We hear so many things about ourselves from the time we are able to comprehend words, phrases, and sentences. Compliments, putdowns, inspiring words, and the like. It can sometimes be difficult to sift through all that people say to us as we fight to develop our ‘true self’. Some people pass on words as blessings and prophesies. Other times we fight to back away from words that threaten our potential. And then there are the moments of complete chaos as whether we like it, words sink in, grab hold of us, and shift our lives.
Todays writing challenge activity is to WRITE SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE TOLD ME THAT I’LL NEVER FORGET. This challenge requires one to sit back and think upon all the words we’ve heard. I have to look under dark crevices, peek into shadows that I may have forgotten exist, and open up cobwebbed infested mental filing cabinet drawers. It’s not an easy activity. Especially for me because my memory is not good.
I could look as far back as the time I was a toddler. And what about that hardass but favorite English teacher…she said some pretty important things to me. And of course my mother has spoken powerful words to me. There were many things told to me that I’ll never forget.
And yet, today, I can’t help but think about something my grandmother said to me.”You’ve come full circle.” When I graduated high school I was blessed with the opportunity to join the AmeriCorps program. It was brand new at the time and I was the second youngest to be interviewed and accepted into a program in Seattle, WA. I was placed in an inner youth elementary school in which I was to create and coordinate an afterschool youth program. There, I assisted in maintaining volunteers and ensuring all three components of the program was ran efficiently on a daily basis. There was the art program, the physical activity program, and the scholastic readiness and support program. I elected to be a strong part of the last. It was in this program that I created a homework club, a drama club, and an ESL club. I had fun helping students learn, grow, and find confidence in themselves.
After the 10 month program was over I moved to Louisville, KY to help my family. I was taken in as a full-time nanny to, once again, help instill learning, growth, and confidence in two children I loved on a personal level. I found that the love was no different from the Seattle program to my own family members.
I went to college intent on teaching but dropped out because of scheduling conflict and new marriage and a pregnancy to focus on. When I finally returned to college I chose a different path. Interdisciplinary Humanities. I chose this path because I felt lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I just studied what I found interesting. I graduated and still felt lost. I did find a job I enjoyed but it wasn’t something I was passionate about.
Less than a year later I enrolled into graduate school for Professional Counseling. My internship ended up being with adults with substance abuse problems. There I found myself back in the environment of helping them learn, grow, and find confidence within themselves. Of course, I was passionate about my position there. I was allowed to express myself and help others to express themselves creatively.
Doors opened last year and I found myself accepting the call to teach in Middle and High School. It was a terribly hard year for me. I didn’t go to school to teach. I went to school to express myself creatively and I wanted to be challenged to help others learn, grow, and find confidence artistically and creatively.
It was my grandma who, when she learned I was teaching, made the statement, “You’ve come full circle.” She explained it some more to me. She said she had always known that I would find myself among others who sought growth, learning opportunities, and who were in the process of finding themselves, or at least searching for themselves. And isn’t that every adolescent? I mean, truly, aren’t they each on a path of self-exploration? What better a time to have the opportunity for me to help them find their confidence, to help them explore paths of growth?
It was just an amazing little moment of clarification for me. Yes, many times those around you who love you the most can know and see things about ourselves better than even we can sometimes. And she had seen something in me from the time I was very young and was not the least bit surprised when I finally coming full circle, embracing a path for myself that she’d always known I would land on. And having heard her say those words, it made me think back to so many instances where if I had been paying attention, looking into the fine print of life’s course for me no matter how many times I got sidetracked, I could have easily seen what she’d seen.
Sometimes when we are feeling lost, or are confused about our life…we have to know that our path is the path we were meant to be on. Don’t worry about where the ‘end’ is or even when we will get ‘there’. Know that we will always get ‘there’ and find what it is we were looking for. And yet, it helps to look back and see the many paths we’ve already taken because more often than not, we will come full circle.
I truly believe as a young child, our talents and passions are at its peak. We just grow up and forget to give attention to those talents and passions because we feel we must have to be an adult and talents and passions are ‘childish’ and those are things we must put away if we are to be adults. Still, if we allow ourselves to look back with eyes wide open to those things of our childhood…we will see that when we do ‘arrive’ and we are happy with where we ‘landed’ we will often see a very fine connection between that of our past and that of what will ultimately give us happiness and contentment.