Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"While you see a chance, take it"

I’ve been away for a while (okay, a long while), and with reason.  I’ve been working on two new books, both of which I am super excited about, but I’ve also been spending a lot of time in my own thoughts.

I’ve been thinking for a long time that it’s past time for a change professionally.  I’m leaving the library I have invested twelve years of working in, taking an offer from my alma mater to teach part time and going back to school to work on Early Childhood Education Certification.  Having spent the past several years largely teaching online, getting back in front of the classroom will be a change and a challenge for sure.  But it’s something I’ve trained to do, something I worked two and half years on a Master’s Degree so I could do.  I can’t let that degree sit on the proverbial shelf anymore, especially when there is a possibility that teaching Creative Writing is in the near future—a dream class for an author such as myself.  And not to mention, I have the opportunity to work with the professor who inspired me to go into English and reignited my love of writing fiction. 
Now why would I think about going back to school to teach little kids while teaching college at the same time???  Good question.  About a year ago my husband and I were asked to substitute teach my daughter’s Sunday School class.  I was nervous, no doubt.  But I was surprised at how much fun I had, despite the hard work.  And it was that way every time I left class.  I even volunteered to teach my son’s preschool Sunday School class.  One day, a little boy came to class distraught and crying for a reason we didn’t know.  Normally, I freeze when confronted with that type of emotion, but not that day.  Somehow, I naturally went over, talked to him, gave him a hug, and before I knew it, he was joining in with the rest of the class.  Mark even complimented me on what a good job I had done.  I don’t know if it was having kids of my own that helped me in that situation, but whatever the case, I was happy knowing I helped that little boy smile and enjoy class time.  I was happy after class that day, the same as I was after substituting for each of their classes.  I’d always loved helping my kids with their homework—seeing them actually identify a circle from a square, distinguish their favorite color, carefully trace letters until they can write their names.  It never occurred to me that that was something I could do for a living.  Doing crafts, telling stories, seeing bright little smiles light up with enthusiasm with the work they accomplished taught me that teaching those little children is something I was initially volunteered to do, but it was also something I learned that I wanted to do, too. 

And life is much too short to not do something that you want to do.  I’m not getting any younger, and neither are Connor and Lydia.  They deserve, like all kids do, to grow up with a good education, a good home, and this path I’ve chosen will certainly help provide them with those. 

This wasn’t a decision I came to lightly.  I have been working at the same place, in the same position, for twelve years.  I have made friends and was comfortable—maybe a little too comfortable.  The work wasn’t challenging anymore.  I didn’t take pleasure or pride in the same day-to-day routines.   I didn’t feel like I fit in as well as I used to and that some relationships had just unfortunately waned.  I became depressed and unfulfilled by my work.  I listened to promises of promotions that I later realized were empty.  I know a lot of people go through the same exact things with their jobs and that I should be grateful to have had a job and I was.  I just wasn’t sure I was where I needed to be. 
And then that’s when it happened.  I met with a lovely woman at USC-Upstate who offered me a chance to go back and do what I realized I’d always wanted to do in the first place.  She gave me a few days to think it over, which didn’t seem like much time, but that ended up being good.  It forced me to magnify the decision then and there and really look at what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  So, I did, and it was amazing how clear everything started to become the more I thought about it.  I took the chance she gave me and did something I should have done a long time ago, which was to end one chapter so I could begin another in my life.  I know it will be challenging, but it will certainly awaken a spirit in me that has been asleep for a while.

If I may, I think Steve Winwood put it quite well: 

Stand up in a clear blue morning 
Until you see 
What can be
Alone in a cold day dawning, 
Are you still free? 
Can you be?

And that old gray wind is blowing
And there's nothing left worth knowing
And it's time you should be going
While you see a chance, take it . . . Because it's all on you. 

No comments :

Post a Comment