Smoke from blown-out candles floated on the air; the promises of my birthday echoed in my mind. I settled into my chair, my notebook in hand, plans for the upcoming year ahead of me, and I closed my eyes to harness that positive energy I spoke so excitedly about.
My eyes filled with tears.
I breathed in, focusing on the progress I’ve made in the past year, the goals I’ve set for the upcoming one, but my calming breaths came up short, and my tears fell harder. Letting myself reflect and focus on what I want to do allowed me to stop moving for a moment, and doubts flooded my mind.
The last year has helped me find my voice; words I’d buried inside and hopes I’d shelved for years and years have tumbled into the open. Taking steps to transform my hopes of writing professionally into reality felt sure and right on my feet. I’d expected to look forward to the next year with a smile, clearing the brush away from the path that’s still fairly unclear.
Instead I found myself focusing on the sacrifices my entire family must make for me to chase down my dreams, and I can’t help but wonder if I’m being fair to them, the people I love to the moon and back. Try as I might to balance my time and my racing thoughts, I know my late nights, the loss of my salary, the time I’m investing daily, is taking its toll on my primary job of mothering.
While I’m not questioning my right to my aspirations outside of my roles as wife and mother and director of our family world, I can’t stop the tears when I sit and think about the thin line between what’s right for me as a woman and what’s right for our family as a unit. And all the reflection in the world isn’t helping me to truly know which side of the line I’m currently toeing.
My notebook and its damp pages fell to the floor forgotten, and I tried to voice my fears to my husband. Words, quick and sure under my fingers, were halting and vague in my mouth. His brow furrowed, then smoothed. He listened and nodded, and I know as someone who changed careers he heard my uncertainty in both his ears and his heart.
Arms circled mine, a familiar t-shirt absorbed my tears, and I tried to truly hear his reply.
My mind isn’t sure I believe him when he says we’ll figure it out, make it work. But my heart hears the belief in his voice, and hope sprouts in the field of doubts, and I know I’ll find the strength to take another step forward on this road.