The title of this blog is a six word sentence I have chosen for my future. These are the six words, I will bring to fruition. Before making the predicate part of the sentence a reality, first I must become the subject.
Today’s daily post challenge on WordPress is to come up with a six word sentence describing your future.
In recent months I’ve been praying and meditating on what to do about a major life decision. Life has been a bit difficult financially here of late therefore causing me to re-plan my original life blueprint. A lot of people my age are having to reroute their lives as if they are a satellite navigation system in their car.
As you know I majored with a degree in Fine Art. This isn’t exactly the most stable degree, especially in an economy like this one. Having a bit of a dilemma I’ve had conversations with people about my life plan as now it’s not just my life but I share it with my husband.
Curiously my Mother-in-law and I were having a conversation one day when she suddenly said, “Have you thought about teaching…” Honestly years ago I had considered becoming an art teacher but due to unforeseen reasons that plan didn’t work.
I had my heart intent on changing the world one classroom at a time through art, by helping children understand the importance of art. I wanted to teach them it was o.k. to think differently and be in the likes of tortured but wonderful and humorous companions such as Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo. I wanted to teach them to see the world through a kaleidoscope of colors, not just black and white. I wanted to teach them to think and see differently and learn people can speak many languages by communicating through the visual arts.
My Mother-in-law finished her sentence, “…English?” This was the first time anyone had suggested teaching something other than art to me. This was the seed planted in my brain that slowly started sprouting this summer. Suddenly I realized my gift of being able to communicate with children and awkward junior high kids may not be lost. My parents have always seen my gift with children and knew I had something special.
Then the second sign came a few weeks ago. My husband received a call from a best friend. He didn’t tell her everything that had been going through my mind, the questioning, the self doubt about the possibility of teaching something which in essence is my second language; art always has and always will be my first language. She told him over the phone, “She would make a great middle school teacher.”
Then came the third sign, this is the one that has been a constant. My friend of 12 years has said to me numerous times since 2007 I need to bite the bullet and become a teacher. She witnessed my gift first hand when we worked together and I basically babysat children in the fitting room of the store we worked. She even enrolled my help the weekend of her wedding sitting me next to the most talkative children of her family knowing full well we’d be in full on conversation mode before the adults even broke into the festivities. Last week something private happened (which I won’t discuss here) and I texted her about it. My phone buzzed, I quickly looked at it to see my third sign in text form. Her response was, “Become a teacher.”
I couldn’t believe it, three signs. People have always said things come in threes.
I finally sat down and told my parents of my plans a few weeks ago of how I might be going back to school next January. The more I talked about it the more excited I became. As I sat there, I started hatching lesson plans over the belief I would share a common interest with some of my students; comic books.
Comic books were my gateway into becoming a better reader, writer and… artist. What better way to combine three of my loves? Then it came to me to teach my future imaginary students how to write a comic book. Then the plan became more elaborate, why not combine this project with the art students who will help illustrate it for them if they can not illustrate it themselves? Then this lesson plan also integrates communication skills, because as we all know, what the writer and the artist sees are not always the same thing.
The excitement over exploring this lesson plan made me think of another plan, why not publish these books? We could combine all of the books the students made, and then publish them so all students and anyone who wanted to purchase them could. All of the proceeds would then go back into the school’s pockets.
This morning, as I rode in my car, I did my usual prayers. I prayed for my family, my friends, my co-workers. Then I asked God for another sign. This might seem demanding to ask considering I had already received three signs. Basically I said, “Look, I know you’ve sent these signs, but I want to make sure I heard you right. Please if you are sending me a sign, make it to where I know and please help me to listen to you.” I like to be certain of things now in my older age. I’ve grown tired of not looking before I leap, there is too much at stake now to leap without eyes.
I think my response sign came a few hours later at work this morning. My friend was helping a mother and her young daughter at the counter. I was on the other side and happened to see the young girl whose head didn’t even reach the counter. Strangely she reminded me of me in first grade. She had been dressed by her mother but so much of her personality was bursting at the seams it was hard to keep herself in the assumed pristine condition she was dressed in when she left the house. Seeing this bubbly young girl, I made my way over to her and said, “High five!” She was in the middle of eating a morsel of a pear and quickly shoved the pear in her mouth as she exuberantly gave me a high five with the pear residue still on her tiny fingers. She quickly said, “Hang on, I have to wipe the pear off my hands!” Without skipping a beat, with one swipe on her shirt she then quickly slapped my hand as an affirmation of excellence in being true to who you are.
I had to make my way to the back to put something away and then made my way to the computer to print off tags. I heard some commotion on the other side of the restaurant when suddenly I found the little girl standing on the other side of the counter looking at me with her innocent eyes. She said, “Hey you’re really pretty today.” Taken back by her kind words and her uninhibited way of delivering them, I quickly made sure to compliment her on her shoes and outfit, but before I could even get the words out about her outfit she held up her entire leg to show me a different angle of her shoes and exclaimed, ” My Nana got them for me!”
I then asked her, “So have you started school yet?” Her reply, “Weeeelllll YEAH!” As she tried to unfurl her story as fast as she could, her mom told her they were limited on time and would come back. The little girl and I made plans to talk about her school next time she came in with her mom.
A few seconds after they had left I looked across the room to see my friend behind the other counter where she loudly said, “I think you are going to be canonized as the patron saint of children.”
I think this was the gentle sign reminding me of my gift of gab with children. This was just the conversation needed to persuade me the other three signs were a message for me to become a teacher. I already knew I was going to write, draw and publish comic books, I didn’t realize I would be putting on an extra “hat” in the process, but it’s a wonderful feeling.
How do you see your future? What is something that has been calling you but it has taken you a long time to notice? What was your blue print you had planned and what changed it?
P.s. I googled the patron Saint of children and it’s this guy…