This setback is minor.  Really, really minor.  It’s not infertility related.  And it is so minor, in fact, that I’m somewhat embarrassed to discuss it, or even refer to it as  “setback,” but for what it helped me realize about myself.  Today I learned that my start date for my new job is being pushed back a couple of weeks because the paperwork is taking longer than expected.  That’s actually a sugar-coated way for me to say it; the truth is that I took too long getting the paperwork turned around on my end because my last several weeks at my former job were absolutely crazy.  I thought that when I announced that I was leaving, my work might taper off, but in fact what happened was the exact opposite.  I received additional assignments, spent several evenings working late and was continuing to complete tasks up through the afternoon of my last day.  Perhaps the universe believed I needed further confirmation that changing jobs was the right decision (I didn’t). 

Anyway, I had planned to take a few weeks off, and now, I’ll be taking more time off than I planned.  No Big Deal.  Sure, I’ll go without a paycheck for longer than we expected, but we will manage.  Oh, and we won’t have health insurance for another couple of weeks, but again, not a big deal because I can backdate COBRA in the event something catastrophic were to occur (God forbid).  So please tell me why, when I received the call today about my start date being pushed back, I hung up the phone and sobbed like a child.  I called M and sobbed to him as well, saying “I’m so upset about this.  I can’t believe I was so stupid to delay in sending in my paperwork.  I can’t believe this is happening.” 

To put it mildly, my response was not appropriate for the situation I was facing.  In a time like this, when many fantastic and capable people are out of work, I simply had my start date delayed.  By two weeks.  Some attorneys that are lucky enough to have job offers have been delayed for a year or more in this economy. 

I hung up quickly with M, frustrated with him for not being more encouraging.  I wanted him to tell me that this was no big deal; probably because deep down I myself knew this was no big deal, even though it felt like something terrible had happened.  I went for a run, hoping to clear my head.  The thoughts that came to me as I ran I am still sorting through, but they can be summed up as follows:

I am not the person I want to be. 

Not because I’m not yet a mother.  Not because our attempts to become pregnant have failed for over two years.  Not because I’m in debt.  Not because I’m a few pounds heavier than I’d like to be.  Not for any of the many reasons that I am found lacking in a “keeping up with the Joneses” kind of way.

I am thirty years old, a bona fide adult woman, who is so emotionally fragile that when a small plan goes awry, doesn’t have the strength to…well, to act like a mature, wise, adult woman.  Instead I act like a spoiled child who hasn’t gotten her way.  And I’m not entirely sure why this feels especially significant to me now that I am thirty; really this behavior shouldn’t be excused for a woman in her late twenties either.  But thirty.  Three decades.  And when tested, it is fragility, rather than strength that is exposed.  (note: I use the word “tested” lightly here.  Can you imagine how I would handle a true test?  A true challenge?  I shudder to think). 

This wasn’t supposed to be a post beating myself up.  But what happened today was eye-opening for me.  I mean, I just finished reading “The Year of Magical Thinking,” for heaven’s sake.  You would think I would have some perspective. 

A passing thought: what if I’m so sensitive, so emotionally fragile when things don’t go according to plan because of this struggle with infertility?  The big plan not being realized for so long now is making me extra sensitive to little plans not happening?  Frankly, I don’t buy that.  I actually think that this is me — really me — just more exposed because of the infertility and the emotions that always rear their head during this phase of my cycle.  So I’m not willing to write this off to pesky female hormones, even if they are exacerbating the situation a bit.  Nor am I chalking this up to the infertility I’m walking through now — there are women who have been struggling much, much longer and had a much harder time than me, who I know would show more strength and maturity in response to a minor inconvenience.

Anyway, moving on to my thoughts and plans for the future: namely, how to be the type of person I want to be.  Someone who is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness and temperance.  I need to be grounded.  I need to write more here — about a lot of things other than infertility.  I need to read more scripture, more biographies of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Theresa.  I need to keep some perspective.  I need to think of others before thinking of myself. 

Maybe this two weeks extra will help me get started.