I came home from my interview today to find one of the big snails had escaped the aquarium. I thought for sure he was dead. I had no idea how long he was out of the water for or if he could survive the fall but I plopped him back in the aquarium and...nothing. I came back and few hours later and the idiot had survived.
It got me to thinking, and yes I'm going to utilize my massive aquatic snail as catalyst for an introspective reflection. Would you expect anything less? He had escaped and failed. Fallen on his back with no way of righting himself and void of the essentials he depended on and if I hadn't gotten back when I did who knows if he would have made it?
I escaped. One of several attempts but this time I made it. I escaped a job path chosen for me that brought me back to my true passion: teaching.
I've been talking to this guy I've been interested in since middle school and by interested in I mean had a crush on like a middle school girl that never went away who magically appeared on my okcupid feed. And he said to me "that's great. You're following your dream. And keep following it until you have another dream"
In taking the job with the arc I justified it by saying I failed at teaching but I hadn't. I had just given up on it to please my family. Sometimes it can take a decade of getting thrown off the horse and getting back on and it happening a million more times before you achieve your dream. And after being on the other side of your dream, having more than enough time to look at it for what it really was I realize what a mistake it was to ever think working for the arc would ever work. For it to work it would've required the same elements I had been missing from teaching. Other people who cared, people who didn't just proclaim cotton candy cloud ideals but actually put them into place and people who weren't just looking for a project.
From the whole shoplifting nightmare I learned a lot but the most important lesson I learned was that even though people in my life had given me more "chances" than anyone deserves I have never given myself the chance to be more than what people expected of me or told me to be I just accepted what other people told me I was and what I could and couldn't do.
Is being a preschool teacher my only dream? No. It's more of the ring of a dream catcher. It's the nucleus of many other dreams. A spiderweb if you will. It's attached to a lot of other dreams. Like making a difference, given children the chance to make a different choice on how they treat others and to in turn change how society operates. To show children there is no normal. That the idea of normal is a misnomer when it comes to people. That being different is the only way we can be normal. To show kids a boy doesn't have to play with trucks and grow up to build houses and lift heavy things. To show girls they don't have to bare 9 children and sit down and look pretty.
At least if nothing else I learned, finally, how to give myself a chance, to cancel out everyone else's opinion of me and all the facets attached and a chance to really try. And keep trying until I succeed.