“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life.” –Steve Jobs
Three hundred sixty-five days have passed and I’ve thought about that day every month since. I’m sure everyone has a significant day or two in their life that is remembered for one reason or another. One particular day for me was November 12, 2015 … my egg retrieval day. As I approached my first-year egg freezing anniversary, I started to reflect on all of the things that lead up to freezing my eggs and all the things that have happened since, besides my storage bill that came in the mail.
Truth be told, I was originally planning to be in Paris for work and the Airbnb Open conference that week in 2015. The clinical trial patient who was scheduled for treatment that week had canceled a few days prior. No one could have predicted that would also be the week I would be scheduled for my egg freezing retrieval. Or how Paris would have been violently attacked. Luckily, my flight was on hold lock and easy to cancel.
At the time, I was just worried the trip would collide with my egg retrieval or worse yet fall on Friday the 13th, let alone being in a city during a major terrorist attack. I was relieved when my retrieval was scheduled for the 12th, not Friday the 13th and my trip to Paris was rescheduled. My grandparents had just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on November 11th and freezing my eggs felt like a symbol of love for a way to carrying on our family history. But then just one day after my retrieval, my beloved city of Paris was brutally massacred. I remember messaging all my Paris friends from bed the next day to check if they were okay. It was a mixed feeling weekend as I debated what was wrong with the world, but thankful I had 17 successfully frozen eggs in the bank.
Only looking back now, I realized how blessed I was for taking advantage of egg freezing when given the chance. The timing couldn’t be more ideal, despite feeling like everything was spinning out of control. I could have never predicted in the months to come I would lose my dear friend, Jill Brzezinski-Conley to breast cancer that would rock my spirit to the core. Or how the job that I desperately loved and enjoyed over the last 3 years plus, would suddenly lose capital funding and need to lay me off. Or how I would face scrutiny due to Chicago politics when I spoke publically about why home sharing was good for this city, a place I called home, during one of the most heated debates of the summer. I then felt so passionately about these rights being violated that I helped start the grassroots organization, Keep Chicago Livable to sue the city against their unconstitutional rules and gain news press about our efforts. No … nothing could prepare me for all of the things to come in my future.
During this year of reflection, if it has taught me any lesson it would be this, to make the best choice you can for today because tomorrow is not certain. That was the lesson, life does not wait for you, timing is always going to be tricky, and all we have is the here and now. Take a deep breath … you are alive … you have today! Do not waste the time you have now. Life is constantly shifting and changing. No matter how many boxes we check off, we actually have very little control over the outcomes. If I had waited for a perfect time and place where things were settled in my life instead of taking action and freezing my eggs, I could almost guarantee this website would not have existed or my eggs wouldn’t have been frozen right now.
It is too soon to connect all the dots, but I know one day that day will come too. For now, I look at this girl staring me in the mirror a whole-year-older and say, “you did the best you could for today, now keep going.” It isn’t easy and the road will be long. I’m proof that every journey will have bumps along the way. Just don’t give up. One of my favorite writers, Allison Fallon wrote a post about what to do when you want to quit everything. I found this very encouraging.
Photo Credit: Instagram @allyfallon
There will be days you do not feel like it and that is okay, but start fresh tomorrow. Your better days are before you, not behind you. Believe it. What if we are exactly where we were always meant to be. I encourage you to find that peace and qualm that panic, however, means necessary. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel. Begin to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Allow yourself to embrace the unknown. If we are going live our lives with our whole heart, this is where we have to start.