A few weeks ago, Chad and I were getting rid of a bunch of our old iPhones, and in the process, I stumbled on some photos from a few years ago that I hadn’t seen in a while. (This one became a #fbf on Instagram, and both Chad and I get a little teary seeing snaps of our sweet dog Calvin, who passed away last year, back when he was healthy.)
And that photo above? That’s me, in 2013. It was taken a few weeks before I got pregnant, and in a lot of ways (although I didn’t realize it then), that photo is the “before” to everything that came after.
In the month after this photo was taken, my whole life changed. Right around this time, I quit my law firm job to start my own practice. Two weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant. I was thrilled and excited about both, but together? At the same time? I was blindsided by confusion and uncertainty. I questioned my decision to quit a job with paid maternity leave (a benefit that far too few women in this country receive) almost every day. We had a mortgage and a baby on the way, and I’d just taken a stable, well-paid job and tossed it out the window.
If I had known that I was about to get pregnant, I probably would have talked myself out of taking that leap. The fear of losing a stable income with a newborn would have been too much. I would have stayed put, on the track that I was on.
In a lot of ways, the last few years would have been easier if I’d done that. But I would have missed out on so much. All of the excitement and challenge of building my career in the last few years. All the skills and experience that I’ve gained, but would have been too afraid to reach for. I would have taken the safer choice, a choice that I thought would have been for the benefit of our son. But, you know what? Taking that risk turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
Every once in a while, in life, you’re lucky enough to see life changes coming from a mile away. Most of the time, though, they sneak up on you and hit you out of nowhere. Only afterwards can you look back and realize that everything suddenly changed.
And that’s what I see when I look at that photo.
A girl who was just on the edge of something, with no idea what.