This past week I had an opportunity to work with a class of students with me sort of being the teacher. The substitute teacher was there to make it legal but I was teaching the class. I am loving it. I started focusing on the loss of my parents refusing to pay for my education if I became a teacher. They wanted me to be something else. I studied engineering so my parents could crow that their daughter was an engineer. I was very good at it but hated it. I thought of all the time and energy spent on something else. I do love my photography work but I have no talent for working for myself (most photographers have their own business.) I really wanted to be a teacher. Conditioning taught me to do what my parents wanted instead of following my heart. I felt sad clear to my core as I focused on this loss. Loss of doing what I really wanted to do. Now, I get to teach but I know full well when the ‘regular’ teacher is back, I lose my temporary class. We did look into me getting my teaching degree, but between college classes and student teaching, it would be time for me to retire by the time I finished. One of the most dangerous rabbit holes to fall into is the “What if….” hole. What if I stood up to my parents and worked at becoming a teacher? What if I hadn’t been brutally abused? What if my parents had been supportive of my wishes and talents instead of molding me in what they wish they had done? What if….is the very opposite of acceptance. A person can What if….themselves to death…. I believe J.K. Rowling captured the essence of the issue with the Mirror of Erised https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn7cR_8_vAg#t=82
I decided to give myself time to mourn the loss of what could have been then let it go and accept what is. I am blessed with many opportunities, teaching isn’t the only way I can make a difference. This year I will make peace with the loss of teaching as a career. I can still teach through my web page and I can still teach one-on-one with students, which is a better way of teaching any way. I tried not to unduly influence my children about what they should become. I don’t know how well I succeeded. Each of them are doing wonderful things. I’m proud of all of them. I believe this is one chain I broke. What my children chose as a career was their decision as far as I was concerned. Need to sleep…..good night.
Hot springs are lethal to all vegetation. What if … is lethal to self-acceptance.
Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA.