Confession: I’ve spent today sat next to a suitcase questioning my life choices. Mostly, I’m wondering if 28 is too young to be having a midlife crisis. Then I wondered… am I having a midwife crisis? And having cheered myself up with that pun, I decided to get on with life.
You know when people tell you to “follow your dreams” and it feels a bit annoying? Well, last December I eventually wondered whether instead of being annoyed I should actually take the advice. My dream? To take my midwifery skills on the road, to low-resource settings. As in, the tropics. With the heat, the bitey things, all the diseases. I don’t know why- I’ve never even been to the tropics. It’s possible I spent too much of my childhood watching The Wild Thornberrys. But one December afternoon I filled out a load of application forms, and all hell broke loose in my life.
By that I mean, I basically threw myself off a cliff, life-wise. I gave up my home, gave away all my possessions, left my job. I moved to Liverpool to study Tropical Nursing, I went back to Sheffield to work out my notice, and I got a new job with a charity. And my wonderful, wonderful friends and family caught me. They let me live with them while I studied and worked. They fed me, gave me lifts, and fundraised for me with such efficiency that the charity couldn’t believe it. And most of all they told me that though I’m definitely crazy, I’m also doing something worthwhile. So thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one!
In a few hours I’m off of the final leg of my preparation for a proper, grown-up job in humanitarian work. I’m going to Burkina Faso for 6 months with International Service UK. Goals: learn how to live and work in the tropics; learn how to manage a team; learn how to all of do the above in French. And hopefully be part of some fantastic community development work at the same time.
I’ll try and post on here so you know I’m alive- I’ve been promised there will be internet whenever there’s electricity…!