Back in July I received an email from my class rep from my alumni magazine. At the end of each magazine, there are class notes, where people write in and tell a tidbit about themselves. It’s organized by year and every month it’s the first section I turn to, to see if I recognize any names. I’ve never written in myself. I weird felt- like I had one chance to do so, because otherwise who wants to be reading the same names over and over. The paragraphs are filled with my overachieving classmates and their marriages, their children, their lawyer or doctor jobs, their start ups, their amazing trips around the world. In the midsts of all the humble brags I love finding morsels about people doing less typical things. I am mostly annoyed by what I read, yet still am drawn to it.
This summer an email appeared in my inbox aimed at those of us who lived in our freshman dorm. It was a smart tactic- I certainly gave it more thought since I was asked rather than just volunteering info.
What are you up to these days? Whatever you want to share is welcome. Although family and work news is always great, I (and your fellow ’02ers) would also enjoy hearing about hobbies, travel, get-togethers with other ’02ers, and commentary on 30-something life. It doesn’t have to be written in third-person or otherwise edited/print-ready either; that will be done by me and a series of copy editors following me, so feel free to hit reply and send me a quick note!
When I first read it, I thought “Hah! Family and work is what 30-something life is often about!” It is for me, at least. The request came at just the right time. I spoke to Chris and he was supportive so I replied:
I am currently living in Connecticut and working in the New Haven area as a nurse-midwife. This year my husband and I welcomed our first child, Mabel. We knew she would be born sick, but we remained hopeful. She lived for six precious hours after birth. Lately I spend my free time blogging about my grief in hopes of advocating for others who have also experienced baby loss and hoping to increase awareness for bereaved parents.
My class rep responded so appropriately with the right kind of “I’m so sorry” and asking if my blog was public so she could read it. She said they don’t usually publish websites, but she’ll see if the editors would in this case.
So this month I opened up my magazine and found my name in bold among the wedding and baby announcements of my doctor and lawyer classmates. I was four months younger in my grief when I wrote it, just starting to feel the desire to speak up- really speak up- about my grief. I was nervous, thinking I’d be perceived as a Debbie downer or attention seeker. At the same time, I was angry at the injustice of the social pressure I felt to not share about the birth of my daughter which was followed quickly by her death. I had the same right to share baby with my classmates too! So now, with many months of speaking up under my belt, I’m so glad I to took the risk.
Have you taken any risks that paid off? Any that didn’t?