Lessons from Bean / by Liz Thorpe

When I got pregnant, having a baby seemed like the right thing to do, at the right time. The idea that one could decide to make an entirely whole other person and then just go do so seemed impossible. It had to be more complicated, laced with a bit of drama and heartache. Early evidence of a miscarriage suggested I was right.  Upon learning that, sometimes, we just bleed, I was forced to reconsider my default settings: negative; scared; wobbly; at risk.

That my pregnancy occurred simultaneously with my leave-taking from my badass, established cheese Dream Job meant several things. It meant I had the gift of time and space to focus on growing my baby. It also meant I was regularly battling those demons that so artfully remind me of all the ways I am tanking my own life and career.

I learned several lessons from my baby Bean (the Most Important Person I’d Never Met) that continue to serve me today. It took pregnancy for me to “get” them, but their value goes beyond any prescriptive role of Parent, Single Girl or, even, Woman.

1: Good things can actually be good. things.

There’s no inherent trick to this idea. Good things don’t have to be good with a sprinkling of bad. Stop looking for the problem—you’ll know when there is one.

When I met my husband I called my mother, concerned because I didn't fight with the man. She told me to call her when we did start fighting. I was so programmed for relationship strife that it genuinely hadn't occurred to me that the absence of conflict wasn't synonymous with indifference. It was actually...a much more pleasant way of living.

2: Not talking about something makes it seem less real/joyful/powerful.

If you talk about it are you going to jinx it? And, if something awful happened aren’t the very people you want to tell the same people you’d turn to for help or comfort?