My face was as still as a cold, grey office chair at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night. You can’t be a mum and have a career. One has to take prominence over the other. 

My belly flat, empty and happy did not yearn for a seed. Work was too important.

But as fast as Jackie Chan can chop Pak Choi, the seed was implanted. My belly was rumbling.

The fears rushed into my pristine, warm living room and flooded straight to my head as I sipped a quiet glass of champagne to calm my nerves. Fuck the rules. 

Life as I knew it was over, despite the life that was growing inside of me. Life and life intertwined and separate. My thoughts are its thoughts, my fluids are its fluids, my Pak Choid is its Pak Choi, and the ten months dragged on, and on, and on, and on.

I can’t see or hear or think. But I can feel, and I feel like it’s over. I cannot compete with vitality and eager smirks from across the office barrage. 

I stand tall as if I were a tree growing in the wrong direction – I’m not growing the way the suits want me too. Easy confidence does not come to a new mother. Meetings and excel spreadsheets have lost their meaning, and love trumps all. Feeling trumps all. 

I can feel the second-guessing and the metaphorical bar lowering. 

But it’s all wrong. I still want to be here. I am still the person I have always been, with twisted branches and fallen leaves, but now also, a heart of gold. 

I can do this and I will do this, and I realise I am better for it. Ambition and passion for what makes me me instead of what makes you like me. 

The lists and goals are still there, and the ink quickly drips dry with each check mark.

I smile at each goal. I am ready for more. 

 

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