Wednesday 7 December 2011

Where to from there?

When I was young, I lived in a fantasy world. I would write the story of my alternate life in notebooks. Sadly that life was a Sweet Valley High meets Beverley Hills 90210 and a touch of New Kids on the Block hybrid (yes, I am that old). I was going to be in a band, write songs that changed the world and travel the world.

Fast forward a few years and I was going to be social worker. I was going to work in the midst of the crap. I was going to be a hands-on advocate for kids. I pursued this until my guidance counsellor said to my mum that I was too sensitive/empathetic to deal with that line of work. That I would take everything personally. She suggested teaching.

I followed her advice and loved teaching, once I realised that I was NOT a preschool teacher. I discovered an aptitude to working with troubled children and then special needs children. While I studied, I worked with street children - raising funds to buy them supplies, take them on trips to places they would never see and getting them a study room... I hope that , despite my naivety, I made a difference. I worked with a charity that was advocating education and support for HIV/AIDS orphans and there too I hoped to make a little bit of a change. 

I spent seven years teaching in various countries and types of school before I had Monkey. Each child I worked with I tried to help, academically and emotionally. Even if they learnt nothing - I know that they felt like they were accepted. The biggest compliment I ever got from a co-worker was "These kids love you, because they know they are safe with, and respected by you."

Then motherhood intervened. And in that I made changes, mostly small and unseen, but they were made.

And now?

I have no idea what I want to be next. Rather I can't define what it will be or what it will mean. I think I have spent my whole life trying to make a difference in other's lives. Now I think I need to try to make the difference in mine...

I know it will have something to do with writing.
And poetry.
And helping children.
But how?

This post was inspired by two TED Talk by Sarah Kay ...

And this one...

She makes me want to do spoken poetry. She makes me want to make a change with my writing. She makes me want to teach writing to kids again...

But without the red tape of actual teaching... I just want to help them find a voice, preferably theirs but that can come later...

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking for what I want to do now, too, with my priorities changed now that I'm a mum. I'm impressed you know! I'm still looking.


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