My brother, sister and I had a toy room in our basement. The space was all our own and we filled it to brimming with the many loved toys of our generation: GI Joe, Lego, Cabbage Patch dolls, Barbie, She-Ra Princess of Power (remember her?), and on and on. My favourite thing in our space was a full-size schoolroom chalk board. The day my dad brought it home, I was immediately on his case.
“Daddy, put it up! Put it up!,” I begged, as I vibrated in excitement and anticipation.
I was 7.
Hours were spent closed up in my mock classroom filled with rows of stuffed pupils and whatever thick books I could find around the house. The bigger the book, the more “professional” I felt. I read them to my stuffed toys, and lectured in both English and French about all the grand ideas of a 7-year-old mind. I copied and copied things onto the chalk board. It was pure child’s play, but child’s play that came from a desire to be somebody.
At school, I watched teachers parade down the hall, listening enviously to the clippity-clack of their heels and admiring the files and books they rested snugly on their forearms. As I watched them diligently filling grades into class lists and and ticking check marks in their daily planners, I would eagerly anticipate going home to do the very same thing. I sat primly at my desk at my desk making charts with names and assigning grades to random and fictional people.
Many years later, long after I had abandoned that dream for other diversions, I had went for an angel reading. While psychics and fortune tellers mostly scare me, an angel reading seemed somehow less invasive, and at least marginally more spiritual. Plus I was curious. Angel readers don’t predict the future, rather they connect with your guardian angels and provide insight into how to move forward based on the lessons of your past lives. Fun wouldn’t you say?
The angel reader told me many things, but focused mainly on one central theme. She told me that my calling was to work with children and to care for them in some way—not as a mother, but as educator or child care provider.
“Your soul” she said, “Is made up of a strong root system whose strength is to nurture and understand those around you.”
Nothing came of that reading; but I was reminded of it earlier this week when I wrote about my core values. As I considered them, my thoughts flowed naturally back to that childhood dream and I felt a moment of loss; loss for what could have been and perhaps for what should have been.
It’s unfortunate how easy we lose our way when we are young and unprepared for life decisions about big things like career and ambition. In our youth, our decisions seem so fluid, we believe that anything can easily be changed.
Indeed, everything does change. We get married, we buy houses and cars and start working on our retirement plans. Then we have children and suddenly we discover ourselves wrapped in responsibility. The decisions that once seemed so temporary, at once become final.
And sometimes we forget what it means to dream.Image: ‘IMG_4491‘ by alkruse 24 via a Creative Commons license.