Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What You Have the Courage to Ask For


It's been an amazing summer so far, with a trip to the Salzburg mountains and so many sweet, simple moments with my son. We've had a wonderful mix of rain and heat, and the woods are already sprouting mushrooms that normally don't start appearing until July. Lately I've been experiencing instances where I am doing some little task, and find myself feeling just fine, which is a foreign sensation since my Mom died. I still have overwhelming waves of grief wash over me and shake my entire being. But more and more often, I have those realiziations that I am OK, things are good. Things would be better, and different, if I still had my Mom to talk to, and hug, and make new memories with. But this is how things are. It's time to start being OK.

Things have certainly changed quite a bit since I last wrote. At some point early this year, we came to the acceptance that Rafael will be an only child. After long, frustrating periods of trying to conceive, where each month of disappointment slowly poisons your relationship and eats away at your gratitude and joy, we decided stop mourning the absence of a second child and to instead celebrate having our healthy, lovely son. We let go of our picture of how our family would be. And we let go of the notion that we would only be whole and happy if Rafael had a sibling and we had a second child. I got rid of almost all of the baby stuff I had stored, and it was very freeing. We still have times where that longing comes back, and who knows, maybe it will never go away entirely. But the pressure and frustration are gone. They have been replaced by gratitude for my son that gives me butterflies in my stomach when I think about it! It is truly fanstastic having an only child. I would describe it as relaxed, and intimate. 

This realization presented a step that I thought would come much later. I thought I would be a stay-at-home-mom for many years to come, since I expected to have more than one child. But now I was the mother of a four and a half year old who spent the majority of his days in preschool, where his friends were, where he socialized, learned, and played. My work as a mother felt less and less like work, and was evolving into a deep, loving relationship. This is such a wonderful step, but it also became clear that he did not need me like he used to, and that it was time for me to find a job. 

For about a week, I fell into a depressed state. I had no idea what I should do. I am in my mid-thirties, and my life looked different than I thought it would. So what would the new picture be? I began beating myself up. Why hadn't I found what I want to do yet? Why had everything I had tried so far failed? I knew I didn't want to be self-employed, but I also didn't want to sit at a cashier or wait tables. There are so many creative things I love, but I didn't want to be a struggling artist. I wanted a stable job where I could be creative, where I wouldn't get bored. Something I would want to do for at least the next 30 years of my life.

But what could that be?

So there I was, feeling sorry for myself, when I started thinking about how I feel every time I bring Rafael to preschool, and pick him up. How I feel when his preschool puts on a little play, or celebrates Christmas. How I feel when he brings something home that he crafted, or tells me excitedly about something new he learned there. How I feel when I spend some time in his preschool group, sitting on a tiny chair, watching the children build with blocks or eat their crackers, surrounded by children's voices. What feelings did I get? Happiness. Comfort. Wonder. Fun. I pictured myself in a classroom with children, and immediately felt my heart jump. And suddenly I thought, "I wonder how someone goes about becoming a preschool teacher?" I began researching on the internet, and quickly found out that there was an open-door event taking place just a few days later at the near-by school where you could earn your teaching credentials.

After that open-door day, I knew this was the right thing. There were all sorts of beaurocratic hurdles for me as an ex-pat, but my will to make it happen had me ticking off those tasks one by one, springing over obstacles and heading in the right direction in a driven manner I had never experienced. I passed the qualifying exam with flying colors and am signed up to begin my two-and-a-half year education this September!

Oprah once said, "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." I am learning to be outrageous and courageous with the things I ask for. I don't want mediocrity, and I don't want my life and creativity to be wasted. I am asking for a life well-lived, full of meaning for my fellow mankind. I am asking for a job that I love. I am asking for a job that is much more significant than a paycheck. A career that feels tailormade, where I learn easily because I am interested in what I am learning. Where my strengths shine, and my weaknesses are just tiny bumps in the road. It takes courage to ask for those things, to ask for your life to be something special.

Needless to say I am full of anticipation and have a whole new reason to look forward to Fall this year. I wonder if you all would be interested in following my journey to becoming a preschool teacher?

xoxoxo Thank you for sticking around and always welcoming me back!

28 comments:

  1. I know I'm not alone in saying that I'm totally thrilled by your new path, dear Dawn...and I'll be with you every step! Xxx

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    1. Tossing confetti in the air! Yay Rachel! Thank you!

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  2. Yay! So good to see a post from you, and I am thrilled that you are pursuing something you love. It sounds like the perfect fit for you.

