My friend Jen, not only a gifted writer but also a doula, recently wrote this post about transition, the birthing kind..
I had recently shared with her my long-held dream to become a midwife. At this point it is just a dream. Changing careers at this point in my life is really not an option. I used to be the frustrated secret midwife-wanna-be, borrowing medical textbooks from the library, dreaming of taking workshops on the Farm with Ina May Gaskin, checking out coursework at the University of Maryland and making plans to sign up for biology next semester, watching the Discovery Health Channel long into the night, grumpy when none of these things worked out.
Now, however, I find the midwife in me emerging in different and more comforting ways. At work, I have become that colleague who will spend hours brainstorming over someone else’s project with them until their best ideas and creative genius pop out. I hold the space for great ideas, smiling and reassuring struggling friends that they are so so close to finding an answer, …now breathe…breathe…yes push yourself NOW. Its what I do best really and its what I have come to love about my current job and one of my greatest joys in being a friend.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the birthing of others that I forget that I too am laboring.
I am laboring to bring forth a new life for us–a life post-Juan where happiness is not simply the mere absence of grief but something greater, new, different, brilliant and sparkly. I am laboring to bring forth a creative, independent and strong woman who finds happiness in the “now”–and does not seek it in the “if only” I am laboring to bring forth a new vision for my life, a new way of imagining family, a new way of imagining my future.
I related so to Jen’s post because in my own little birth metaphor these last few months my life has been in this kind of transition. And as a transition its not been simply transitory but more like the transition phase in a birth — that crazy moment of excitement and chaos and fear and restlessness and doubt. Being a soul-midwife myself I know that if I can just push through something beautiful will be born but in the throws of it all it is just easy to scream “GET ME OUT OF HERE”. Unlike real birth transition, this phase has lasted months and may last even longer. I can’t say for sure when we will turn the corner. Thank God for the friends who wipe my forehead and tell me to breathe.
I have much to write about this state of transition. And in time more stories like this and this will emerge. I want to record the joyous, scary, crazy place I am in right now, a place where hope and doubt are all tangled up into one space. I want to remember what it took to get to the next phase of my life, what it took to grow.
But tonight I will just light and candle, say a little prayer and hold the space. I am a midwife after all.