A pandemic changed our lives as we knew them. Our “normal” left us before we had a chance to say goodbye. For me the pandemic changed much more than my “normal” life, my son was a teenager during a pandemic, I was a wife during a pandemic, after spending almost two years and thousands of dollars to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization I faced postpartum depression during a pandemic, I had twins during a pandemic, AND to top it all off, I was an essential worker during a pandemic.
I remember looking out the window during my maternity leave, just wondering why. I felt the crushing pain of wanting to be happy and knowing that everyone expected to see a happy “Cherish”, but I felt so far from myself, I did not know who I was or even why it all was. I watched as loved ones were pushed away too fast, due to my inability to deal with the crippling sickness that was holding me hostage. I fought to connect with my babies and felt the pressure to mother my daughters in a way no one else possibly could. As I went back to work, I would be asked about the babies and my response would be positive, hiding my brokenness. I fought an internal battle daily, but society told me to hide. Nonetheless, I held on for better days, trusting and pressing into my faith.
Fast forward to today, better days, the pain was all for a purpose. The cloud that followed me has left, and the storm has cleared. It made a way for a clear, bright future and path where I have been able to discover the true beauty in who I am, and who all women are. As a girl mom I have two sets of eyes watching me, learning, and discovering what a woman is based on how I define that for them. My hope is through my actions my daughter’s understanding of what a woman is has no definition, and they will embrace exactly who they are with confidence and pride.
So, this is me, Cherish, I am a woman. I am gentle, but I am firm. I face challenges, but I persevere. I am loved and I am happy. Sadness has been a part of my journey, but the overcoming has been empowering. I’ve learned that beauty comes from within, not material things or our outward appearance, and that you can clearly see a woman’s beauty if you will only listen to her heart and soul. I have come to know in my own life that a woman is built to be a powerful being who can truly overcome anything. I discovered that I am me, imperfectly me. I embrace that and I stand in pride, unapologetically. I am a woman.