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.