Have you ever wondered what happens when a story ends? What Happily Ever After actually looks like?
Evidently happily ever after looks like squinting at the computer screen because you’re too lazy to find your glasses, picking cold, soggy french fries off your daughter’s dinner plate and writing an inaugural post on the blog you’ve just started.
Yep, this is what happily ever after looks like, when it’s set against the right backdrop. When the cold french fries are in the kitchen of a house I “own,” a house that rests (just barely) within the boundaries of the city I love. When the four year old daughter I fought so hard to have is looking at books in her bedroom and the ten month old son we were told would never exist is asleep in the room adjacent. When the man I married–who I love and adore–is coming home soon to take out the trash and load the dishwasher, all without me asking.
This is what happily ever looks like, and it’s kind of terrifying. Not everything it entails, but that I’ve finally arrived at the having of it, that now it’s my job to appreciate it and be grateful.
Of course I do appreciate it, and I am grateful. Intensely so. Some days my gratitude is so overwhelming that it morphs without warning into intense, debilitating guilt. Who am I to have so much? How can I honor all that I have with the choices I make?
The last time I was called to write was five years ago, when the the land mine of pregnancy loss went off on my already rocky road to happily ever after. I didn’t realize then just how many twist and turns my journey held, how helpless I’d feel en route and how hopeless reaching my destination would seem.
I didn’t set out on the path to happily ever after with the smug assurance that one might expect from a twenty something white women who had achieved all her previous goals. Clinical depression, mingled with bouts of anxiety and a family legacy of loss put my expectations in their place, but I still wasn’t prepared for the toll my struggles would take.
And yet now, here I sit, five years later, on the cusp of happily ever after. I like to think that the struggle to get here helps me appreciate my life more than I would have. I like to believe that I don’t take anything for granted.
But of course I do. And I will. It’s human nature to look past what we have, at least on occasion, and I have not yet risen above my biological or evolutionary pay grade. That being said, I want to do better, to be better. I recognize that our lives are not defined by the big boxes being checked, buy by the thousands of decisions, big and small, we make every day.
I want to live my life with intention, I want to treat each choice as if it matters, because the reality is, it probably does.
And if they don’t… well, there are worse things than caring deeply about one’s life, and the way it is lived.
The birth of my son was the last great change in my life. The stage has been set, the parts have been cast, now the show will go on.
I want to show up for this grand performance. I want to make it epic.
And I want to write it all down, right here.
My name is Noemi and this is my courageous attempt: at life, at writing, at not a wasted word.
So pull up a chair, we’ve only just begun.