Not too long ago, I was fresh out of college — just turned 22, about to search for job number two, and excited for all the possibilities ahead. I wanted to get a job that I could possibly turn into my career, travel the world, and just save my own hard earned cash and buy whatever I wanted. There were times too when I considered going back to San Francisco (my favourite city!) and explore what I could make of myself there. Long story short, I had all these ideas and was so excited to know that anything was possible as long as I worked hard and was focused. Little did I know, everything was soon going to change.
By March 2012, I found out I was pregnant. Yes, I didn’t expect that at all. I took several tests just to be extra sure, but hearing it from an OB made it official. In that moment, I knew, things weren’t going to be as I ideally envisioned it to be. Did I take the news as gracefully as most expecting moms do? Not quite, and I’m not proud of that. I felt like as if all my dreams were put on hold and all these negative thoughts started flooding in. “Will I still get to do everything I wanted to when I wasn’t a mom yet?” was the recurring thought that clouded my mind for weeks. It was so easy to complain about the negative things, yet I didn’t give the positive stuff a chance to change my mind about my situation. I just complained about what I couldn’t do. It was when I changed my perspective on things and realized that it was something I had to accept and take responsibility for that made me look at “the other side”. I met friends who were trying so hard to have children yet couldn’t and here I was complaining “why me!?” — it didn’t feel right.
Fast forward to when I finally had my son Jacob and saw all the blessings that came along with his birth. It made me grow up a little faster because now, I wasn’t just saving money for myself, but for him too. I learned how to budget things and manage my expenses better. I felt so much love and support from family and friends that I saw how blessed I was to have great people around me. Instead of looking at it as “All my friends get to do this and that…” I just tell myself that in my case, at least I’m still young enough to enjoy his childhood with him and get to relate to him more than I probably would’ve if I had him at an older age. Sure, there are challenging and tiring days — sometimes they can get pretty tough that the first thing I want to do is complain about every single thing that isn’t going my way, then Jacob shows up and calls for “mama” like I’m the most important person in the world and hugs me so tight that I feel guilty for even wanting to complain in the first place. I’m so grateful that he was born normal and healthy, that he’s such a happy little boy (not to mention incredibly adorable!), and I see how his smile brightens up whoever he encounters.
Life, as I’ve come to learn, almost always doesn’t go exactly as planned, but if you learn to exercise gratitude in even the smallest of ways, it surprises you with things that will remind you why you are just as lucky.