Pieces of Me

You know, when I chose teaching over music, I really did think it through.  I really did make the best decision with the information that I had at the time.  At the time, I was thinking that if I loved something as much as I love music, I shouldn’t make a career out of it.  I was afraid it would turn into a “job.”  Something I would do just because I had to, and be so grateful to leave it behind after work.  Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. 

On the other hand, I can’t say that music is a “hobby” or an “interest.”  Of course I’m interested.  Of course I spend a lot of my free time listening to, singing, playing, thinking about, writing about.  (Hello, current activity?  Writing, listening, singing, thinking about, all at once!)  But it’s not exactly…Reading is a hobby I enjoy.  Scrapbooking.  The occasional sewing project.  If I could never scrapbook another page, it would be no great loss.  (Which might not be that far-fetched, considering how much catching up I have in my scrapbook…)  But music is a piece of me.  If I could never again sing, play, listen to music, become obsessed with an artist I’d never heard before, work out a tough spot in a song I’m learning, feel that thing that happens when I hear a really great song live…  I wouldn’t be me.

Oh, good Lord, I’m Peyton.

Do you watch One Tree Hill?  (If not, please, I beg of you, don’t start.  It’s a soapy, guilty pleasure.  You won’t be able to stop, and you’ll want to!)  Anyway, I sound like this character named Peyton.  She loves music, has shelves and shelves of records, has an after school job that involves booking bands like Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World at the local club for all-ages night.  Did I mention this show is soapy and far fetched?  Anyway, that last paragraph sounds like Peyton talking.

Okay, so before I realized that I’m a character in a teen soap that I’m addicted to against my will, here’s what I was going to say.  Music is one of the things that has a piece of me.  It is not the only thing.  There are many things that I am passionate about, there is really no one single thing that I can say, “That’s me.  That’s all I am.”  Thank God.  Can you imagine just being one thing, one issue, one interest? 

So, teaching.  Is my heart in it?  Does it have a piece of me?  Not really.  Maybe a little.  Today was my students’ first day.  I saw one little guy waiting outside my door, whose name hadn’t sounded familiar, and I recognized him from screening.  I tested him in the spring, and then I went into the room with the other teachers and said I wanted him in my class, because he was just so sweet and smart.  But I was sure he wouldn’t be “needy” enough, compared to the other kids I had been testing, to end up in my class.  So I saw him this morning, and it just made my day.  It just made me happy that I had connected with him months ago, and here he was, I get to hang out with him every day this year!  So I’m not sure it’s the actual teaching I love, it’s the people.  It’s the relationships that I form with kids and families.  I love that I see my old 2nd graders, who are 5th graders now, and we still have a connection.  They want to say hi, and tell me what’s been going on in their lives since I last saw them.  I love seeing their parents and chatting with them.  As difficult as it can be, I love this beginning part too, where I’m just forming relationships with these new families.  There’s an element of wanting to prove that I’m going to give their child a happy and productive experience in preschool, and there’s also the element of wanting to build that relationship of working together for the benefit of their child.  It really is a great environment to work on a person’s people skills!  If I screw up with a parent, that’s too bad, because I’ll have to see them again tomorrow, and every day after that until their child goes on to kindergarten.  I have to figure out how to work through misunderstandings and disagreements.  I love that.  I love the challenge of our different interests.  This is their child, it’s personal to them.  But this is my job, I need to approach this from a professional point of view.  But it’s a people profession, not a money profession, so it’s my job to do what’s best for their child and their family, not do what’s best for my employer like you do in a corporate situation.  It’s a thrilling challenge. 

I guess my heart is in it.  I don’t know.  It is fun.  There are a million other things I could imagine being happy doing, but that’s my point I guess.  I wouldn’t want to do something and know that I couldn’t be happy doing anything else.  I want to know that I am happy because of me, not because of my circumstances. 

Okay, I can feel myself getting sleepy and ramble-y.  Beginning of the year syndrome.  I could easily sleep 10 hours a night for the next week or so, until I get my “working endurance” back.  Ahh, summer…no responsibility, no schedule, nothing important to do…it has made me weak.  🙂

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 22:33:11

    I didn’t know anyone actually WATCHED one tree hill. 😛


  2. Doris
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 06:06:18

    I see “Hair Spray” is going to be in Cedar Rapids October 31st. I just had to let you know that. I know what you mean when you say that you feel great about so many things that no one is the one and only passion. That is the way I think it is supposed to be. Many passions, many likes and enjoys, and some just part of life things.


  3. Mom
    Aug 26, 2007 @ 14:59:31

    I agree with Doris!


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