I do not know what I want to be when I grow up

When I was really young, about five years old or thereabouts, I told my mom I wanted to be a lawyer, and live downtown in a high-rise apartment and carry a briefcase to work.  I don't know where that image came from but I even remember having a picture in my mind that my hair would be blonde and cut in a lob (that's a long bob, it didn't have that name back when I was five).  This image is so strange to me because I had never been exposed to downtown or professionals or even lawyers.  Thankfully that dream didn't last long and from the age of seven I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

It was one of those things that just stuck with me.  It seemed like such a fun gig.  And while my older siblings would do their homework I would pretend to correct my fake students' work.  I think I was originally drawn to the power of the role of a teacher.  They hold the red pen, they make decisions, they decide if you've learned what you needed to learn.  At least, in the traditional role of the teacher this was the case.

I somehow managed to make it through grades three to eight with two completely clueless male teachers who had no idea that I was being bullied day in and out by the boys in my classes.  Heck, one of the teachers even bullied me himself.  I had to pull the grade six, seven and eight teacher, who was also the principal, into the hall one day and confront him on his inaction of standing up for me when the boys went Lord of the Flies on me on the playground.  After that day I decided that if these two men could do it and get paid to do the passable job they were doing, I would do it and do a heck of a lot better than they.

My passionate interest in teaching fizzled a little in high school and I flirted with the idea of going in to advertising, and even thought again of law, but I am too lazy to be a lawyer.  The time came to apply for university and I only applied to one that was well known for education.  I left it up to God and thought that if I didn't get in then I wasn't meant to be a teacher.

I got in to university because in a class of 400 only 30 of us were interested in working with the unmanageable junior high crew.  The rest of that 400 either wanted to be high school or elementary teachers, to which I shudder at both occupations.  People, even my own dad, thought I was nuts, I think elementary teachers are nuts for wiping noses and high school teachers are nuts for even wanting to enter the doors of a high school, I did not and still do not see myself as the crazy person.

Anyway, I return to how I even got in to university.  I think The-Man-Upstairs may have had something to do with greasing the wheels in the admissions office for me. I wrote my entrance essay in my high school deans office in about ten minutes.  I didn't even read it over.  I didn't volunteer with any kids camp, and was not baby sitter of the year in my hometown.  I didn't even get elected on to school council for elementary school which is a prerequisite for being an elementary teacher I think. I just knew somewhere inside of me there was a need to be a teacher.

In my first days of teaching I toyed with the idea of doing something else but then took the Jung (Myers-Briggs free version) personality test and came up with TEACHER as my personality.  I have never fallen more naturally into a position in my life.  I was the boss, the facilitator, the creative genius, the brains, the question generator, the life-coach, the counsellor, the disciplinarian, the champion-er of causes, I'm telling you, any occupation that is out there, a teacher wears that hat at one point in their career.  It was a very satisfying career, my interpersonal growth flourished, my administrative itch was scratched, my love of sharing random facts and talking about current events on a daily basis was encouraged, it fuelled my learning, fed my hunger to be organized and yet it wasn't enough.

I always felt like teaching was a calling, but not from within.  I felt like it was someone else telling me what to do.  In my fifth year I resigned to the fact that this could be where He wanted me for the rest of my life and decided to settle in and get cozy.  It seemed like that was what He needed to hear to give flight to the wings that got dusty.  In my sixth year I resigned.

I am now in graduate school and on most days question why I am here.  And I certainly do not know what I will do next but I know that He has plans for me.  Funnily enough, I followed  the same pattern as the last time:  I applied only to this university and allowed Him to grease the wheels in the admissions department so hopefully there will be another sweet gig waiting for me once I finish this cycle.

As I get older I realize that I don't have to have anything figured out, but I simply have to walk out the path that is ahead of me.

That's all.


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