Much of what I've done has been very rewarding; I've taken this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be completely selfish. I've followed Ayn Rand's philosophy of being true to myself.
As rewarding as this has been, it is ending, and now I am entering a new phase in which I cannot keep this same mentality and behavior. It must be my responsibility now to think of the other people in my life ahead of myself. I must provide for their protection and education and well-being. I can no longer date that random guy (that ended three+ years ago when I got married), take a job in another state, or make other random decisions that ride on my daily desires.
In a way I have lost my freedom and in yet another I have gained so much more. The lack of responsibility and obligation seems initially very liberating, however, over time it becomes very empty. It is the responsibility and obligation in life that yields meaningful and lasting relationships. As hard as these can be sometimes they are really what makes life worth living.
I will be a mother, a protector and a care-giver. Hopefully I won't completely lose my professional identity or my sense of daily accomplishments completely inside myself. My first and foremost priority will be my child and my family. I will give my previous sense of self to the betterment, protection and furtherment of another human being in what may become my most significant relationship yet. I am so excited for what awaits me.
I am scared as well. Am I really ready for this? I think so. It has taken me nearly as much time to prepare for this as it took to raise and prepare an infant for college (18 years). I am now nearly 18 years out of high school. A completely different being has emerged with new ideas, values, and sense of the world. I am ready to be a parent.
Cheers to the future.