This is Progress?

How grieving from Afar Changed Me

To say that I haven't changed is to say that your hair doesn't grow. With what I have faced here in Italy an emotional growth was inevitable. A move overseas changes you, having a child changes you, losing back to back pregnancies changes you. As I sit here the mother of a newborn child and the longest trip away from home ever. I can not help but to look in the mirror and realize that the person I once was is no longer there, I have grown in far too many ways. I have often talked about what used to be and I often long for the simpler times and the uncomplicated and unemotional me. I used to be a very black and white thinker before coming here and to get me to show emotion or express emotion was like pulling teeth from a billy-goat. I internalized 95% of life because I associated emotional expression as a weakness. I was taught to be a strong woman. Being raised by someone who was born in 1914, who left home at 7 and traveled to all 50 states by her self was by far the only way to be raised. She really didn't know any different from what she taught me.

But life has changed me. I would really love to say that motherhood brought on these changes but they didn't. Motherhood actually brought me an unbelievable happiness that I had never experienced in my life and something I wouldn't exchange for anything. I would have carried on with black and white thinking all of children's lives if it wasn't for the two losses. I have found that grieving a loss of your own is quite different from grieving the loss of someone or a relationship. They all bring you growth but all in different ways. Feeling the losses is what changed me...there was absolutely nothing that I needed to take care of other than my self. There was no one there to pick the pieces up except for me. One of the greatest things I have experienced being overseas is no one being here. No one meaning family, don't get me wrong I love my family but sometimes family keeps you from progressing in life lessons.

When landing in Italy I was 24 years old, I had just quit my job (which I thought was my life), I left my home town of Glendale, Arizona, I had no intentions of ever having kids and I surely was not happy that I "had" to leave. I am now 27 years old, I have held a job (that wasn't really my life), I have been away from home since 2008, I have had 4 pregnancies two of which have been lost and I am not quite sure where my life has gone after all of this and I am not sure if I ever really signed up for all of it but it surely has change my inside makeup, for me an overall progress in life that I am ever grateful for.

Here is to the rest of life's experience, may they bring the joy, happiness, sorrow or pain that I need to grow and break out of this skin.