New Beginnings

Image by Monty Vern
Written by Shelly DS
“New Beginnings”

This phrase almost sounds ridiculous because if something is new, it is the beginning. And by the same token, if it is a beginning, it is new. Whoever first introduced that phrase must be a clown! For years – no, decades – I would cringe each time I heard someone say those two words together, or even in the same sentence. And I would make sure to correct them politely with a “you can just say beginning else it’s redundant. ”I’m sure all kids pass through the phase of being grammar nazis when they learn something new, and I surely was one of those smarty pants! That is one of the few decisions I had stood by well into my adulthood. Ironically, here I am writing an entire post about my ‘new beginning’. 

When my lovely friends over at T.B.C asked me to share a moment that I started something new, I rubbed my hands together in glee with the numerous options to pick from. From new relationships to new (but shameful) experiences, life has definitely been my ostrich. Growing up, the one thing I feared most was change, and yet everything in life kept changing. New family, new school, new house, new country… Name anything and I’ve probably experienced a change in that regard! At the time things were changing, I wasn’t too keen on the change. But now that I have overcome the speed bumps, I am grateful for each of the experiences. 

The Deepest Dive

As a millennial leaving my twenties, this is yet another experience that has been weighing quite a bit on my mind. The idea of transitioning out of something as comfortable as the early adulthood phase to becoming a fully-fledged grown-up is nerve-racking, to say the least. Think about it; in your twenties, you are allowed to try things out and mess up. It’s also completely okay not to have everything planned out, or even know what you want. But as a thirty-year-old and a mother to an actual human, I have to get it together. Becoming a mother is something that sounds scary to most, and believe me, it was for me too. I don’t share the story of how I felt when I found out about my pregnancy too often because it wasn’t the best feeling. But now, looking back, I wish that someone had told me that I was about to embark on the most enjoyable and rewarding journey of my life. 

And Then Came Spawn
Image by Monty Vern

I have told the story of how my daughter’s nickname became ‘spawn’, but every version gets tweaked a little each time I tell it. The honest truth is that I was afraid of motherhood and the mere idea of having a parasite growing in my belly. Can you just imagine how strange it would be to house a foreign body that eats off you, makes you feel sick, and then forces you into lifelong debt? Sounds like a parasite to me! Well, as a person in my twenties just starting to enjoy life, my baby was that parasite. The spawn. It was selfish of me to think that I wanted to travel, spend money carelessly and drink to my heart’s content. But as a person who was finally blooming into her body and life, I wanted to hold onto that newly found freedom for longer. I remember crying my eyeballs out and fearing the conversation with my dad. Mind you, I was twenty-six when I found out I was pregnant. But coming from a very strict African family, there was no way I could justify my out-of-wedlock pregnancy. It didn’t matter that I had a degree and a very well-paying job, I had let a man ‘jump in through the window’ so to speak. And a man my father knew nothing of!

So What Happened?

Just like everything in life, you are forced to make decisions and live with them. My decision, which was highly influenced by my then-boyfriend-now-husband, was to tie the knot and start the new phase of life.
Three years and five months after finding out that I was to become a mom, I am loving every moment with my spawn. And yes, her nickname that she responds to Is Spawn. It’s very cliché of me to say this, but everything that people say about motherhood giving you purpose is absolutely true.

How I Feel About Change and New Beginnings

The one thing that life has taught me is that change is inevitable. Growing is inevitable. New beginnings are unavoidable. So after nearly twenty decades of dreading the words ‘new beginnings’, here we are, accepting them with an open mind. I still get anxious and afraid whenever it is time to take a leap of faith, but that anxiety is something that never wins. Nope, anxiety is that weak friend that never wins an arm-wrestling match but never stops trying. 

To my amazing friends at T.B.C, thank you for encouraging me to revisit this beautiful memory and share it with the world. You are truly inspiring!

Notes on the Author & Illustrator

What a fabulous post this is. It is our first time engaging Shelly DS and she has done us proud. Witty, humorous, dry and very honest – that is the style of Shelly DS. We recommend checking out Shelly’s blog and hearing about how to cope with life in a humorously positive way. Her blog is inviting, entertaining and full of articles for everyone. Have a browse and be inspired to grow and embrace change.

All illustrations provided throughout #MyFirstTime are original, bespoke works of Monty Vern. Monty has also
created “My First Time…Behind the Scenes” – a companion series to #MyFirstTime. In this exclusive series Monty allows us to take a walk through his mind when creating images for My First Time. A collaboration in every sense, when you get a glimpse into the inner workings of a creatives mind! Keep up with the whole series by following T.B.C and Monty Vern.

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