When your stuff — clothes, shoes, books, photos, vitamins, cookware, small appliances, blankets, pillows, souvenirs — ALL your stuff — has been in boxes for two months you start to forget what you packed in the first place. You wonder where you’re going to put all that stuff whenever it arrives. You wonder if you need any of that, anyway. You start to forget the person who packed all that stuff away. What did she think she was going to do with it?
Then you open a package mailed to yourself full of things that make you intensely happy and filled with purpose and you remember: oh, yeah, that stuff. The stuff that isn’t more important than people or your own innate spirit, but the stuff that … maybe … gives you an anchor to the things that bring out the best in yourself. The stuff that is a tool you use to create something positive.
Here is some of my stuff:
I don’t only spend my days freaking out about adapting to a new country, engaging in baking meditation, chasing children, reading poetry or scare-the-bejeezus fiction (or paranormal urban fantasy), hallucinating about foxes and giant ravens, or, whatever it is I’m doing, drinking cider and eating bon-bons and filling the day up with nonsense. I’m also a lactation consultant. Yes, those are breasts. I am deeply passionate about being present for mothers who are struggling with breastfeeding … through days and nights that are good, bad, awful and amazing, sometimes all at once. Working in this field is like being a detective, a cheerleader, a dreamer, a giant listening ear, a trapeze artist. Being a helper along a mother’s journey, getting to be there when something ineffable changes and she and her baby stare at each other in wonder and love, well, that is priceless. That is something worth doing.
That stuff. That’s the stuff I just unpacked.
I wasn’t sure about mentioning my ‘other’ life — my professional one — here in this space. This isn’t a blog about lactation, but it is a blog about finding your way in a new place. So. Looking for a blog about lactation? Try Breastfeeding Reporter, Normal, like Breathing, Nourish Breastfeeding Support, Nurtured Child, Best for Babes, Breastfeeding Arts, Analytical Armadillo [deep breath] and Motherwear Breastfeeding, Uppity Science Chick, Breastfeeding Medicine … that’s just off the top of my head. Happy reading.