Friday, September 28, 2012

The call to profession

I am truly grateful that in my family, one was really strongly encouraged to find a direction in life that would sustain one financially. Being a writer, a poet, an artist, a dramatic artist, an anthropologist, a naturopath... ahhh nah. Be an engineer.

Never mind, I didn't become an engineer, but I did obediently find a path somehow, that would keep me from being dependent on someone else. And THAT is a really important thing for a young female. And to my complete surprise, and what seems like completely by accident, I have a solid amount of education and experience under my belt anymore, I am finally discovering that elusive thing I couldn't find when I was younger: confidence.

My daughters, I don't think, will know this problem. They seem to have the confidence of a tsunami.

In retrospect, I realize I could have become anything, a nurse, a weigh station attendant (why does this profession fascinate me?), a waitress and even an anthropologist or a writer.

But at certain age, one might look at the career that they have ended up in and start thinking a little Parker Palmer, is this what I was meant to do?

I have. no. clue.

Do I know a lot about it? Yes. Am I knowledgeable and trained in my profession, oh heavens yes. And then some.

Do I feel like I am good at it? What measures that? Do I seem to be doing well at it? I have no idea. Am I doing something good? Ugh. How can one know?

I have landed as a teacher. For many years now! I think one comment from an immature friend who was great fun to be around, a comment which peeked out someone much more in step with what was important than what he usually portrayed, made a big difference:

If it will make me a better dad, than it will all have been worth it.

When he said that, I realized he had spoken something true and important, and at the time I had no kids much less marriage prospects on the horizon. If it would make me a better mom, it will be worth it.

My husband says, if you love it, these questions will go away. Because you love it so much you will inevitably become good at it. It might be true.

But sometimes I wonder why the notion that I would be a good teacher at all would ever occur to me? I am snarky, irreverent and come from a family who is selfish, arrogant and well, selfish (like me, at times).

I remember: I thought, I will learn much much much. And it is true. I have learned much. But I want to be a Very Good something or other. I am not sure if I will get there with teaching, because teaching takes something like an amazing personality or a tremendous mind blowing amount of wisdom like Yoda . I haven't found an educational program yet that will give me either of these things(maybe I should go back to The Evergreen State College, I bet they have a program to become Jedi Master).

Truth is, Great Teachers have something Special. A Confidence. A tremendous amount of knowledge, an ability to articulate and a fortitude to do so. And love, but half of that I have covered. Really, I do.

Except that, I feel like I have always been taught and reminded to keep my mouth SHUT.

How is one supposed to do all these things at once?

Once a student told me I had missed my calling, that I should become a photographer. I buckled inside. Who me? An artistic endeavor?

But that would go against EVERYTHING I HAD LEARNED.

I would love it, though. But for some reason I had learned that I was to be the weigh station attendant, not the career anyone feels born into, the one that you did because you could, and it served the purpose.

And truly, first world problems, anyone? That's what this pondering is, and I know it.

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