I am standing at the forefront of one of the biggest changes in my life. In the next few days I will become a father. The impact of this change is unimaginable for me right now. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited but in all honesty I’m also very scared. Intellectually, I know this is normal. All the books and blogs I’ve been reading have reassured me but I’ve been asking, “What is it that is making me scared?” Is it the fear I will fail my child? Is it the fear I will lose my identity? The fear of life as I know it changing? It is a little bit of all of these fears.
Last week it was veterans’ day and I posted some pictures of my dad from his time in Vietnam. My aunt had found these pictures and recently shared them with our family. I looked at these pictures of my dad, this 24-year-old kid in his green fatigues smiling, looking tough, and I thought, “wow, that was a stressful life change.” I thought of the men, women and children innocently engulfed in the raging conflicts throughout the world; these are stressful changes to their lives.
My impending change will be life altering. There will be moments of struggle and moments of unimaginable joy. I have to give myself the space to feel emotions and face the fear head on. By doing that, I remind myself this is not the first time I’ve faced “life altering” changes. I’ve made decisions in my life and took risk as my life has moved forward but I have to put the changes in my life into perspective.
We are all going to face changes in our lives and sometimes those changes bring up challenges we feel we may not be able to overcome. But the changes are external and the core of our humanity remains ours to keep. Can we learn to embrace the changes we face? Keep the strength and trust of our own purpose throughout the noise and chaos around us?
My chaos will be crying, pooping, and sleeping little for a while, but the key is I must accept it and embrace this time of change. Also, I realize, this is just one moment of many changes that will come my way in this new role as father. I will continue to move forward in my life, just a little more quietly for a while…”shhhh, you don’t want to wake the baby!!”