There’s something in the the late August cooling that has me in a reflective mood this last week. Maybe it’s the onset of those pesky seasonal allergies, maybe the fact that everyone’s going back to school. I’ve completed 20 years of school as of this last spring, and I’m so delighted to not return this fall!
Not going back to school also means that for the first time in my almost ten years of business, I’m entering a season where I can focus 100% of my work-life attention to Nina Francine Photography, instead of juggling it alongside a thesis, TAing and other responsibilities. I must confess, I enter this new season with a bit of trepidation. I’ve been running WAY too hard since probably the middle of high school and I’m learning how to slow down and feel okay with just being, not producing.
In July, I sat in the front yard of my parent’s home with my mom as she dialed the number to an OBGYN for me. After 10+ years of telling doctors about my intense monthly pain, I was so tired of not being heard or taken seriously. What changed this time, though, is that my husband Matt and I had not been successful in our hopes to conceive in the last year or so. Forgive the intensity, but the pain of seeing the “not pregnant” test month after month on top of then realizing I had to go through a few horrible, 30+ ibuprofen few days of menstrual pain had become too much to bear without help.
Well, I was a complete bawling mess in the checkup room as I shared this all with an OBGYN who I’d never met (yes, let’s add embarrassment to this happy mess!) I had two ultrasounds and lots of bloodwork done, and came out the other side with some answers. In early September, I’ll undergo a double surgery. One endometrial hysteroscopy to remove a large mass in my uterus, one laparoscopy to check for and remove any endometriosis. (If you’re the praying type, pray that they find NO endometriosis!)
Why do I share this? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. Maybe to encourage any women out there who are dealing with intense pain and feel that they’ll never be taken seriously (go get checked out and don’t quit until someone hears you! For me this meant going to an OBGYN, not my primary care physician.) Maybe to still the well-intentioned voices asking Matt and I when we’ll have a baby. Maybe to show my casual followers that their impression that my life is perfect isn’t quite right. Or, maybe, so that I have to stay accountable to more than just my close friends and family in pursuing a lifestyle that encourages health in less obvious ways.
Through all of this, I feel such boundless peace. I feel like there’s more space, more grace than ever. I’ve had to let go of my expectations for myself, my perceptions of perfect timing, the way I’ve measured my worth these past few years.
If I can learn how to slow down, it will be a victory. If I can detach myself from the idea that the success of my business or artistic ventures directly decides my worth, it will be a victory. If I can have even one sweet child in the next five or ten years, it will be a victory.
And friends, I’m in the mood for a victory.