I probably should preface this post by saying that it could be a trigger for people. However, it is something that has been on my mind since seeing the video and reading an article about a topic that has been under a lot of debate for years. You can read it here. First off I do want to say that I’m not a huge fan of abortion. When I was younger I was strongly pro-life due to my extremely conservative background and (I admit) a certain naiveté. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that the issue isn’t as black and white as many would like it to be. The story of this doctor in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama struck a chord with me. The fact that every day she goes to work with protesters lining the entrance of her practice infuriates me. No one (especially in a medical position) should have to fight in order to do their job and provide a service to the patients that is requested. One thing that struck me is that the doctor herself was a single mother with two kids before she even graduated from high school. She overcame so much in order to get where she is today. The fact of the matter is that people spend so much time an energy protesting something that really doesn’t pertain to them. They are not offering to deliver the baby, clothe the baby, financially support the baby, or even contribute in a meaningful way to the life of the baby. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not easy. I think that vast majority of women agonize over it before deciding. The reality of it is that that there are some people who are just not fit to be parents. They aren’t mentally, financially, or emotionally ready to bring a child into the world and raise it in a loving and stable environment. Adoption is an alternative but let’s face it, every child isn’t adopted and growing up in a slew of foster homes isn’t ideal. I was listening to the radio last week and a lady was telling the story of how she terminated her first pregnancy because she was going to donate a kidney to her boyfriend and she chose his life over the life of her baby as he was in acute kidney failure and wasn’t expected to live much longer without a transplant. My heart went out to her as she had to make a tough call and I don’t know what I would do if I were in a similar situation. My point is that I think that abortion is a necessary evil in the world we live in. Women deserve access to those services and providers that are licensed and able to perform the procedure safely without being harassed and demonized for their choices. I’ve worked with women who have had abortions and those that wish they had. It’s a choice that isn’t made easily. As I said before, I’m not a fan of it and I think it’s unfortunate but that’s the way it has to be.
May has always been an interesting month for me. I’ve graduated in this month, made some major decisions, and it’s also my half birthday –although I’ve never celebrated. May tends to be full of so many things to do with so little time. I’ve taken trips, made huge decisions and done some fun stuff in between. Last year in May I finally came to the final realization that I needed to leave my current geographical location and do something different. While the timing of when I actually moved was a different thing, the decision was made in May. I realized that it was time to cut a few of my losses and push forward despite a pretty uncomfortable disappointment. I’ve taken a trip that I hoped would produce a better outcome than it did. I’ve been very deliberate about my career and getting experience in a variety of different areas but May has traditionally been the time when I decide that some sort of change is necessary and I start making some decisions in order to facilitate that change. We’ll see what changes this month brings.
Lately I’ve been seeing numerous posts by various people I know on social media. The posts all have a common thread of being willing to walk away from friends or something distracting in order to experience progress. Now, to be honest, I think that’s a great concept and it’s applicable to a lot of situations. I sometimes find myself repeating that same sentiment as I work with people who have made unsafe decisions because of the influences of others. In my lifetime I’ve walked away from a good amount of things. While the results weren’t catastrophic or anything, it was rarely an easy decision to make. Jobs have always been pretty easy for me to walk away from. Or maybe I should say job offers. It’s another thing entirely when you voluntarily give up a job without knowing when the next one will come along (not recommended by the way). One of the hardest things I think I’ve walked away from is the hope of a future with an individual I have felt I’m compatible with. We all know that relationships are a two way street and if one person is disengaged it’s not going to work. You can’t love someone into loving you back–no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t work that way. Luckily in my situation walking away has also included physical distance so while it’s hard, it’s also something that I’m not reminded of on a regular basis. This helps with the discomfort that often accompanies putting a dream to rest. Sometimes this realization causes you to make the decision that walking away is better than wasting your time. I’ve learned that the human heart likes to hope against hope but that sometimes it’s a futile effort. A waste of time. So much emotional health depends on the ability to identify these situations and learn how to walk away. I haven’t mastered it all the way but I will say that walking away in those type of circumstances doesn’t get easier. In fact, in some cases it gets harder because you invest more time and energy into something that will never be. It’s a disappointment and a letdown. But it’s better than hanging out like a pitiful puppy hoping that something will come along and change the situation. That’s futile.
I’m not exactly a fan of change. I’m not against it because I know that I don’t have a choice and that it will happen regardless of what I think or feel. However, it’s often not a comfortable or pleasant experience. There’s frequently quoted prayer about changing the things we can’t accept and accepting the things we can’t change. I’ve learned that there are some things that we can definitely change about ourselves. While we can’t always change our environments and move away, sometimes a change in mindset makes all the difference. About a six weeks ago I decided to change course a bit and pursue something that I had never tried before. Despite the fact that I don’t care for change, I usually like having new experiences when the trepidation wears off. Feeling like you don’t have any control is one of the quickest ways to start acting irrationally. I learned this quickly in my work with others. The more options available, the more people feel as if their words are important–even if they aren’t. This new endeavor is by far something that I’m not used to. However, I know without a doubt that I’ll regret it for a significant period time if I don’t push forward and go after it. I’ve never quite agreed with the “one size fits all” mentality and despite the initial discomfort associated with the unfamiliar, I know that it’s the right decision to make. The pros and cons have been weighed and ironically things have started to line up in a way I didn’t expect since deciding on this new course of action. In some circles people would call that confirmation. I have analyzed and overanalyzed and yet the same course of action still presents as the most logical direction to go. I’ve learned that there are some things I can’t change and some things that I can. And now it’s time to make one of those “change-able” changes.