A sense of place. This concept has always resonated for me. Knowing the history of the land I inhabit, understanding the body I live in, examining the systems I live within, and where I choose to expend my energy. Let this introduction serve as a marker of who is behind Carry, and what I bring to my brand and business.
When I worked in environmental and experiential outdoor education one of my mentors was known for always saying, in a thick, slow, Texas drawl, “Everything, at the right place, at the right time.” At the time, I brushed this wisdom aside, focused on the reasons this couldn’t be true. But, over the years it just kept popping into my head as I integrated my lived experiences, and as time has passed I realized that it has been a metronome; keeping time as I move through life- always seeking more skills, more knowledge, more validity, and more clarity around the gifts I offer. It has brought me here, now, and as spring emerges outside my window I am also emerging, quite literally, as I muddy my toes in the wet mulched garden beds outside my home, seeking signs of life from the land, and also here.
Last March was the start of the Coronavirus pandemic (as if we could forget) which began shortly after I overcame my own fears around vulnerability and launched Carry. Yes, this was one of the times where initially I shook my fist at the voice in my head drawling, “Everything at the right place, at the right time.” as the risks of in person support grew and my in person work became irresponsible but still necessary. But, with time comes clarity, and I can see the ways the last year was not just spent frozen in time trying to pivot my work in a way that didn’t feel authentic.
I devoured opportunities for growth with online trainings and continuing education through Birthing from Within, DONA, and The Center for Babywearing Studies. I listened to black voices in the spaces I inhabit, and examined my own practices to continue the never ending work of being anti-racist. I found queer community online again, the last time having been as a pre-teen in a rural town, seeking others like me. I crawled out from a period of deep depression and reframed again what it means to live with a chronic illness. Through all of this, The challenges of parenting two young humans at home remained and constantly shifted, I continued to read and consume media (mostly books, and podcasts), and each day I worked toward more efficiency for my home and person to create space for joyful living.
In January, I had a bilateral mastectomy. I chose to undergo this major surgery for a few reasons, the first of which was hope for relief from musculoskeletal burden of breasts disproportionate to my frame. A possible benefit I hoped to see was a reduction in pain and an easier time moving my body to manage my chronic autoimmune disease. And, finally, my surgery provided the opportunity for physical gender confirmation. Which, as a genderqueer person, means blurring my space in terms of the gender binary and playing with my space on the gender spectrum. (If all of that sounds like a foreign language, that’s ok. In time I will add resources around gender identity, and for now feel free to contact me with questions.) After a couple months of literal healing with lots of physical rest, lifting restrictions, and pain I’m entering the phase of healing that involves strengthening and getting to know this new body which I will inhabit for the next chapter of my life. (Did you know that butterflies remember their time as caterpillars even though they literally turn to goo in a chrysalis?!) It feels like a fog is lifting and I can see the landscape ahead. Last Saturday was the spring equinox, which heralds the start World Doula Week, and then Trans Day of Visibility occurs this coming Wednesday. Lots of energy in spaces that are meaningful to me these days.
All of which to say, hello. I’ll be spending this next week sharing more about some of the lenses from which I view the world. I am looking forward to building a community in person and virtually to support your journey, honoring your own sense of place. I am so excited we are here.