Paths We Were Meant To Walk
“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.”
― Guy Gavriel Kay
Maybe there are, maybe there aren’t.
But I do believe it is important to always be moving forward and to try to not be distracted too much when things don’t look the way you think they should. Successful people are successful because they can adapt and readjust (not because they never make wrong turns or encounter hard times). I really believe life is about learning that lesson – how to continually readjust and move forward.
Truth be told, I started substitute teaching this school year. Winters are tough on me, the first blog post I ever wrote on this website was about depression I battle in the winters. I find the busier I keep in the winters, the better I can combat that type of depression. Bonus, when I can help others in some capacity I can keep my own dragons at bay with better ease.
Subbing seemed like it might be a beautiful option for me. I didn’t know if I would like it and I never in a million years EVER thought I would be in a secondary education setting. Like, never. But after nearly 6 months of doing it, you know what, I do love it. I love it a lot.
The schedule is very accommodating and flexible for my photography business. Having the opportunity to be in different environments, different situations, each day (such as different grades, different subjects, different schools) is an awesome perk for my personality – I love that challenge, it keeps me on my feet and intrigued. No monotony. No day is the same.
The best part is getting to interact with the kids. They are hilarious, they are witty, they are great storytellers.
Yeah, they have their bad days. They come into the classroom still carrying baggage from stormy weather going on in their home life, they have their spats in their social circles, they get frustrated that they don’t learn as fast as their peers on some subject matter, and sometimes they are thrown completely off just by my presence in their classroom signifying their day will be slightly different than what they are used to.
But one of the major themes I have noticed after bouncing in and out of classrooms, ranging from K-12, is that the students who are most successful are the ones that can quickly adapt to changes, obstacles, and the unforeseen.
It’s not the ones who have amazing recall, grasp the information and can easily compute the answers. It’s not the popular ones, great at sports, in all the clubs, great at projecting their thoughts. It’s not even the ones with all their ducks in a row and have everything going for them.
I really believe it’s the ones who, in the face of everything, can adapt, keep a positive attitude, and be determined to move forward. They are not overcome with defeat in the face of obstacles, unforeseen turns in the road, frustrations.
And that’s what I have learned going back into the school system after being away from it for many, many-a-years.
I wish there was a way to teach that.
Like I said, I never in a million years would have thought I’d be in a classroom setting for kids ranging from kindergarten to high school. I never even considered photography as a career. Or being a business owner (the mere idea of not having a retirement or bi-weekly paycheck was the things my nightmares were made of). Neither of those careers were in the realm of possibilities when I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, mapping out my future as a youth.
And yet here I am.
A path I think I was always meant to walk. A path that seemed wrong and perhaps feeling akin to failure when it first presented itself, but a path that in the long run I was always supposed to be on.
I love what I do.
That is not something I was able to say before when I was a well paid scientist with several dozen publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, a great retirement and decent health benefits.
Who’da thunk? Photographer and substitute teacher. Entomologist, interrupted.
You have to constantly adapt, move forward, and don’t look back. Don’t get stuck when the picture doesn’t look the way you thought it was supposed to. That’s what this path has taught me.
Now I am hoping the students will teach me how to be a better storyteller so I can use that to my benefit in my photography business 😉