Monday, January 02, 2012

I Could Do That

Note:  I wrote this little essay on Christmas Day and waited to post it. Not sure why I was hesitant to publish these thoughts. Anyway, here they are:

I have often wondered what my true career, my passion, is.  I love my job teaching writing and composition.  But I fell into teaching quite by accident.  In fact, my choice of an English major in college was simply a matter of convenience and not of passionate interest.

This is what happened.  I was representing the college I was attending in a singing group and was told that I had to write up a little blurb about myself for a press release.  One bit of pertinent information I needed to add was what my major was.  Well, I was an undeclared freshman and being not as directed as some other students, I had no clue.  So another singer in the group suggested, "Just put down 'English' and you can change it when you decide next year."  Fall semester arrived, and since my stated major was 'English' I got signed up for Intro to Poetry and a special Literature class.  I discovered that, Wow, I'm good at this and, you mean, I can read all day and it's considered studying?  Being an English major was enjoyable although I really didn't pick it; it picked me.

Basically the same thing happened in my pursuit of a teaching credential.  I was happily working in my post college position as a clerk/front desk/admin in a small office.  Being one of those weird people who actually enjoys filing, I excelled in my job. But a friend (same one who steered me down the English major path, as a matter of fact) mentioned that the laws regarding granting of the elementary credential were changing and if I didn't finish what I'd started in my last year of college, I'd lose the opportunity to finish the teacher training.  So I did it.  But I think that, at some level, teaching chose me.

As much as I enjoy reading, literature, poetry, writing and teaching, I think that perhaps I missed my passion.  I should have been a clothing designer. 

I don't mean the Paris, New York, Milan style of fashion design.  That type of designing annoys me.  Fashion of that kind encourages women (and men) to buy clothing that they don't need with money that they don't have, to become quickly dissatisfied with those items of clothing that they bought with those dollars they didn't have, and to discard the shirts, skirts, slacks and shoes that they no longer want but which aren't worn out or even much used.  No, I would never have wanted to be that kind of a designer.

I ought to be a knitwear designer, someone who develops patterns and knits sweaters to be worn by people who love the clothes they purchase and wear them until they're used up, not thrown aside or given away when the fashion moment is over.  My family tells me that when we are strolling along a street, standing in line for coffee, or sitting in church or a meeting, I invariably focus on the sweater or hat being worn by someone in the vicinity.  Mentally, I dissect the pattern and unravel the stitches.  I work out the increases and decreases. Then I state, "I could do that."  I'll never make designing and knitting a career.  For one thing, in chronological years, I'm beyond the point of switching careers.  Instead, I take my ability to knit and spin and turn it in to real hats and scarves and sweaters and warm the world.  I can do that.

14 comments:

Jientje said...

It's weird how "Life" sometimes makes your decisions for you eh?

Roxie said...

Guess what - you ARE a knitwear designer! If you want to make a career of it, you also have to be a marketer, a businesswoman, a pattern writer (in a wide range of sizes, please) and a shill for the yarn companies. If Lion want you to do something in acetate eyelash, are you willing to give it a shot, no matter how nasty it feels?

What would you consider being "Successful" at the designing thing? You already turn out gorgeous, well made, useful garments. Take the credit due to you. You ARE a designer!

Bethany Hissong said...

I agree with Roxie! I don't think you realize how talented you are at this. And seriously, young kids are starting careers in their twenties and with only a couple years of experience call themselves professionals. Why is it that you don't consider yourself one? I pulled out the scarf you knitted yesterday and was just thinking to myself how absolutely beautiful it is... and it is one of your own designs!!! Sometimes it takes longer to discover your life's true work... sometimes people never do, so you're very lucky to have discovered how much you love this and you're already very, very good at it. How blessed so many people would be to be able to purchase your patterns (well written because you can write!) and enjoy the gift of your talent!

ellen b. said...

Ahh...a knitwear designer with a keen ability to write. I can't do that but I'm glad you can!

marilyn.mchardy said...

So Be It

Knitting Linguist said...

I think everyone has already captured what I would have said - you are a designer! I don't know that one needs to make money at something for it to be one's calling, and it sounds like you have certainly found yours and are moving forward with it - to the benefit of so many people!

Yolanda said...

Loved hearing from you and you always brighten my day.Hope you are having a good new year so far.

Sara said...

Since everyone else has already said it all and so beautifully, and I totally agree with them, let me just say how please I am to know there is at least one other person out there in this world who lives filing! I'd be perfectly happy in the back office making things neat and tidy and filing away the documents for quick and easy retrieval! And making complete indexes of the files...

Sara said...

Let me try that again...I said "lives" filing, but of course, I meant "loves" it...

Deb said...

I agree with all of the other comments ~ you are a designer ! But I disagree with one of the lines in your post ~ 'For one thing, in chronological years, I'm beyond the point of switching careers.' Nope. You are not. Many people start new careers at a much later stage in life. Follow your heart. Follow your dreams.

Betty Jo said...

Willow, I agree with your other friends; you "are" a knitwwear designer! I'm so glad you shared your story. I love learning more about my friends.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hello Willow...

I so enjoyed this post. Yes, it is interesting to reflect back on the path we’ve navigated for ourselves through life... at what has influenced us and the decisions we’ve made that have directed us.

You are are most fortunate to be blessed with many rewarding talents and natural abilities and I can identify that you are not only creative but a very well organised person too. If we are happy working at what we enjoy and excel at... then I consider that a great blessing and that appears to apply to you... not only in your chosen career but your natural gift for design. Enjoy what you obviously have a passion for!

Marion - Wales UK

nikkipolani said...

So many interesting turns and bends in your life, Willow, and how God has honed the skills you have. Thank you for sharing this journey.

Jaeyde said...

I agree with Deb. Never too old.