    Raquel

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    1. Thanks so much Raquel, I hope you are right!

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  3. Congratulation Dawn !!! so exited and happy for u Looking forward to reading and following you in this new chapter in your life. Have a wonderful day love seeing your pictures you and Raffy look radiant .

    Maria

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    1. Thank you for the support Maria!

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  4. So good to see a post from you. Many blessings on the three of you as you start this new journey in your life.

    Raffy sure has grown and I know he is such a joy to you.

    FlowerLady

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    1. He really is :-) Thank you FlowerLady!

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  5. So glad to know all is well with you. I was a preschool teacher for several years and enjoyed it so!
    I planned many activities that were fun and also helped with learning. In fact, I had created a large 6 inch binder filled these activities. I am a firm believer in art, crafts and music to give a variety of learning experiences. Wonderful times! You will so enjoy it!

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    1. That's fantastic! I have never been so excited about learning something new, and what it will mean I can give.

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  6. I too started as a pre-school teacher, finished my college degree in my 40's and became a school teacher. We too had only one child and though it was particularly planned that way it worked out well.

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    1. You tend to hear negative things about only-children but my experience has been only positive. Thanks for your note!

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  7. You are on the right path.....and quite frankly, there is no 'wrong path.' All paths lead to new learning, new choices, and new experiences.
    May you be blessed with joy, peace, love, and harmony.

    Your Mom would be SO HAPPY to have you filled with JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    XOXO Joann

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    1. Yes!! You are right! Thank you for the love and support Joann!

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  8. Wonderful to read this post and see you back online! I think your decision is a wise one. Best of luck to you as you make your way toward this goal!
    Claudia

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    1. Thank you Claudia, I appreciate you!

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  9. Wow! I miss your posts and your pictures. I think you struggle with many of the things us "normal" women have struggled with for decades. Where do I fit in this big old world? So many seasons in our life and each one with different needs and wants. I'm glad to hear that your heart is starting to mend somewhat over the loss of your mother. There is never complete healing, always scars left but it's somehow part of life. We must go on for the sake of ourselves and others but with scars. Wanting to have more children and not being able to, it is a type of mourning, as you put it. Bless your heart. You are so strong! If I was your mother I would be very proud of you! Be encouraged girl! You are an encouragement to me! Thank You!

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  10. Hi Dawn, so glad to see you posting again! Congratulations on entering this new chapter of your life! I'm excited to see where it takes you. There are so many out there who will benefit from what you have to give ♥♥♥

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  11. Dear Dawn, I often think about you and check your blog. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I just now found your post from June 28. After reading your entries for these past years, I can't help but think that you'll be a natural as a preschool teacher. As a mother, you have always provided Rafael with a stimulating, educational environment. I'm a retired teacher, and I've seen your tenderhearted ways and nurturing instincts. They are such important qualities for a teacher working with young children. I can't wait to read more about your new adventure. I'm so happy for you and I know your mother would be, too. Judyxxx



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  12. So lovely to read this update...I stumbled upon it by chance! Sounds like its been a hard time but you are coming through it and moving towards promising things also! :) Big hug xxx

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  13. How exciting! I am so very happy for you! I've been your follower for years and admire you for being so brave! I would love to know how this new path develops for you, please keep us posted! Have a wonderful rest of the summer! Hugs and sunshine from Mexico!

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  14. Absolutely, I want to follow along!

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  15. I'm so excited to see an update from you! I think that it's wonderful that you're becoming a teacher, and I would happily look forward to reading about your new endeavors. Best wishes!

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  16. So glad to hear that you are back, Dawn!! My niece is an only child (I don't have kids yet) and she thrived. I completely understand letting go of the the tension and longing for more kids, but my betting side thinks that you'll have more. In my experience, it is when couples lest expect it that it happens. Peace brings calm and happiness, the right mix for getting pregnant. Either way, you are beyond blessed with Rafi.

    Congrats on the teaching! I still remember my pre-school teachers. The influence teachers have is immeasurable. You'll do great.

    Elise xo

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  17. I'm so glad you have a new adventure to embark on. And .. I had hoped, you'd have considered taking your readers along too... but here it is Dec and no word. I wish you much success thp

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  18. Hi Dawn miss your yearly Christmas pictures that you share. I hope u had wonderful holiday.

    MARY

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  19. Happy New Year! Miss your updates from across the world.:)
    Wishing you and your family all the blessings for 2017.

    Elise

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  20. hi Dawn missing your post xoxoxoxox hope all is well

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