An Open-Ended Letter to my Nemesis

Dear 2021, 

It would be very easy for me to sit here, give you the middle finger and go to bed at 10pm, turning my back on you as you make your departure tonight. But, that’s not really fair to you, is it? You lived your mere 365 days of existence to the fullest, giving me quite the wild ride that I was NOT expecting. 

I went into you knowing it would be another year of change. While your predecessor brought about a career move, I thought your change was going to be me going back to school. I bet you got a good laugh at that one, didn’t you? Stifling your snickers and biding your time as I researched graduate programs and mentally prepared myself for an onslaught of studying and essays. Did you already know that I would, in fact, be always writing, but that it would be blog posts rather than educational research papers? Sneaky. 

Your summer was riddled with uncertainty and fear. I spent most of July, August, and September worried there was something deeply wrong with me, visiting doctor after doctor with no real answers. I don’t know why, but I picture you as a soothsayer, peering into your crystal ball with a full mind and knowing eyes, but tight lips. I assume that when the doctor mentioned the C-word, you already knew it was a hormone imbalance.

I have a few more questions for you. Did you do your research on me? Did you bother flipping through my file? If so, I’m sure, as you thumbed through 39 years worth of data, you would have stumbled on the fact that Autumn is my favorite time of year. I have always felt most alive as the air crisps. I read books full of magic to match my mood. Like Anne of Green Gables, I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. 

If your existence was a roller coaster, October was the first loop. Making the decision to give fertility drugs one last try left me feeling like I was stuck upside down and wishing on every distant speckle of a body spectator that the seatbelts wouldn’t break. (Because when you’re upside down, you can’t even see the stars.) You stole the magic of October from me. Because of the uncertainty you hand delivered to me, I couldn’t even stomach reading one mystery novel this fall. Do you see what you have done? You reduced my reading to trashy romance novels and hallmark-esque love stories! 

If October was the loop-to-loop, November and December were a series of slow ascensions and long, steep plummets. This is where I take real issue with your tight lips. You sprinkled hope like confetti. You let me buy baby clothes and a tiny stocking. You allowed me to plan holiday pregnancy announcements. You convinced me that every drug side-effect was a sign of new life growing inside of me. Hell, you let me talk to a baby that didn’t exist before ripping it all away just in time to watch other people’s kids open Christmas presents. Nothing so strongly reminds you of how much you are not a mother like Christmas. 

Maybe you don’t deserve all of this. Maybe I am simply using you as my scapegoat, because it’s easier to blame you for allowing me to get my hopes up rather than taking an introspective look at myself. 

And I suppose if I’m going to so easily dish out the hate, I should also give you a little credit. Through the painful rollercoaster that was your lifetime, you taught me a thing or two. 

For starters, I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. End of story. Most days I feel like I am one day away from breaking. But, every morning I wake up in one piece and that feeling is still one day away. 

As an introverted control freak I process (and handle) everything inside–where I can control it. You taught me that it’s okay to let others in. And even when they say “the wrong thing” it is almost always coming from a place of love and an attempt to help. I think this was your biggest lesson, and something I am still learning to embrace. 

You ensured my tear ducts are still in working order and confirmed that my heart is still made of glass. 

And today, the very last day before you are laid to rest, you gave me the gift of a second confirmed ovulation. For that, you have my deepest gratitude. While most women get this monthly gift naturally, it is something I hold most precious. And something I don’t take for granted. 

Thanks to your parting gift, your successor is beginning her time with the dreaded TWW (two week wait). Please sit her down and have a talk with her. Tell her I’ve done everything right. Tell her I am counting on her. Remind her that all of my eggs (literally) are in her basket. 

It is with all of these thoughts, and through a mixture of happy and sad tears, that I wave goodbye. 

Thanks for nothing and thanks for everything, 

Stephanie 

(twelve. thirty-one. twenty-one)

One thought on “An Open-Ended Letter to my Nemesis”

  1. What a tremendous gift of writing you have. I love reading your blog. One of these days it will give all of us the excitement that we are wanting to hear. I pray 2022 is sweet and comforting to you. Until we meet again.

    Liked by 1 person

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