Children are my passion. Maybe its my extroverted personality (82% according to Meyers-Briggs) that makes me enjoy the energy exchange with children. Perhaps it’s that shaping the future with little ones is fun and invigorating. Although it’s sort of serious in the long run, it’s not serious at all day by day, which is just how I like life.
This is definitely ironic since I can safely say I didn’t really care for kids until I was an adult. I had to get out of my head and into my heart to find my place.
I remember sitting on a rock at Lake Michigan outside of Chicago, Illinois on my first big mission trip, halfway through my Mass Communications degree program. I had a moment of revelation that I needed to join our host organization in an even bigger way.
The following summer, I joined DOOR Denver’s staff, where, despite my protests, I was placed in a program working with kids. While there I taught underprivileged kids, and my on-site supervisor shared with me her conviction that I was born to work with children.
When I graduated that following year, I got a job working at a preschool, and I never looked back. Being a teacher felt so right in my heart.
It took over 18 months for my heart to derail my graphic designer/marketing dreams, but looking back, I had been waiting my whole life for this.
Like the time I almost got kicked out of preschool at age 4 for biting the director’s daughter repeatedly. Or the time my 2nd-grade teacher encouraged my parents to get me evaluated because I wouldn’t. stay. in. my. seat and continually “helped” my friends and their friends do all their work. Or the time in 5th grade when I cried for weeks on end because I was too short, or too tall, or too whatever 5th grade girls say to each other. Or the time when I was 16 and had to mother my own mother because she had had waaay too much to drink, and the night after that and the night after that. All of those experiences were preparing me for a lifetime of finding my passion in children, in their noise and in their silence.
I am continually reminded of my passion in every moment and in every day when I allow the silence to answer my questions, just as I did on that day by the lake. All the answers are there; we just have to allow the silence to lead us from our head to our heart. And now that I know this deep in my soul, I know that I was led to this path to help lead our next generation there. Because maybe, just maybe, if we can get more children to grow up listening with their hearts, we can leave this world a better place. Maybe my plans to be that little girl who saves the world aren’t so lofty after all.
Whatever your passion is, do it. Be it. Dream it. And if you aren’t quite sure, be quiet. You will know. And don’t be surprised if it’s something you least expected.