I always wanted to be a teacher. I think school was the place where I felt safe and seen and successful. I wanted to give that feeling to others.
So, when I was 18, I declared an education major at college – which I quickly changed. I forgot that teaching meant standing up in front of a room of people and I found that terrifying.
So, I retreated back into my introvert shell and decided to become and editor. This sent my career plans in another direction for a few years – until I was training people at work one day and someone said, “You’re a good teacher.”
So, I went back to school and became one. For many years, I greeted classes of high school students. Creativity and helping people express themselves was my gift. Classroom management and discipline not so much.
When I left to pursue my writing, I thought I wouldn’t miss it. I got to crawl back into my introvert shell. But the students had given me gifts over the years – hope, inspiration and resilience.
So, I supposed I will always be a teacher in some form. I’m getting ready this morning to go give my final for my college English class. I teach yoga every week. I’m contemplating teaching some journaling classes.
This shiny crystal apple ornament is the most sparkly ornament on my tree. It reminds me that even the most simple gifts can be dazzling.
When we teach, when we parent, when we train – we give a little piece of ourselves to the next generation.
And over time – our simple gifts – the apple a day – start to bear fruit. And we see in them something that we thought we had lost long ago.
They return our hope to us – and that is the greatest gift of all.