We’re 3 weeks into the new year. Three weeks guys! These 3 weeks have felt like 3 days to me perhaps because of the events that unfolded. So much has been packed into them. In theme with practicing courage (coz vulnerability isn’t as scary) I’ll share quite a bit from here on out. Usually, this is the part where I cue you to pour yourself a cup of coffee but from this post’s title (apt words by Jeffrey Tambor) I’ll take it you’re not here for the cuppa. Shall we then?
The hubs and I held a massive barbecue on the 1st. The guest list started out thin at first. It was going to be 10 people getting together to swim, play games and feast. 12 people max, and even that was a stretch. Then that number sort of ballooned to 22 and I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to do handle it.
If you’re a regular here, you remember not too long ago when God told me not to avoid people. And that was huge because peopling had become a fear and a little apocalypse to me. But I went on with it, well, “because God said so,” and also because I’m big on adventure – especially the ones you don’t want to take that lead you to beautiful detours. The day was a success to say the least. Strangers became friends, plans were made with the future in mind knowing that the group of 22 would soon balloon with more invites to future hang outs, and it was surprisingly well with my heart.
Dave and I slept at around 1 or 2, really late is all from what I can remember, as people left slowly and short conversations spurred on for hours. On the 2nd, I woke up with a massive headache that subsided on the 3rd. Sleep deprivation I suppose. Now come 4th, Dave and I had our favourite holiday tradition – Christmas in January. It started around 2016 when we got a wad of cash (best Christmas gift I tell ya) that we should have received the previous year when we got married. With the cash, we did a wardrobe face lift and probably hit every restaurant in town like they were closing down. It was good, so good that we made it a thing. Family tradition (insert Oprah voice). That’s how good.
Because of the headaches and being deeply conversant with my body, there were a couple of huge signs that my body was baking. You know, buns ahead and what not. So what did I do? I took to Google and asked about headaches as a pregnancy sign. Lol. There were a lot of other symptoms, obviously, and we eventually took a few tests all of which tested positive. And right after, I mulled over the cute outfits I bought that probably wouldn’t survive beyond the fifth month. It was professional type level mulling. But I got around to it. Even made jokes about it calling Dave baba nani (which is Kenyanese for so and so’s father). And I also peopled really well in the one sector I wasn’t keen on so the first week of 2019 was a mega win.
It may have possibly been me high (and tired) from the card games and laughs from the 1st but I remember turning to Dave and saying, “Babe, this is going to be our year. 2019 is ours. Just the 2 of us. And it’ll be epic!“ Of course I said this before I found out I was pregnant, but I’ll get to that shortly.
Not too long after the first week of the year, the spotting happened. I didn’t panic, strangely enough. I took it as the normal implantation bleeding that happens and my mind didn’t reference our previous miscarriage. I was in. I began reassessing our epic year plans and adjusting them to add a baby into the picture so I was still zen. But then the coffee spots turned pink, then red, and I didn’t see it coming because it happened again. I was miscarrying. Again. The rest from this point forward is history (perhaps you can read up on miscarriage if you’re in the dark). Only this time, the bleeding took ages. A whole week. The whole of the second week of the year. Sigh.
I remember wanting to tell Dave to buy a pregnancy test just so I could know for sure but I didn’t go through with it. I knew what was happening. I didn’t need to pay someone to tell me what I already knew.
In that moment, I had an out of body experience. I could picture myself asking me what we were going to do. Would we go back to not peopling? Would we shut down for the rest of the year? Would we weep and be sad and angry all at once all year round and pretty much do what we did for the better part of last year?
My response was simple. It’s exhausting, so no. How I went through what I went through I didn’t want to walk through again. That’s for sure. So I turned to Dave and said, “Sure, this has happened again. I didn’t think it would, but it did. But don’t you dare doubt it, 2019 is still our year! And it’s going to be epic!“ And every time mid-sob, I’d paint a picture of how the year would be for Dave and I. It hadn’t started out perfect, but we were going to choose joy. We were going to choose optimism. We were going to be okay.
Then on the 3rd week, Dave got into a near fatal accident. This was right when the bleeding had come to a stop and I was finally coming up for air. It was a morning like any other in our house. I don’t think Dave had breakfast. The sooner he’d leave, the sooner he’d return. We kissed goodbye and I went on about my day. I did the dishes, emptied our massive stash of hotel toiletries into larger bottles, folded clothes, the usual. It was pretty zen. Then I got to see my phone (it was on silent). There were several missed calls and a text from David telling me what had happened. I kind of spiraled, honestly. And it helped but also didn’t help when Dave came home and told me that in the moment when he fell off the motorbike, he couldn’t imagine himself dying after everything we’d been through. He had to live because he didn’t want to put me through losing him. I didn’t indulge that thought because it would be a vortex. I had just made it to week 3. But I understood what he meant.
And I’m writing all this and thinking 2019 has already been some year for us. Already! And there’s still a tonne to do and experience!
We’re still dealing. But we’re still choosing joy. We’re still in the heart of everything, and maybe I have a wall surrounding my heart but I’m handling everything better than I did last year. Because if I learned anything, it’s that worrying is not preparation. And that we need to choose joy – like to choose to enter into it, like we do with our clothes everyday. I can sulk and cave and sing a ‘why-did-this-happen-to-me/us-again’ song, and I’ll be justified to, really.
But there are so many years ahead (fun fact: I know the year and month when I’ll die. It’s equal measures weight of responsibility and relief really) and this year alone has a lot it’s coming with in terms of dreams fulfilled and dreams pursued and I refuse to let the world spin madly on around me. I refuse to let this, every hard thing that’s happened, to define my world. It’s high time things begin to take shape around me and not the other way around and if that’s grief’s or tragedy’s reward, I’ll take it!
Where I used to cave in, I’ll spread out. Where I used to break apart, I’ll build right atop the rubble. I’ll live in the layers and not the litter. Because whether we agree to it or not, it’s true. Worrying is not preparation. And Dave and I are still on course for an epic year.
And you know what? We’ve barely even gotten started.