This is a first blog post for me, but I really had an urge to just let it all out on here where people I know don’t follow me and where my family won’t see and I can just be my pondering self in the middle of the night to a bunch of strangers who may or may not read all this. So welcome! Welcome to the first of (maybe) many pondering sessions of Brittney Leigh.

Quick introduction: I am a wife to an amazing husband who I quite literally had a crush on for 9 years before we finally started dating/got pregnant/got married 5-ish years ago. I am a mother to two amazing, beautiful, healthy and intelligent toddler daughters with two very different personalities. I am a dog mom to my super adorable 1 1/2 year old golden-doodle. I am a professional graphic designer for a very successful insurance company who cares about it’s employees. I am overwhelmed with a love from my family of 3 sisters and two parents who have shown me more love and support in my 25 years than I think a lot of people receive in their lifetime.. Overall, I am a very very lucky woman. Crazy to think of myself as a woman, ha ha. I literally still can’t believe I’m 25 (almost 26). But I am. I’ve lived 25 amazing years as Brittney Leigh (the last name has changed a couple of times — more about that another time — but I identify as Brittney Leigh since for a woman our last names can change multiple times in our lives, I choose to identify with the two my mother gave me at birth.) Hope to live many more, but only time will tell.

My thoughts tonight are about who I am actually.. I woke up Saturday morning feeling very down and desperate. I’ve felt this before, and it always takes me a bit to realize what I’m feeling and why. This time was no different. I was watching the most recent season of Heartland on Netflix (my girls were with their grandma and my husband was asleep preparing for a 16 hour shift coming up) and I just couldn’t stop crying. I mean, yes, there were sad things happening, but even for an emotional person, like myself, I shouldn’t have had as hard of a time stopping crying as I did. I felt like I literally couldn’t stop. Everything was sad. Everything felt like it was about me and I just felt so helpless and lost and stuck in my own head. I tried to take a shower and couldn’t get this feeling of desperation and helplessness out of my head. I tried and tried. And cried and cried. And I couldn’t.

Fast-forward 2 hours.. my husband joins the living world and tries to watch my show with me. I warned him I was emotional so I needed him to be nice today. He got quiet, made food and when he came back to the living room he asked me why I was emotional. I refused to talk to him. I believed no one else who understand. I told him he’d think it was stupid. A silly reason to cry. I told him I wasn’t going to tell him. He started guessing. “It was Kady. Kady made you cry?””You got in an argument with your mom?” None of the guesses were correct. He finally took my hand and told me that he wasn’t going to stop asking what was bothering me. I’m an emotional personal almost all the time, so the fact that he wouldn’t stop.. I think he could tell that this was something real. Not just being on my period or being angry about a conversation. So I told him.

Like I mentioned, I’ve been watching Heartland on Netflix. I’m on the 11th Season, and there’s a part where (slight spoiler alert, but nothing major.. ) they start talking about writing a will incase something where to happen to either of them. And that’s when I began bawling. I couldn’t help myself. Now, I sound crazy, right? Well, I’m not. I just might have a little problem. I have an irrational fear of something happening to me and me not being there to help/watch my daughters grow up into women. (Also, FYI, my husband and I do not have a will. Irresponsible? I know!) I have a fear of me not being around for everything. And when I spent the two hours crying while watching this show, I realized why I am so emotional about this at this point in time…

