I'm a lover of love who is addicted to Starbucks and goes through weekly phases of favorite foods. I'm a wifey to a firefighter and a dogmom to a grumpy Whippet. I love having lunch dates and dream of traveling the world.

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July 6, 2018

My Top 6 Regrets Part One- Personal

light gray couch against white window

Seems like a bit of a depressing subject to talk about, doesn’t it? Well, around here, I prefer to keep things real. My world is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows, and as tempting as it is to hide the bad and only show the good, that doesn’t do any good for anybody. So here it is, out there for the world to see. The things I regret most.

 

Moving

I grew up in Akron, Ohio. I always wanted to move out and started collecting household items at the age of 16. It wasn’t because I had a bad home life or didn’t get along with my parents. I just genuinely loved the idea of having my own place and nurturing that independent spirit of mine. Not long after I turned 20, an opportunity presented itself and I was able to move to Columbus.

It was amazing! I met so many wonderful people, became even more independent and self sufficient, and got to experience real adulting. I still came back to visit my family every month, and it really seemed like the best of both worlds. I met my husband and started putting down roots in a small suburb of Columbus.

But as I got older and my grandparents and parents have gotten older, I started to miss everyone. Of course, I always miss them, but it just started to hurt more. Coming back home from visiting them got harder. And seeing them leave after visiting me was emotionally difficult.

After my grandmother died, I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to deal with living two hours away. I realized how much I was missing out on. My sister was nine when I moved away, and I’ve missed her growing up. I don’t get to have weekly family dinners, or just stop by to drop something off. I don’t get to call my mom or my sister or my cousin and see if they want to go see a movie or go shopping. All the time I spend with my family has to be planned weeks in advance. It doesn’t feel right.

Would I move back to Akron? Probably. But you know how it is. You start a life somewhere else with friends, jobs, and a home. It’s not easy or sometimes not possible to just start a life somewhere else. We’ll see what the future holds.

 

Being depressed

I want to first say that mental illness is not something to take lightly. It’s a horrifying and debilitating disease that should never be joked about or brushed aside.

I’ve dealt with depression and bipolar since I was 13. I’m proud to say that I have a good handle on it now without medication, but it took a long time to get here. It’s a constant battle with my mind and a constant struggle with my emotions. I still have good days and bad days, and sometimes it’s hard to overcome the bad ones.

I remember two years in particular. I was still a teenager and it was the lowest of my lows. I want to keep the details of those two years private, but I will say that those years were a blur. They’re foggy in my head, and I honestly feel like I lost two years of my life.

I will say, that was a turning point for me. I didn’t want to be that person anymore. The person who didn’t take care of herself mentally. The person who wasn’t fun to be around and who had nothing positive to say ever. The person who let her mental issues spill over into her personal life and her physical well being. The person who, in all honesty and rawness, was just being selfish and only thinking of herself and how “miserable” her life was.

Never again would I lose years, months, or even weeks of my life. Like I said, I still have bad days, but that’s all they are. Days. I’ll let myself be down one day at the most. But after that, there’s no excuse. There’s no reason to be that consumed and wrapped up in my own mind. I will never be in that dark of a place again, and now I know how to occupy myself and my thoughts so that I never return there.

 

Making the decision to not have kids

It used to be a no brainer. I never really wanted kids. I mean, I’m still a girl, so the thought of babies is always going to be there a little bit. But the thought of FOR REAL having kids was just so scary to me. What if I was a bad mom? What if my kid hated me? What if something bad happened to them? What if I had an unhealthy baby or they had some sort of horrible disease? What if, when they got older, they didn’t want anything to do with God? What if they weren’t very cute? (Just keepin it real here folks.)

No way. No way was I going to put myself through that. And when my husband and I reached that point in our dating relationship to have the “kids or no kids” conversation, we were both immensely relieved to learn we were on the same page.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. Really. Some of my best friends have kids, and I love them so stinkin much. But at the end of the day, it’s nice to have all the fun parts of kids and be able to give them back when they cry or poop on you or feel sick.

Funny how things change with age and tragedy. As I got older, the idea didn’t seem so scary. And then after my grandmother died, the idea almost seemed desirable. So much so that I had a frank conversation with my husband about it. It didn’t go well. Over time, the desire lessened, and I mostly went back to not wanting kids. But the thought never left. It was always one of those things where I wouldn’t purposely try to get pregnant, but it would be great if it just happened on accident.

Then two years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. It’s hereditary and not something I would ever want to pass along. It also means that I get very very exhausted, very very easily. Not exactly an ideal situation for kids. But what’s even more, my doctor tells me every visit that I ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT accidentally get pregnant. The medication I’m on attacks newly forming cells, aka, a newly forming embryo. Very bad things would happen to both me and the baby. So even if I wanted to have kids, I can’t.

Do I wish I would’ve had kids 10 years ago? Yes and no. It really sucks to be told you can’t have something when you weren’t 100% sure you didn’t want it. Maybe I wouldn’t be so sad holding babies now if I would’ve had the chance to have my own. But then again, who knows what could have happened had I been pregnant years ago. Maybe it would have made things worse or escalated my disease. Maybe if I would have had a kid four years ago after my grandma died, there would have been complications. Things I can’t know, and things I have to be satisfied never knowing.

 

That’s enough realness for now. You can read about three more of my regrets next week!

 

All content and images in this post are copyright of Alayna Parker Photography and can not be used or reproduced without exclusive permission.

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