Adulthood is full of those moments: the defining ones, the universal ones, that stick in our memories and tell us who we are and where we’re from. Some of them seem small but make a huge difference in how we live: getting a driver’s license, a first paycheck, that first date. Some seem huge but end up barely leaving a ripple in the settled patterns of our lives. College graduation. Marrying your best friend. We knew they were coming, and we knew what to do about it and how to move forward with it. Some of them are obvious and profound, like the death of a loved one or the birth of a child. These moments mark the beginnings and endings of the chapters of our lives.
Sometimes, however, a ‘new chapter’ doesn’t seem like enough to explain the dramatic changes we experience in our lives. That’s where I am now. After years of trying, of tears and treatments, my husband and I finally welcomed our first baby in January 2015. This is an obvious new chapter, and a big transition. But then we decided to go for broke: he changed not just jobs but industries, I left my job as an editorial assistant at an academic publisher to stay at home with Amelia, and worked to secure freelance work to supplement our suddenly stricter budget. Suddenly he’s a primary breadwinner, I’m a housewife and self employed, we’re new parents . . . this is not a new chapter. This is a new volume of our lives.