Options

There have been many big changes up to this point in my life because I’m lucky enough to have had opportunities, I’m lucky enough to have taken risks, and I’m lucky to have lived this long. For me, change is often a matter of taking or creating options. Even as a young child, there is little I feared more than not having an option. Maybe it’s the part of me that must feel like I have some sort of control over this crazy ride we call life, but even if the paths before me all look dark, dangerous, or steep – I’ll always choose a path over a safe dead-end. If there is a locked door, I’m desperate to find a window. I need options.

Again, I recognize that options in this world is a luxury and I have been lucky, or blessed, to have had a variety. Options that have also led to many a bad decision, by the way. Options made, or created, that have led to many a hard lesson learned.

Now, I will say again, as I have said before, this is not an “all things happen for a reason” thing – because I don’t agree with that concept. Every bad experience is eventually for the greater good? Nope. Some bad things are just bad. I believe that I may actually have been/could be a better person, had some crap not happened in my life, in my body, and in this world. So there’s that.

By now you’ve probably figured out from my rambling that this is a Finish the Sentence Friday Post. The sentence is “I wish I’d known…” and having given it some thought I surprised myself with my response to myself.

Keep wandering with me.

The Luxury of Not Knowing

 

“I wish I’d known” is the obvious start to an early me with a beautiful baby with a diagnosis. A label that came shortly after birth. But I have to say, what I didn’t “know” was very helpful to me. I didn’t know, pretty much anything about Down syndrome and I found that to be a good thing, for me. I had no preconceived notions, I had no stereotypes in mind, I had nothing but what I was learning about the deep capacity of love that motherhood gifted me, and for that I am glad. It served me well. In today’s world, when there’s a computer in every pocket, things are different for parents facing this unknown. They don’t get the luxury of not knowing.  This is where I hope the book The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome will help them, but also why I – early on in the book – give parents permission to “throw the book out the window” because sometimes you have to not know in order to deeply follow what you do know – your own child and your own bond and your own love.

Would I have Listened Anyway?

Other logical “I wish I’d known” responses could come from my first failed marriage, any of the abusive relationships I found myself surviving through, or certainly combatting some of the very negative or even evil people I naively entrusted. But no. I couldn’t see how knowing anything ahead would have helped me, there. Another thing is there was plenty I did know, and ignored.

The Big Leaps

The most recent obvious elephant in the room is all the things I should’ve wished I knew before I left my  professional career to write a book or, well, I thought by this time, several. There was much I thought I knew – but was wrong. There was much more I didn’t know. I stand behind my previous statement that I’m glad I didn’t know, because if I knew how much I didn’t know I never would have done it and then I never would have learned all that I have learned these past five years. And so many new friends and colleagues to respect.

This weekend I am at the crux of big change…again. It’s human nature to fear change, even when it has potential to be good. I know that there are people closest to me who are well, at best anxious and at worst, terrified, because that is part of change. I myself fluctuate between these emotions. And I fear losing all of those new colleagues and inroads I have made these past few years; I don’t know how I’m going to collide these worlds, but I will try.

The challenge I face today is the things I still don’t know. If the sentence was I wish I knew…I could go on for a much longer ramble of a list, there is so much I wish I knew how, why, where, and what to do to fix, to prepare, to build, to…? On it goes.

So again, I enter the next phase of my life with a solid hypocrisy – I’m glad to have learned what I have learned so far, so much via the unexpected, but as I get older (and older) I feel the time crunch and wish I knew more right now to prepare for the next leap. Sigh.

Also, I wish I knew how to write faster. I maybe would have succeeded with my previous goals. But more urgently, I would have had this simple blog done on Friday when I began it, instead of still trying to work it through with Marcus sitting not so patiently in the room with me, sighing loudly, as he does. (Yes, I know where he gets it.) So I will close without a clean wrap up and instead quote from his exasperation, “Mardra says, one more second…”
This is part of a blog hop hosted by the lovely momma at Finding Ninee. Check out the others here.

 
And there’s this: