Throughout my life, I've never had a single passionate interest or hobby. I was one in high school that was an active member of pretty much every extra curricular club. I was in FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), FGE (Future Georgia Educators), Math Team, and 4-H, among others. I showed beef cattle, was in the Optimist Club's speech competition, and was a cheerleader. You name it, I was genuinely interested in it (so long as it had nothing to do with music - I have no talent at all in that department! The 6th grade trombone experiment proved that once and for all.)
The broad scope of my interests continued in college, not only in my extra-curricular, but also with my major work. Which might have had a little something to do with the six years and countless credit hours...but that's another story we won't take on today (or probably ever).
All that has made me, what I consider to be, a pretty darn well-rounded individual. I know a good bit about a lot and have a very unique set of experiences. I've changed the lower element in an electric water heater by myself. I've made my own wedding cake. I've designed and installed a complete landscape. I've sewn my own formal gown. There are a ton of things I enjoy doing and learning about. What my Renaissance soul has not been useful with, however, is being passionate.
I witnessed my older brother, Travis, pick up a guitar in high school and teach himself to be an awesome player; 15 years later, he can still be seen rocking out in establishments around Statesboro with his band, Dirty Uncle Bob. I watched as my middle brother, Justin, built a log cabin all on his own (using only hand tools) with trees he cut down himself and have seen the him make incredibly intricate wooden creations. They both are incredibly passionate about their hobby (which also sort of turned into a major and then career for Justin). I've always been a bit envious of them in that regard. And it's not that I think I'm not good at anything, but I've never been really awesome at any one particular pursuit. I've never been totally focused and consumed with one specific interest.
But after 29 years, I have found a passion. Something that I want to learn everything possible about. Something that amazes me, that inspires me, that brings me an immeasurable amount of joy. For the last 18 months, every book I've read has been about pregnancy, birth, or babies. I've attend classes, workshops, online discussions, and community programs about birth.
I love being pregnant. I love giving birth. I love newborns. Eric tells me we cannot have 20 babies of our own. He's pretty firm on the no more than a dozen thing. ;)
So I've found that the next best thing to having the experience over and over again myself is being involved with other families and witnessing the miracle of a new life entering the world and watching as two people's lives are transformed as they become parents. My work this year as a birth doula has been incredible. And it is nearly impossible to put into words how much I adore what I am doing.
My main priority remains my family and our home. As long as we have young kids at home, I will limit the number of clients I take on and how many classes I teach. It's fun to have a hobby I'm truly passionate about though. (And making a little play money with it isn't all bad either.)
I have a real business now (Mãe Amor Birth Services). And a real website (http://www.burlingtonbirth.com/). My doula certification is caught up in a backlog and waiting to go before the review committee. But I did receive my HypnoBirthing Practitioner certification last month and will be teaching my first official class beginning in a couple weeks.
Business is good. The girls are growing and doing great. Life is truly grand.
I'll try to be around here a little more often to tell you all about it!