Driving home from work tonight I couldn’t get the words of my coworker out of my head. She sat next to me, very pregnant. Uncomfortably pregnant. She is due to be induced in 7 days with a C-section because the baby never turned. She’s lost at least two babies that I know of in her womb. She adopted because she couldn’t conceive. Then she had her first. Now her second. She is just grateful.
And I thought…and with my new marriage…so am I. I’m just simply grateful. For a man who is honest with me. For someone who loves me enough to give me his name. And knock down termite infested patio covers so I can sell my house and move to the city to be close to his office and my daughter and my work. Are there little things I would change? Of course.
But then the pregnant woman said, “My sister-in-law is pregnant for the first time and they tried for a month…one month and she got pregnant and her statuses on Facebook are all complaints. I’m not judging her…that is her perspective. But I’ve had a different story and I’ve lost and mourned and now in this last week of pregnancy…I know it’s my last and I just don’t want to complain…I want to soak it all up and count it as joy.”
And I thought…YES…me too. Life is not freaking perfect for me. Tonight, I’m home alone, because my husband is scrambling to get paid this month and doesn’t think it’s prudent to leave his computer. I am alone. I hate being alone. But I get it. It’s okay. Because I have failed before. I know what it feels like. I know that when I won…it didn’t really mean anything. Because all it made me was greedy to win again. Failing made me humble, contrite, and other-focused.
No – winning seems like the goal….but perspective really is key. If we don’t have a good healthy perspective on life then we just ramrod our way through it. We are immune to dangers lurking so close to the surface. We think we’re invincible. But we’re not.
It’s weirdly appropriate for me to say…after having seemingly WON…because I just got married…that winning is surely NOT everything. NO. Had I won…I’d still be married to my ex who I was not compatible with who lied to me and probably to himself. Had I won…I would have never known the pain of losing something so deeply felt I could not even describe it. Had I won…I would not be so humble as to suggest I was wrong. Because I was.
And there in lies the mystery of failure. It doesn’t define you. Sometimes it shapes you. Sometimes it gives you a jolt that you didn’t want or invite but that you needed.
I used to think that winning was everything…now I think that losing is. Because it shocked me out of my shell and got me to think about who I really wanted to be. And that is who I am today.