Journey to Myself

I have never dreamt of fame or fortune.

I have never wanted to be the best or strongest.

These things are material and hold little value.

Instead I have sought simplicity and peace.

I yearned for the opportunity to be free from the paralyzing thoughts in my head.

I looked towards experiencing the feeling of running away from the negativity yet still being present.

Some days are better than others.

Some moments are uplifting, some are not.

Some moments provide courage for the future, some drain every semblance of normalcy from your body.

Some moments light the way forward. Some must be cast away.

All I wanted was to be me and find happiness within.

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Everything Happens For You, Not To You

There are two sayings that I will always remember my mom saying whenever things didn’t happen as anticipated:

  • “Everything happens for a reason”
  • “Nothing ever happens before its time”

I guess age brings wisdom because as a child, teenager and young adult, I failed to understand these sayings and only remember being completely frustrated. But as I ventured into my thirties and beyond, this suddenly started to make sense.

I think the revelations and wisdom have come from the many mistakes that I’ve made in my life… the failed relationships, friendships that fizzled, career choices that disappointed because I wasn’t good enough by imagined benchmarks and standards. With every mistake, I grew stronger. No matter how small, I learned something. And from the lessons, I was able to find the courage to move forward. I found the bravery to step outside of my comfort zone. I learned to love myself without needing validation from others whether it was my physical appearance or the internal battles in my head.

Have I reached my final destination? No. But I’m in a better place today than I was yesterday and tomorrow will bring continued growth.

To my Mummy â¤ď¸

It’s been 9 years since you left and my life has changed in ways I never imagined. When you died, I was a new inexperienced mummy fumbling around with everything related to child rearing, but completely focused on my career and driving it forward.

Fast forward 9 years, and I’m 6 years older, many years weirder. I’m Super Mama (but still fumbling), autism advocate, homeschooling mom, blogger and yoga instructor. There is no science or career and career-focused is one of the last phrases that I would ever use to describe myself.

I’ve learnt the value of family and loved ones, the significance of health over wealth. I’ve discovered the ability to find beauty in simplicity and recognized the importance of appreciating every single moment however fleeting it may be. I’ve realized how easy it can be to take those we love for granted, assuming that there will be another day to say sorry or I love you, but then finding out that extra day is gone and will never be back.

When I gave your eulogy, I said that regardless of how tiny the accomplishment, the person who always lauded praises the loudest, was you. Yet I’ve always wondered how you would’ve reacted to the complete 180 that my life has taken.

I hope I’ve made you proud.

Back to School

Today represents almost 2 years of homeschooling! Some of the pros:

  • We can sleep late! 😁
  • Homeschooling is substantially more affordable!
  • We set our own schedule and go at our own pace. If we feel to skip a day and go to the movies, we sometimes do that!
  • We can pick exciting topics which may not necessarily be covered in a traditional school curriculum.
  • Our focus is learning, not preparing for exams.

But there is also a bittersweet perspective. For us, homeschooling was not a deliberate path. It was a decision made out of necessity. A choice because we had no choice! I saw my son struggling so much with his social anxiety and his dysgraphia that I feared allowing him to continue in his neurotypical school would be detrimental to his health and overall development. The unfortunate reality was the lack of alternatives: zero publicly funded special needs schools equipped to deal with his challenges and private schools which were beyond our finances.

On a day like today, I look at all the back to school photos, proud parents and smiling kids, and I’m reminded of what we don’t have. I’m grateful for the opportunity to homeschool, the flexibility in my work to allow me the time and the progress that has come with that decision. But I’m also sad for the opportunities that my son may be missing. I’m tired of the constant juggling of full-time work, special needs advocacy and single mama-hood. I’m always second guessing myself and wondering how I can approach things differently and how I can make this easier for both of us. So to those moms and dads, who get to count down the days until school re-opens, always know that this isn’t a luxury open to all parents. Be sure to enjoy 😉

I know in my heart that this was the right decision for us and will open up paths that we never imagined. But sometimes the journey is tough!

Full Moon

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One of my favourite things to do has been to sit in silence and peace observing the moon.

Noticing

strength without being overpowered,

clarity without blinding brightness,

illumination that guides without force,

understated beauty.

 

Recognizing that

my own beauty is within,

my strength is more than I am aware of,

my confidence will guide me

even when I’m not sure of where I need to be.

 

Knowing that

I am at peace

if only for a moment.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

A few nights ago, I dreamt October 17th 2008. I dreamt the weirdly colored pink pacifier because we lost the other one in the hospital. How could I remember that date so clearly? Because it was the day that I handed my 30 day old son to doctors, not knowing if I would get him back.

My son was born strong and healthy and even though I was a single mother, I had an exceptional support system. I was at home by my parents and being spoilt as much as their first grandchild. My milk was slow to come in so I chose to breastfeed and supplement with formula. Every morning, my mom would come and take my son from my room at 4.30am… feed him, change pampers, play with him and I got to sleep late.

But everything changed when he was 10 days old and he vomited for the first time. But that’s what babies do right? My inner voice told me that something was wrong but I was a new mama, so how much did I really know? Our pediatrician’s office became our second home and as the days slowly crept by, the vomiting got progressively worse. This was vomit spewing 3 feet away from a baby only 2 weeks old. We changed formulas countless times, I monitored my diet in case there was something in my system that was passing to him through the breast milk. But there was no change. I became completely overwhelmed… I wouldn’t let anyone feed him. Even though my dad was driving me and my mom to the doctor, I held my pain and wouldn’t let anyone know of the level of discomfort that I was experiencing just days after a C-section. The doctors could not find anything wrong to cause this extent of vomiting. So it became a constant guessing game trying to rule out possibilities. My son continued to vomit and with each day that passed, I blamed myself more and more. I believed that if I was a better mother, then my baby would be well and this would not be happening; even thinking that God was punishing me for my decision to be a single mother.

When my son was 27 days old, I was forced to rush him to emergency. He was severely dehydrated after being unable to keep down anything for almost 48 hours. I held my baby for countless x-rays, ultrasounds and a barium swallow (which I would not wish on an adult).

October 17th 2008, when he was 30 days old, I handed him over for exploratory surgery. While it was strongly believed that his condition was pyloric stenosis (an abnormality of the lower stomach muscle that causes the muscle to tighten and not allow for proper digestion, thus causing him to reject all oral feed), none of the tests had definitely confirmed their suspicions. So I had no choice but to sign away my son and pray for the best.

We were waiting for the time of surgery to be confirmed, so I pulled out my phone and snapped some pictures of him. My mom was with me and she initially moved his right hand, the one with the drips attached, out of the way. I put his hand back in place and she looked at me confused and asked “why are you taking pictures of his drips?” I responded nonsensically saying “he looks cute with it”. The truthful answer, which I never said out loud was “ I don’t know if this will be his last moments and I need this memory exactly as it is”.

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The moment that I handed my son to the doctor for surgery will stay with me for as long as I live. In that single moment, I understood the saying that “to be a mother is to forever have your heart walk around outside of your body”. Physically ripping my heart out of my body would have been less painful than what I experienced.

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To this day, I can still remember that anguish as if it happened yesterday. And I can still remember the overwhelming relief and incredible joy when my baby was returned to me, full of life as if nothing had happened.

It was confirmed that he did in fact have pyloric stenosis, but with no added complications. He recovered quickly and continued thriving.

This was the first of several trials that we have had to endure. With this first situation, he proved to me that he is a fighter like his mama and with the support of his mama, will triumph regardless of the challenge.

I am honored and blessed to be your mama 💙