Please note on your readers that I have a new blog: http://nowaystosayit.com.

If you have any questions, you can email me at katieschaber (at) gmail.com.

Thank you for all of your support over the years! xo

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the next step

Thank you for all the kind words about my breast lump last week. I appreciate it. I'll try not to have any more health scares for a while. I think I've had my fair share these past few years. If I can get through 2012 with no surgeries and no hospital visits, I'll consider it a win. I'm ready for boring (medically speaking), and I think I deserve that.

With all the commotion, it's been difficult to find time to think about the adoption wait. It's good in the way that it took my mind and my eyes off the clock for a little while. It's bad in the way that it made me envision some of the worst scenarios. The scariest: what if there was something wrong? What if I needed surgery and we suddenly got matched? How would I care for a baby? Or worse - what if I did have cancer? Could we even still adopt? Are there protocols for that sort of thing? The negativity clouded me for days until, finally, I managed to shove it somewhere deep and dark. It's still slowly fading away.

Then, I got to thinking about something else. Something completely different. Something that ended up being a positive. Here I was again faced with being an advocate. How often have I found myself in this role? Another personal journey out there for everyone to see. It's exhausting. Frustrating even.

Yet, even though I always complain that I'm tired of fighting for others, I keep doing it. I keep finding myself in this position: being a voice for something. This is a topic that my therapist and I have talked about in great detail over the past couple of weeks. How I tend to save all of my energy fighting for others. Sitting on her couch, I told her how - sometimes - this hurts. How there are many moments when I don't want to advocate for others anymore because no one is there to advocate for me. I'm the girl who everyone calls on for help. Only when it comes time for me to need that same help, I often feel like there is nowhere for me to turn.

At first, I couldn't figure out why it made me to feel selfish to say that. And then, it hit me: Maybe because it IS selfish. Maybe I keep doing this because, deep down, I know that it's what I'm supposed to do with my life. Maybe all of this happened to me because I'm meant to spend my life advocating. And instead of trying to fight this, maybe I need to continue channeling that energy back into advocacy for others.

I'm not sure how exactly I'm supposed to do this, but I have a general idea now of the direction I'm supposed to go in. I've always thought that I would graduate from my master's program and become a librarian. But there is part of me who knows that I can do more. Is there a way that I can use my passion for helping women, especially in the area of infertility, and use my skills as an information professional alongside that passion? I don't know. I am still working through this. I feel like it's going to take some time on my part to sort through these feelings.

Would I be happy with working as a librarian for the rest of my life? I think so. Is that dream below my potential? I'm starting to think it might be. I feel like it IS realistic for me to say, "Yes, I eventually want to be a part of something bigger. Yes, I do want to use my passion for helping people through this journey and do good with it." I've been so hesitant to say this to myself and to others because I didn't know if I wanted to make my passion my work, but in essence, I've already done that. I help run our local RESOLVE support group. I've spoken at conferences. I won the Hope Award for best blog. I guess maybe now it's time for me to stop ignoring all of these things. It's been smacking me in the face all along, and I didn't want to look at it.

Well, no more ignoring it. I have to realize that there might more out there for me - for my future - and I need to have the confidence in myself to pursue that. I haven't had the confidence to believe that I can do bigger and better. And now is the time for me to start believing in something I haven't for so long: me.

14 comments:

Jenn and Casey said...

We'll be cheering you on, whatever direction you choose. I think it's fantastic to start doing something for you!!

Allison (Ali) said...

I think if you do choose to be an advocate in some way, that would be a wonderful gift for women who don't feel they have a voice or don't think they can question why something is the way it is.

missohkay said...

It's clear you have a talent, even though exercising it may feel like an imposition sometimes (or all the time)!

Leslie said...

I wish you the best with whatever you decide! I think that it takes a very special person to be an advocate. I admire you for what you have already done and will continue to be here to watch what you decide to do in the future!

Jen said...

I am so freaking proud of you.

Esperanza said...

Wow, what an amazing post. I'm so inspired not only by your willingness to follow your calling but your insight in determining what it is. Having a calling in life is a true gift, it's clear you will be very good at whatever you choose to do. Good luck!

Kechara said...

I definitely understand those feelings about helping and fighting for others, being a social worker and therapist. What one of my friends did is turn her experience into getting a masters in public health with an emphasis in IF.

Ali @ Not All Dreams Are Free said...

You're an inspiration... Follow your (already proven) gut instinct on this and you can't go wrong!

Rebecca said...

You are an amazing person, Katie. I can imagine the conflicting feelings this brings up, but I'm behind you 100 % as you speak out for those who can't.

EC said...

As someone who used to be a librarian, I find this so fascinating! There is a part of librarianship that is based, in some ways, in advocacy, so maybe that is one of the things that drew you to it in the first place? I think that there will probably be a way that these roles and interests you have will intersect - even if the way it will happen it isn't apparent yet.

Brittany Hodge said...

That's great Katie! Obviously you have a gift so that's great that you are going to continue to use it in such a positive way!! I'm sure it's going to take you great places :-) Not everyone could do what you do, and I know it will be more rewarding in the end than you could imagine <3 xoxo

Katie said...

What a great post!

myinfertilitywoes said...

Yay! So excited to hear of what's to come!

Whitney Anderson said...

I can relate to a lot of this. Sometimes I don't feel like being an advocate, but here I am thrust into these situations and I don't know how to not be. It's something we are all passionate about, so I hate using this term...but 'at least' maybe we're doing some good. Katie, regardless of how much it sucks, YOU are strong. You are smart. You won't take no for an answer. You will persevere. You are helping others. =) In short, you rock!