Travel

Peru, babies, and a grasshopper

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In less than 24 hours I will be on a plane to Peru, embarking on a 5 day hike to Machu Picchu to experience the magic that this ancient wonder holds. To be completely honest, I’m not sure what sparked my desire to hike for 5 days and 40 miles up to 15,000 foot elevation. I’ve had Peru on my bucket list for several years now, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. As with past changes in my life, I love to mark big transitions with a meaningful trip: Barcelona to experience awe and be on my own for the first time; India to connect to my spirituality and understand yoga; Bali to reflect on marriage and what commitment means. I take these opportunities to create space, get grounded, and set very clear intentions in order to welcome a new phase in my life. Peru for me symbolizes a huge physical, mental, and emotional undertaking: having kids! (note: we aren’t pregnant yet)

It started a few weeks ago when I sat down to do a tarot reading with my friends. I was searching my brain for an issue to address, and at first, I couldn’t come up with anything. Then the next day, my friend asked me, are you sure you don’t have any topic for a reading? And I had to be completely honest with myself, having kids immediately came to to the forefront of my mind. I have been thinking about it for many months now, but it’s a hard topic to discuss openly. It makes me feel vulnerable, often makes me cry (out of excitement, anxiety, fear), society makes it taboo (don’t jinx yourself!), and people have very real issues getting pregnant and having kids in general. But I’m a person that thinks things through as I talk (or write), and I can’t keep my fears and anxieties bottled up inside. So I did the tarot reading, and it was therapeutic. It also spawned a ton more thoughts and ideas that I just needed to put out there. Maybe to prove I’m not alone.

The idea of having kids is exciting and terrifying at the same time. But I have always envisioned myself as a mom. My mom is one of the lights of my life, and I see a lot of her in me. She’s the most selfless person I know, and I always admire her ability to love and care for others. My parents have both instilled a great deal in me whether they realize it or not, and I often wonder how I turned out to be…me. It’s these reasons and more that I’ve always known I wanted kids. The whole concept is crazy and scary and miraculous all at the same time.

So this past week in yoga class, we were meditating and the teacher says: think of your biggest desire. I immediately thought of being a mom, and I truly felt connected to this idea and that I am capable of it. But it also started a series of questions: How will this change our lives? How do we want to live? How will we raise our kids? What experiences will we share? I refuse to accept that being married with kids has to look a certain way because I believe it can be so much more than my preconceived notions. I see incredible possibilities.

And then my cousin showed me this blog. It’s written by a couple that decided to pick up their lives (with a toddler and a 3 year old in tow) to live abroad for one year and experience “a broader” life. The idea just seems incredible. While I love their intentions, sense of adventure, and pure grit for taking this on, it got me thinking. I don’t want to to live a life of mundane routine where I’m constantly suffering from a time deficit. I don’t currently live this way; my life and my marriage have great flow right now. But I know having a kid will change things in a big way. My hope is to create a new sense of flow without needing to pick up and leave the beautiful life we have created and our home in Austin. But how?

I now understand what Andy meant when he said that he’s been thinking about the reality of how our lives will change with kids. During that time I just kept giggling and crying over cute baby videos (and babies with puppies!) on youtube. My facebook feed is full of baby pictures, and my friends are having kids left and right. Their new realities are sinking in. It’s still scary because there are so many unknowns: Will I be a good mom? Will I even be able to have kids? Again, terrified and excited.

Luckily, I just get to walk for a few days and think about it. Literally. And maybe scaling a mountain will  put some things into perspective.

After that yoga class, I found a grasshopper friend on my doorstep. I watched it for a while (and touched it), and it just sat there and stared back at me. The next morning it was still there but lying on its side. I touched it again hesitantly, thinking it was dead, and its foot moved! I put it back on its legs, and it turns out, maybe it was just sleeping? A few hours later it was gone.

Slightly bewildered, I looked up the meaning of grasshoppers and found this: When the grasshopper appears to us we are being asked to take a leap of faith and jump forward into a specific area of life without fear. Grasshoppers can only jump forward, not backward or sideways. So when he shows up, he could be reaffirming to you that you are taking the right steps to move forward in your current situation. This is why grasshoppers are a symbol of good luck all over the world. The grasshopper’s ability to connect and understand sound vibrations is why he is also a symbol of your inner voice. He could be telling you to trust yours.

So here’s to moving ahead without fear! I’m filled with resolve, some nerves, and an open heart. I look forward to this trip of a lifetime and all the lessons that nature has in store.

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