I would not be here, writing, being all writerly, if it weren’t for that change of plans. I would not be doing something I had no idea I actually loved more than singing, if it weren’t for that change of plans.

I am so very, very thankful.

I’m thankful for the incredible, adorable, lovable, sweet, smart and hilarious baby that I realized, on that weekend, had been conceived.

I’m thankful for the depression and the anxiety I have gone through since then, because it has made my life richer and inspired my writing so much.

I’m thankful for the darkness because I appreciate the light so very much more now.

I’m thankful for the imposed hiatus on that career path I was barreling toward, because the space allowed me to realize it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

I’m thankful for a high school friend who wanted to help me make some extra cash, and remembered how much I used to love to write back then.

I’m thankful for my husband, who stared at me, unblinking, and said, “Of course you can,” when I told him I couldn’t possibly become a writer all of a sudden, out of the blue.

I’m thankful for all my friends and family who have come along for the ride since I started this blog. All of you who read my posts here, and the articles I write for other sites. All of you who write comments, or tell me what you think when we get together, or send me emails telling me how I wrote something you can totally relate to.

I’m thankful to all of my new writer friends who support me, who give me feedback, who encourage me, who have welcomed me into their tribes.

I’m thankful for those of you who are reading that I don’t know very well, or don’t know at all. The fact that you read and can relate to what I write means more than I can possibly express.

So when I think back to 2 years ago, I kind of can’t believe how it’s all become what it is now. But I do know how grateful I am for the journey.

Thank you, for coming along with me.

This post originally appeared on my blog here, on Canadian Thanksgiving.

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Originally published at littleassholes.com on October 12, 2015.