I don’t want to sound like a reality TV show contestant, but let’s talk about
Do you ever have those moments where you stop, take a look at the life you’ve created and think,
“Well, how exactly did I get here?!”
I’m currently on Maternity Leave from my position as a Kindergarten Teacher.
As seems to happen once you’ve brought a child into the world, I suffered a slight existential crisis- Who am I? What do I want for my family? What are my passions? Have I eaten breakfast?
Whilst being on leave from my “real” job, it slowly began to dawn on me just how much I aspire to be a children’s book author.
You know how they say that you should think about all the things you loved doing as a child, and that should probably form the basis for your adult life?
(And if you haven’t heard this, ‘they’ say it is true. I’m not entirely sure who ‘they’ are though.)
I have recollections of being a prolific writer from the moment I started school, producing my own books on that old-school computer paper that had the tearaway dots down both sides of the page.
It reached a point where my Year 1 teacher began rationing my paper supply, because I was burning up the class’ scrap paper pile.
Despite The Drastic Paper Rationing Episode of 1988, I continued to write and write as I grew up. However, as Life plodded along, my childhood dream of being an author was shelved alongside my tattered copies of The Paperbag Princess and Pippi Longstockings.
So my journey ended up looking a little something like this…. (and it’s totally written in 3rd person because it makes the journey sound GRANDER!)
uni/ travel/ advertising/travel/tour-guiding/ travel
travel agent/ travel/ uni (AGAIN) / TEACHER!/ mum/ aspiring picture book author
I’m really beginning to appreciate how we are the sum of our experiences.
I am the teacher I am, because of all that I’ve done and experienced.
I also find it interesting and amusing that choosing teaching allowed me to (sub-consciously) indulge my love of picture books.
Over to you!
Tell me about your journey…Did you end up where you expected to be?
Did you take the express, direct route? Or did you end up taking many detours and going through numerous roundabouts like me?
WOW, Shannon! Good for you for going through all that training and education to get to where you are. I have the same dream about writing kid’s books. Or maybe just one kid’s book. We can do a swapsy once we get around to it …
Yay we can start an Aspiring Picture Book Writing Society!
“I am the teacher I am, because of all that I’ve done and experienced” – Love that. I took a couple of detours, which included an almost 10 year stun living and working in Japan.
JEALOUS!!! I would love to live in Japan. The detours make the memorable stuff x
Oh yes the journeys we take!! I love your journey! I have actually taken leave from my teaching job til the end of the year to concentrate on blogging and doing some other things I’m interested in. So scary but exciting too!!!
I’m a big advocate of the old “Leap of Faith.” You’ve got this Lucy. You’re going to smash it!!
I’ve always wanted to write. When I think about the childhood Jess, that was her passion more than anything else.
You’re living the dream, Jess! Makes me sad when people don’t follow their “calling.” (Sorry- that makes me sound very Oprah-esque…)
I still don’t know what i want to be when I grow up!!! Im very lucky to be SAHM at the moment, and am studying, but I now have an undergrad, a masters and am doing a post grad – don’t really know if I want to use them – who knows where the universe will put me 🙂 Good luck!!!!
The Universe works in mysterious ways! It’s got your back xx
I love this post Shannon! It sounds like you had a similar journey to me. I did the degree I thought I was supposed to do, worked for a very prestigious investment bank, realised I hated working for a very prestigious investment bank, quit VPIB without a plan, had an epiphany (journalism! Duh! I’ve always loved writing. Why didn’t I ever think of making it my career?) went back to uni and got my Masters and am now very proud to say I’m a journalist. Also now on maternity leave and thinking about writing a book! I sometimes feel so sad that I wasted so much time before figuring out what I was supposed to do with my life.
I think the moral of the story is that 17/18 is WAY too young to be making decisions about “What You Want To Do With the Rest of Your Life.”
Having said that though, I do admire (and am slightly jealous of) the 17/18 year-olds who have complete conviction in what they want to be when they grow up!
I really think my 20s were about ruling out exactly what I didn’t want to do in life!
On the bright side- I’m stoked that we had our epiphanies! I feel sorry for all those people at the Very Prestigious Investment Banks/Ad Agencies who keep plodding on without taking leaps of faith and being open to epiphanies. xx
Don’t feel sad about “wasting” time, it’s all part of the story of you. It gives you skills that you just might use one day on a wander down some track you didn’t expect to follow, it builds up your “strengths bank” and more importantly shows you what you don’t want so sets you on the path to where you want to go. A very wise mother once told a year 12 student she would make a great teacher. It was disregarded of course and she went of on a trajectory all of her own for a number of years. I’m glad you did Shannon, I think teachers with experience in the wider world are a fantastic asset to the education of our children.
Yes! It’s all about the journey! After following my “path” and being a primary school teacher for about 15 years, I packed it in, moved down under and started to teach adults English. Then I got cancer (twice) but that was a real game changer. I got fit and I got me a blog. Now running and blogging are my two favourite things, and I’m training to be a counsellor so that I can give something back and support people who are facing a bump in the road. I just love how sometimes life has a way of working out. I don’t think there is a direct route, I think it’s the detours that make it interesting!
You would make the best counsellor! xx
Oh I love your journey hun. my own has changed direction so many times in the past 2 years and I love it for the freedom and the way it surprises me. I havent finished yet – I plan on making many course changes until I am too old to do it anymore and then I hope to be settled somewhere with my hubby by my side enjoying the kids and grandkids without the need to work or worry about money xx
LIVING THE DREAM!! x