9 February 2013

Tomatoes don't belong in a fruit salad.

Sometimes we walk into the game and think we know all the rules. 

You decide to do something with your life, you want to become a surrogate. It's admirable and beautiful. You are going to be amazing and the people that understand adore you and the people that don't understand will gratefully receive an education in altruism and good deeds. You do some research and like what you see and hear...BOOM! You are ready.
You know who you are, what you want and how you're going to get from the starting point to the finishing line. You can't fail, you know stuff. 

Unfortunately, those rules are just a starting point to get you going, they're not the be-all-and-end-all. Turns out you don't know who you are yet, you've not made the first steps after all. You're Frodo when he's still in The Shire. You're Alice before the rabbit hole. In other words, you're completely clueless. 

say what now?
 - no copyright infringement intended 

Now that you've been told you know absolutely nothing about nothing, I have some good news. You are not the first woman to be a surrogate. You'll never be alone once you decide you're doing this and that makes you extremely lucky. Most surrogates have this knack for hanging around and helping the new girls out, even doing multiple journeys and learning more about themselves in the process. They have all started out the same as you and ended up through the ringer/Middle Earth/Wonderland and back home again. The most valuable piece of advice a surrogate can give another surrogate is; "Listen to all the other surrogates, except the Muppets." What you have, is a Fellowship. Or a White Rabbit and Mad Hatter, depending on which storyline you prefer to subscribe to. You can find your Fellowship or talkative animals by joining agencies, reading blogs, befriending more open and prolific surrogates and they will let you in the inner circles. For which they are many, varying in quality and size. If you find yourself in the hands of the right group, you'll be golden. If not, you'll feel it and start over elsewhere. 
Once you're in a group you introduce yourself and start asking some questions and explaining your ideas. Then what'll happen is someone will pull a Walt Disney on you and give you a kick in the teeth. It'll be the greatest thing to happen to you, because it starts you on a journey of self-discovery. 

The purest fact is you need to want the help. You need to know you're clueless and be smart enough to take the wisdom when it's offered to you.
For your voyage to being the best, most supported and knowledgeable surrogate there has ever been, you need to have a few things. You need to have thick skin. Imperative not only for matching, but for being a part of the groups you have no doubt been invited into.
You also need to have a bullshit detector the size of Yorkshire, because some advice is actually bollocks in disguise.
You lastly need to know that everyone is looking out for you, the newbie. That when an experienced surrogate sees you, they see themselves before they got started, and they want what's best for you. 

I now consider myself fairly experienced, not a wise one with six journeys under her belt or fifteen-twenty years in the field. But I've seen a lot in a short space of time. Although I'm still learning, I can dish out a fair bit of advice and know where to send you if I don't have the answer. I can't tell the many, many times I had my ideas questioned and straight up told "You're absolutely wrong and bonkers!" and every, blooming time, I've taken the punch and let it make me stronger and smarter. I'm still getting punched in the gut, to this day, either by medications or other women correcting my thoughts - and I'm grateful for every blow.

What am I getting at? 

Some people can't take the advice. Some people, despite their best intentions, can't check their ego at the door.
This is an entirely dangerous position to put themselves in. For they will end up alone and no better in their journey to Mordor/wherever the fuck Alice goes. 

No. Just no. 

You will end up with the Muppets giving you advice. That's no place to be. You'll end up with people telling Intended Parents they must be married to join an agency or receive a Parental Order (not true), people saying that you can't go independent as it's illegal (a tricky one, but not illegal if done carefully) and worse than that, you'll have crazy people who think it's perfectly okay to match with more than one surrogate or a crazy surrogate that matches with more than one couple. Is this the kind of advice you want to find in your inbox? Thought not... 

Take the thick skin, the bullshit detector, the loving Fellowship of the Surrogates and go on your journey. You may not always find friends, but you will find yourself. As pretentious as it sounds, I found myself when I became a surrogate. It turns out I'm quite feisty and annoying, and want to adopt all newbies. 

Good luck, happy surrogating (yes, it's a verb now), throw your ring into the fire, learn your inner strength and don't be the mug that wants to test the theory.

and never put tomatoes in a fruit salad just because it's a fruit.

much love - x - 

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