I feel really good about today. My pathway 3 application to the IBLCE was approved, and today I start my lactation course. I’ve been reading books about breastfeeding, mostly from a cultural and sociological perspective, and while it is fascinating to study and certainly critical to a comprehensive understanding of breastfeeding, I’m also very anxious to finally delve into the biology and clinical practice behind it.
Today is also the last day that I will be driving my car to drop Eve off at daycare and to go to work. I’m picking up a folding bike, a beautiful vintage Raleigh Twenty, which I will be using for mixed mode commuting. Starting on Monday I’ll be dropping the baby and the car off at daycare, then riding my bike to the rail to go to work. It’s the first step towards becoming a full-time bike commuter and I am excited.
While both of these things seem minor, they are actually pretty big deals for me. I spent most of my life being absolutely befuddled about what I wanted to do career-wise; I’ve been miserable at the same crappy corporate job for the past six years and to finally have a path – and to take a step onto that path! – is at once exhilarating and terrifying. In order to put my all into this, I’m eventually going to have to quit my job; and despite the fact that my job has always made me unhappy (and at a few times has been literally detrimental to my mental health and wellbeing and my physical health and wellbeing), I am really afraid to leave it because for almost seven years it’s been everything that I know. The idea of changing jobs scares the shit out of me.
Unfortunately, due to the bike-unfriendliness of my city, so does commuting. I didn’t grow up using buses or rails because my brother and I were never allowed to use them without my parents – and my parents refused to use them. We did everything by car, even little stupid trips a few blocks away. Cycling in the road scares me (although not as much as it did before I started doing it), taking the bus scares me, and riding on the rail scares me. Even walking scares me. I feel so vulnerable when I’m not in my car and I worry about people trying to hurt me whether it’s particularly warranted or not.
I’ve come to realize that my decision to go car-lite (with the eventual long-term goal of being car-free) requires much more mental rewiring than I anticipated. Just the other day, I rode my bike two miles to Home Depot to pick up some brackets. I felt so proud of myself for doing a chore by bicycle, and then soon after getting home I drove about 500 feet to a 7-eleven in my neighborhood. It wasn’t until I was actually parked in front of the 7-eleven that I realized what a massively stupid and thoughtless thing I had done. I tried to rationalize it by telling myself that they wouldn’t have let me bring my bike in anyway (and I don’t have a bike lock), but then another part of me said, “Well then you should have walked, asshole.”
I’m trying to undo the training that compels me to use my car for every simple thing. I have to remember to ask myself, “Can I do this another way?” before reaching for the keys. It’s a work in progress.
So yes, today is a day of changes, and despite my fears and reservations, I feel good about them. I have butterflies, but I’m trying to tell myself that butterflies are okay.
How about you, dear readers? Any changes brewing in the distance?