In about 11 days I will be headed to Nashville, Tennessee for a 4 day bacchelorette party weekend. While most of your are probably thinking that sounds like so much fun, it’ll be a blast, I’m honestly mostly dreading it. I want to support my friend of 17 YEARS (yes, we’ve literally been friends for that long. We were in girl scouts together and everything), but my level of anxiety with this trip is only growing…… I haven’t been away from my family for a trip that lasted longer than a day and a half since I had my first daughter. The only trip I’ve been on since I had my oldest was a day and a half trip to stay in Kansas City. I live in Columbia. So I was less than 2 hours away from them. We’re talking about another state for 4 days where the entire point is to be intoxicated… that’s the time when bad things are more likely to happen.. and it’s all in a city where most of us have never been.. surrounded by people we don’t know. Now, I’m aware that Nashville is supposed to be a relatively safe place. It’s not like we’re going to Chicago. But there’s still the potential for bad things to happen. There’s also the issue of we have to drive! And if you know me at all.. which none of you do.. but I don’t trust transportation that doesn’t involve my own two feet. Too many things can happen. I waited until 18 to get my license. I don’t drive when I don’t have to. I have to drive to get to work. I have to drive to get my daughters to daycare, but I would rather live next door and walk if I could. I hate it that much. Too many unknowns.. plus I have a theory that I will die one day due to a car.. so there’s that.  ha ha. But seriously. Cars. Not my favorite. One of the other girls is driving to Nashville, so that’s nice, but now I’m putting my fate in the hands of someone else?? Does everyone see my problem?! I’m already having an issue with the possibility that I may die and never see my girls again, and now someone else is driving. But I’m sure it’ll be great. No big deal.

So I tell my husband all of this. And he listens. Holding my hand the entire time. And when I’m done he looks at me. Hands me a tissue (I’d just asked for one because I was disgusting by the end of the whole explanation), and tells me that what I just said was the least stupid thing I could have ever said…

A little background. My husband is a former military member. He was honorably discharged after suffering from a leg injury in Afghanistan. He, like most members of the military, has suffered from moments of PTSD. He doesn’t experience it all of the time, but I can imagine that anyone who’s been in the military would have at least a few things that set it off every now and then. Even after 5 years of being out. He probably always will..

But that’s why, to him, this wasn’t an odd thing. Being nervous about being in a place I wasn’t used to and about never returning to the ones I loved. That wasn’t a new thought to him. That was something that he’s thought before. So he was able to talk it through with me. Give me a couple of pointers. Give me a couple of pieces of advice to help me coupe. Like, if a couple of my friends (who like to deviate from plans when they get drunk) decide to change the plan, make sure I know where the place we’re staying at is and make sure I always have a key to get in. Another one: If I decide that I’m uncomfortable with the way the night is going, see if one of the other girls want to head back to the place we’re staying at with me. Another one: Set my “Home” location on my phone to the address that we’re staying at so that if I am intoxicated and get confused about where I’m at, I always know where my safe spot is. And after talking all of that through with him, I felt so much better. I felt like I had a better chance of being okay. Like I wasn’t just an open target for bad things to happen to.

So now, after actually talking to my husband and letting him help, I’m slowly coming to terms with this whole trip and letting myself think that maybe I’ll have fun.. now I just have to decide what to wear for 4 days… ugg.

So how did this lead to me deciding to get on and begin typing? Well, I’ve made it a habit of taking time to reflect on my weekend on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. So I’m laying on my husband (basically literally… he claims I immobilize him when I’m trying to fall asleep… I don’t get it 😉 ) and I’m reflecting and I just think how stupid it was to feel guilty about what I was feeling. But I felt so guilty about being so “irrationally” fearful about dying on this trip. I am who I am. I’m as emotional as I am because it’s a part of me and it’s made me the kind of caring and cautious person that I am today. (If you believe in empaths, then I could consider myself to be borderline empath or heck, I could be an empath if I just actually let myself ever actually fully believe in that type of stuff and take time to fully understand what all it means.) I am who I am. I have a history of dealing with people and situations that keep me from being completely secure in unknown places and around unknown people. I am who I am. I’m not stupid. I’m completely aware that bad things happen to good people who don’t pay attention and allow themselves to appear vulnerable. I am who I am.. I don’t want to apologize for that anymore.  I could continue forever.. but for tonight, I’m going to stop here.. but I think I may come back and ponder some more tomorrow. Because that statement “I am who I am.. and I don’t want to apologize for that anymore” has brought on an entirely new “pondering” topic to my head.

For now, nighty night. Sleep tight.

~ Brittney Leigh

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