Wow! I feel like a nut that's been cracked open. No one told me that blogging could be such a deeply personal kind of thing. After a year of posting, suddenly I have some feelings attached to it. While I understand that the unspoken rule here is honesty, I happen to like a little sugar with my truth. So thank you, Michelle, for the very kind comment you posted yesterday. I want to believe what you said. In my liberal interpretation of teaching and learning, I've often thought that it doesn't take an official title to be a teacher (I consider myself to be one as I home school), and that it doesn't take a publishing house to make a person a writer.
For the first time in my life, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. Thank you, Thisisme, for helping me to realize this fact. Your comment helped me to see that I am not like the Biblical Jonah, hiding in the belly of the whale, avoiding at all costs the calling to be a school teacher. I realize now that my childhood dream was
a. the only response I could offer at family gatherings when aunts and uncles asked that question "what do you want to be when you grow up." I was six years old and the only jobs I saw available to me in my rural town were teaching, mothering and farming. Farming involved poop. So did mothering.
b. an idealized picture of me writing neatly on a chalkboard.
c. I loved my teachers so much that I wanted to be lifelong friends with them. When I grew up and moved away, they weren't there anymore.
God has led me down so many paths and not one of them led me back to a brick and mortar classroom. It's a great feeling to know that I can make a life for myself outside the security of the institutions that dominated my life for so many years. Thinking about leaving behind a childhood dream to pursue something new and unexpected has helped me to stretch. It is a faith journey. It is my way of being a teacher to myself.
I did not know how to operate a sewing machine when I started this activity. I did not know how to make my computer do what I wanted it to do. I knew pretty much nothing about photography (and am still working on that). So if there is a lesson, it's that we all have something called neuroplasticity. We each have the ability to rewire our brains to do things that we never thought we could.
I am so thankful that this business wasn't on my to do list. Because, if it was, the sheer number of things that I would have had to teach myself would be so overwhelming that I would have walked away. Thankfully, I get to teach myself, in small, manageable chunks, and stay at home while reaching out to my community. I have made some GREAT friends. And, BONUS! I have customers who are not only satisfied but excited to be a part of something new.
It's true that I fall into the learner camp more than the teacher camp. But this is okay with me. One day, the memory of the things I learned will stand out more than the things that I taught.