Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Were You ...You?

One of the arguments that my family and friends used to convince me that Taylor was indeed supposed to join the military was that he had always played war, acted out battles with his GI Joes and army men, and spent his extra allowance buying military regalia at the nearby flea markets. What child who is that fascinated with all things military does not join the military? My child, I believed.  I ignored the signs for many years because I did not want my son to serve in the military. It's dangerous. He is my only child.  I was certain he would never serve right up until the time that he said I am supposed to be a Marine.  Ooorah... He always knew who he was.

My friend, Brandi's middle child is a fashionista.  She loves clothes, shoes, and accessories.  If she is to be rewarded for a job well done, take the girl shopping.  Her outfits look like they belong on the pages of Elle, Vogue, or at least, Seventeen Girl. Arianah will be a designer or a buyer for a major retail chain or a model when she grows up.  See, Ari is only 7.  She knows exactly who she is though.

I'm fascinated by these two and by the students I interviewed this week for Teacher Cadets who say that they have always wanted to be a teacher.  I changed majors four times in college (nursing, social work, psychology, and education). Then, I pursued a career in a totally different field before becoming a teacher. I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. I didn't know who I was.

I am called to teach. However, I do not remember clamoring for chalk or begging for a lesson planners.  As a little girl, I pretended to have at least ten children all different ages. I mimicked dancing grand ballets in front of huge imaginary audiences. I rode fantasy horses to historic towns through the back field at my grandparents' home. I read every single book I could find about Abigail Adams. I never once sat all my teddy bears down and said "now, boys and girls, turn to page 276".  I did not know who I was supposed to be until I stepped in front of my first class.  It felt like home. I was 36, and I finally knew exactly who I was.

The little girl version of me always knew she was supposed to teach history; it took me a little while to put it all together though.  Teaching is a dance in front of twenty or thirty children who I lead on adventures through historic towns every single day.  And, Abigail Adams is still one of my all time favorite women... I thought I was searching for one specific thing until I realized that to be the true me, I had to incorporate all of me into the picture. Teachers are moms, entertainers, nurses, social workers, psychologists,  and tour guides all rolled into one. I was always me; I simply didn't know it.

If you are not blessed like Taylor and Ari with total self-assurance as a young child, you can still be the truest version of yourself right now. You are who you are supposed to be right now... if you will let yourself be YOU. Make a list of every single thing that makes you happy.  I like to read. I like to write. I like to talk.  You get the idea.  When you finish, see what they have in common.  Your true self is staring back at you. 

God will use you in ways that you have not even thought about, but to do so, He needs you to be the person He made you to be. Go be the real you. Today is the day you become you.

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