I’ve had this weird realization lately: I’m outrageously blessed.
I don’t mean this in the “I have so many opportunities that others don’t have” kind of way. And I don’t mean it in a “I grew up in a community with a family where I was made aware that I could do anything in the world I wanted to” kind of way. I don’t mean it in a “I’ve been to Disney World/Disneyland/on Disney Cruises seven-ish times and some kids only dream of going there once” kind of way…. Don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously grateful for all of those things and a million more that have gotten me to this point.
I mean I’m blessed that I know exactly what I want to do with my life. I’ve always known. I was put on this big, beautiful planet of ours to be in school forever. I’d say I’m not supposed to be taking tests every day, not supposed to be the one doing the learning between bells. But that would be a lie. I get the opportunity to learn every single day. I get the even better opportunity to learn from people younger than I am. Unfortunately, the majority of those people will always be taller. Perhaps more unfortunately, I will probably always be more innocent/naive than those people too.
It’s hard to explain to everyone who says, “why would you ever want to do that to yourself,” how I feel being in a classroom every day. It’s harder to explain it to people who saw me have a less than stellar attitude about all of my own school work (oops). I often find myself responding with a simple “I love it.” I wish I could help them feel what that really means. I wonder if I’ll ever actually find words to describe how much I loved my life in Room 310 from 7:30am-2:40pm every day this past fall, how much I love my life in random classrooms from 8:20am-3:00pm right now. Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll just be the lucky one who gets to feel it every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
There is this vivid memory I have of the Dean of the College of Education talking about how teaching is a calling the very first time I saw him in the flesh. At that point, I didn’t know how much of an impact his words of wisdom would have on my life for 3 1/2 years. But I also didn’t truly grasp what this calling was. I kind of did. I knew that I always wanted to teach in some way. I knew that it wasn’t a hard decision to choose a university based on their pre-service teaching program because I was confident I wouldn’t move around anywhere.
What I didn’t know was that I was one of the lucky ones. I had a calling. I got to begin answering this calling at age 18. I get to continue to answer this calling for the rest of my life. As much as I wish I could find words to describe my love for teaching, I wish more I could describe my excitement about now being paid to do something I’ve loved paying to do since Fall 2008.
At this point, I have no idea what my classroom will look like next fall. I have no idea where I’ll be living in six months. To be honest, I’m pretty clueless about my life in general any farther in the future than a week. But for some strange reason, I’m still happy.
I think this is what self-discovery must feel like.