Without a doubt, every Spring I start to go into panic mode. All the local school systems start hiring for the next year, our tax return money has run out and I start to seriously doubt what I’m doing. I convince myself that what I need to be doing is working in a “regular” job and earning “regular” income for our family. And so, every spring I apply for jobs and every spring for the past 5 years absolutely. nothing. happens.
All of this makes me question and doubt and struggle and end up frustrated and in need of a massage…weekly.
But this Spring it’s made me ask myself “why do you keep striving for the thing that isn’t really the cry of your heart?”
And I think it’s a super hard thing when the cry of your heart changes.
And even harder when you are truly able to do the thing that your heart cries out for.
For nearly ten years I taught special education. I worked at residential schools for the deaf and in public school systems and I absolutely loved it. I have amazing memories of all my years teaching and I cherish all that time. And at that time, it really was the cry of my heart to teach these students and move and work within a school. To sit and work on communication skills with a sweet little girl named Lilli. To watch Tanner draw square by square the latest movie was obsessed with. And to joke around with Connor as he wheeled himself around and asked for things he couldn’t have with his Dynavox.
But, as much as I’ve tried to convince myself that this is still the cry of my heart – it isn’t. I’m so thankful for all the closed doors that repeatedly have never opened because I truly think it’s taken this long for my stubborn heart to admit it.
I read a really great post this week by Abby Glassenberg about becoming a writer. How she never really thought of herself as a writer and I’m sure she never thought into the future she would be impacting so many with her words. It’s that weird thing when you start doing what you thought you never really would do and it ends up being the thing you wanted to do all along.
I never, ever thought I would remotely be considered an artist. And I still have a really hard time considering that what I do with a needle, thread and a hoop is art – but I’m coming around to the fact that it is and I am. I never thought that I could take a hobby like sewing and combine it with what I know about classrooms and consider myself a teacher – just not one in the “traditional” sense. But I am.
I am working to embrace what the cry of my heart is right now. I know the experiences that bring me alive and excited and I’m beyond humbled that I’m able to pursue those. My business has undergone so many rabbit trails and changes over the last couple of years and I’ve never fully embraced it. I’ve kept on the edge of it, treating more like a fun little hobby and a way to bring in a little bit of money for dance lessons and field trips. I’ve ignored that part of me that goes crazy over planning and designing and making. And I have come to realize how difficult it is to be an “artist” and think of it as a real job. No, not a job that brings in gobs of money, but a career none the less.
Today I had a a business lunch with two women I had never met. A friend set it up for me and encouraged me to go if only to make connections. It was amazing. Nothing big happened, but it was amazing to sit and talk and be moving in a direction that I am supposed to be going. It was a learning experience to be sure, but I realized sitting at that table that this, this is the cry of my heart and what an amazing thing to be able to follow it.