Firstly I must say a very warm and heartfelt thank you to those who have commented on my last post, emailed me, texted me, called me, hugged me. Thank you dear friends, family and readers! I really do appreciate your kind words and thoughts, particularly in times of tough decision making and shitty/unplanned outcomes as I have been experiencing around here.
About a month ago I was lucky enough to be given a leave pass to use a massage voucher I was given for Christmas. I see my naturopath for massages every now and then which are absolutely amazing and a wonderful treat. We were talking as I lay on the table, about this and that. Usually we talk about True Blood and life. True Blood hasn’t been a discussion point of late as we are waiting for Season 6, so it was mainly just life that was being discussed. She advised me to wait four weeks. Just wait. To give myself four weeks without thinking too much about this dilemma and that dilemma. Without wondering who I am and where I’m going and if I’m breastfeeding or what type of mother I am or where we are going to live or whether the sky is blue for any particular reason or whether or not there is life in outer-space (I do wonder this, do you?). She assured me that things would fall into place.
This was a harder task than one would imagine, but I tried hard and kind of managed to succeed.
And fall into place, things did!
In the last week I have gone from the point where I could not make a decision about whether or not to take the rubbish out, to suddenly seeing so much clarity around me. Perhaps coming to the end of breastfeeding and making such an enormously difficult decision has cleared some space in my mind. Yes, probably. Perhaps getting a few hours of extra sleep has removed some fog. Who knows.
I have learnt a few things on this motherly path. I experienced this influx of “life questions” on-mass last time I was on maternity leave. Maternity leave is wonderful: it is fun and tiring and expansive. It’s also a time that I personally feel kind of withdrawn from the rest of society. For me, it is like stepping away from the “real” world (I hesitate to say that, as I think being a mother is pretty much as real as it gets), taking time out and not having the external hustle and bustle going on that distracts you from you. Maternity leave has given me the time and space to think (too much?) about my life and where I am headed, despite being physically and environmentally busier than I have ever been in my life.
Excuse all this, I have had two coffees today which we all know is against the rules for me, so I am not really sure where this is going or if it makes sense to any of you.
I had kind of a premonition the other day. I’m just about due to go back to uni (naturopathy degree) after a year off. We are balancing some figures and wondering how long we can last without me going back to work. Things have been vague and for a while now I have had a niggling feeling in my gut that has been questioning my path. Do I forget about uni for now and go back to community development and disability? Do I change plans again and do something completely different? Who the bloody hell am I? What do I like? What am I good at? I felt insanely jealous of people who have just fallen into something they feel passionate about and who totally love going to work every day. I had pretty much decided to forget everything and think about it again when my girls are in Primary School.
Then, the epiphany. What do I like most outside my family and kids? What am I drawn to? What am I interested in? What do I think about when I think about a future career in naturopathy and how I would treat patients? What do I like to do? What do I think about? What excites me? What do I want to learn about? What do I read books about? What do I like searching on google?
The answer came to me a couple of nights ago at around 2.30am as I sat up in bed cradling the Pixie in my arms in the dark:
I LOVE FOOD. I love thinking about it, cooking it, learning about it. I love how good food, real food, can influence our lives, our health, our happiness and our communities. I love the connection between good nutrition and community. My community development background urges me to learn how to teach other people about it, help pregnant women to navigate it, to show new mummies how to introduce it to their kidlets. It feels like a fit, a fantastic melding together of my current skills and future goals. My gut said YES! I said YES! This is it! I could hardly contain myself from waking the just-sleeping baby in my lap to tell her.
The very next day, I rang uni and began the process of transferring from naturopathy to nutritional medicine. I go back in four weeks (part time!).
Flying by the seat of my pants? Absolutely!
Excited? Finally feeling in my gut that I am doing the right thing? Many questions evaporated from my mind? YES!
I am a true believer, particularly since becoming a mum, of listening to your gut. It usually tells you what is right and wrong. From wondering if your baby is sick, to making big life decisions. Once the fog has cleared, you know most of the answers already.
Have you guys made any big decisions this week? Are you at a turning point? Do you wonder where life is going to take you?