Several years ago, I spent a few weeks on the Perhentian Islands, in Malaysia, just sitting on a beach, contemplating my life. I was on a break from graduate school, was in Southeast Asia anyway, and was recovering from a broken heart. I think that I thought that if I sat on the beach long enough, the waves would somehow wash away my pain and confusion.
There is very little to do on the Perhentians. The name comes from the Malay for "waiting", and that seems to be the main activity there. My hotel had basically no amenities (there was a water shortage, so even bathing was a hit or miss proposition), so within a few days, I found myself chatting with other denizens of the hotel. They were a motley crew, including two absolutely adorable American college students, a soulful German seeking enlightenment, a sweet Danish couple, and two kind but odd South Africans.
The oddness of the South Africans became clear one day when I was having a swim in the warm, blue-green ocean and they came paddling up on inflatable rafts that they had clearly brought with them. Having cornered me thus, without any further ado, one of them suddenly asked "are you a believer?" I was utterly flabbergasted, and spluttered out something like "can you be more specific?" Their answer made it clear that their question related to my opinion about the literal truth of the Christian bible. Well, I'm a woman of many moods, and certainly have a lot of opinions about many things religions, but the literal truth of any text written thousands of years ago is not high on the list of things in which I hold a lot of faith. Upon discovering this fact, they seem to have adopted converting me as their mission. Under normal circumstances, I would have found this offensive, but having nothing at all better to do at the time, it resulted in many interesting conversations. During that time, I learned many things about myself, including the fact that I had been harboring an irrational fear of people with views different from my own, which had been cutting me off from wonderful sources of support and inspiration. I will forever be grateful to them for that lesson. Thanks A & M!
One day M and I were talking about something having nothing to do with religion, and he suddenly changed the subject, by saying "you know, I've been talking to you for days now, and have noticed that you have a wonderful head, but also a good heart, but that you always seem to listen to your head when making decisions. I think you need to stop thinking so much!"
I remembered this incident yesterday, when I finally got the chance to visit some of my favorite blogs, and saw that Sarah at For the Flavor has nominated me for a "Thinking Blogger" award. Well, so many bloggers are wonderful thinkers that I am beyond flattered to be singled out. I was also relieved to finally be given a logical explanation for the headache that I've had throughout much of my pregnancy. I must be thinking too much!
Anyway, the purpose of the award seems to be to encourage others to follow the trail of nominations, and therefore to "meet" some new wonderful bloggers. So, I am now tagged to nominate five more bloggers for the "thinking blogger" award. I love this idea, and have put a lot of thought into my nominees.
Before I open the envelope, I'd like to explain some of the logic (or illogic) behind my nominations. Given that I have an infertility blog, and that most of the bloggers that I visit regularly, and that visit me regularly, also have infertility blogs, I wanted to mainly nominate blogs that are relevant, yet off of the beaten path. So, I'm not going to nominate wonderful thought-provoking blogs by bloggers with enormous readerships, since that really wouldn't help to point anyone anywhere new. I'm also not just going to nominate my five favorite underappreciated IF blogs. Rather, I've decided to branch out a bit, and also nominate some blogs that deal with some of the other sides of fertility and infertility.
I have always been very interested in adoption, and continue to consider it as an option for my own family. There are some wonderful adoption blogs out there, but the following two particularly stand out in my mind for the ways in which they've helped me to think and rethink the complexity involved in building a family through adoption. I haven't listed these blogs on my blogroll, as they aren't IF blogs, but I visit them often to see what's going on.
I wish that Lorrie at Clueless in Carolina lived next door to me. She is smart, kind, thoughtful, and absolutely pee-in-your-pants hilarious, as well as being both an adoptee and the mother to two gorgeous little girls that she adopted from China. If you haven't "met" her already, go check her out. You won't regret it.
Shannon at Peter's Cross Station never fails to teach me something new whenever I visit her blog. She's the busy mom to the adorable Nat, and has her hands full with a variety of things, but she makes a point of constantly educating herself and others about adoption and all manner of other topics.
You really didn't think I wasn't going to include infertility blogs, did you?
Whenever I get a comment from Thalia at Thalia's Fertility Journey, it invariably includes something that makes me think "that Thalia is so smart!" Her blog is the same way. She's a lovely writer, and also always has something interesting to say. If you're not already one of her many fans, go pay her a visit.
I love to visit Marie-Baguette's blog. Not only does she diligently update almost every day, but you never know what you're going to get. Some days it's an update on her pregnancy, other days it's the most recent medical research on any one of a number of topics. On really fun days, it may be music recommendations, or even videos. Great stuff!
Finally, I discovered Watson via the International Infertility Film Festival and am now hooked. If you like to laugh, you'll LOVE Watson. She's thought-provoking too. Really. Check her out.