At 22, a wise friend said to me that I shouldn’t have any expectations. I looked at her like horns were growing out of her head. In that moment she had become something evil. Why else would she squash my optimism with such a negative statement?
“But if you don’t expect anything, how can you accomplish anything?” I asked, challenging her stance.
“You can still thrive to excel and have a certain life, but in the end, Sujeiry, life happens…and we can’t control it. The only thing we can control is our reactions, behaviors and how we let life affect us.”
I shook my head, refusing to accept her truth. Truth is she was right.
I didn’t expect to have a subarachnoid hemorrhage after having Evan.
I didn’t expect to lose my love expert gig at Latina months later.
I didn’t expect my boss at American Latino Radio on SiriusXM to go MIA and not respond to any emails or texts, leaving me and everyone who worked at the channel in the dark. No one is recording new shows.
I didn’t expect to get shingles as a new mom.
I didn’t expect Evan to fight nap time henceforth keep me busy all day.
I didn’t expect my vision of being a work from home mom to differ so much from reality. Instead of Evan playing contently on his own while I work on the computer and coo at him from time to time, he is always up and ready to play with me – and I barely touch my computer.
I didn’t expect to be without a contract job at 38 years old.
I didn’t expect to have to reevaluate my career and finances all over again at 38 years old.
I didn’t expect to admit that my wise friend was right all along.
So I feel like a failure. I have felt this way for months but have felt too embarrassed to share on social media and LoveSujeiry.com. Editing my Instagram bio from “Host on SiriusXM” to former “Host on SiriusXM” makes the loss too real. It also may affect my social media numbers. I know, it seems petty; but this is the world we live in. I am not immune to the allure of Instafame as it helps my career on radio and television. However, pretending to be in a place that I am no longer in professionally and personally depresses me. I feel like a fake.
I thrive on authenticity. So here I am being honest about where I am in life. And that’s at another crossroads. I am questioning my next steps. I am reevaluating my life vision. I am reassessing my needs. My value system, lifelong dreams and expectations are all on the line, and I am realizing they may not align with being the mother that I want to be for Evan and the partner that I want to be for Dave.
I don’t know if I can do ‘it’ all or if I want to do ‘it’ all as a woman, mother and partner.
I don’t know if I have the spirit, energy, physical health and emotional fortitude to chase dreams of TV stardom, radio gigs and entrepreneurship. But I don’t want to give up either.
So I feel like a failure. I failed to accept and understand the words of my wise friend. I failed to plan for a rainy day; or in my case a stroke that almost stole my life and left Evan motherless. I failed to be a dreamer while keeping my feet grounded.
Life happens. I just failed to believe it.