Two weeks ago, our family headed to Florida for a week of rest and re-stocking. It had been 11 months since we’d left our new home in Haiti and so I had complied a list of things to stock up on. We were meeting friends in Florida that were coming to make sure that we relaxed, ate good food, and laughed a lot (mission accomplished!) but we had about 24 hours from the time we landed until they landed.
We decided as a family that it would be best to get all the restock shopping done up front so that we could just lay like broccoli for the rest of our week. We knew that stores would be a bit overwhelming as our markets and stores are a little different in Haiti so we put together a list of exactly what we needed it and where to buy it and set on our way to get it done.
The majority of the items we were shopping for were from Target and since we were excited from traveling, we decided it would be better to tackle Target at night before closing then on a Saturday night and so we set out to gather all the items on our list.
I was in need of some new brasiers and so I quickly set about to check that item off the list. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been bra shopping before but the vast options were unusually overwhelming since we had just touched down in the USA hours earlier. I grabbed a few sizes in a few styles and set about figuring out what I needed and then when I found some I like that fit, went back to get more in different colors. I was caught up in the rows and rows of bras and wandered around saying, “I don’t know” in creole over and over but 15 minutes later, I was done!
Fast forward to packing everything up before heading home to Haiti and as I was removing tags, I was surprised to find that I had a nursing bra in my bunch! I was completely confused as I hadn’t seen one of those in years (honestly, I just thought it was a snazzy new feature at first glance) and when I checked the tag, it confirmed I’d indeed bought a nursing bra and not noticed in my hurry to get out of the overstimulating store. We were leaving a day later to head back home and it took me only a split second to determine that I would rather wear the nursing bra then take on Target again. Say what?!
It was in that moment that I realized how much had changed. Life in Haiti is slower than in the states. That doesn’t mean it’s not weird and without challenges, but it’s not as hectic (although Haitian traffic is the exception to that rule). There aren’t 17 options of one product in the stores here which has greatly cut down on my shopping time. The grocery store that seems massive here I now realize is a fraction of the size of the Target we wandered in that night.
I’ve realized that options are nice but sometimes, they just get in the way and take up too much brain space. I’ve realized that endless options don’t make my skirt fly up the way I thought they did but rather make me want to find a quiet corner. I’ve come to learn that there is a simplicity and focus that comes with not having so much noise around every decision being made.
Our life in Haiti, in many ways, is different from the life we lived in the states. My first year here has taught me that different isn’t necessarily better – and in this case – you really can’t compare one to the other.
I’ve spent some years in nursing bras and never would I have guessed that I would not only make the mistake of purchasing one again but then decide better to wear it than brave the store and exchange it. My life has changed many ways this year in learning to be fluid and go with the flow. In this instance, I’m going to view it as a snazzy new feature on an otherwise regular old bra. Lemons to lemonade – that’s what this year has been all about!