I am 31 and have no damn clue what I want to be when I grow up.(And I’ve also discovered I’m way too much of an NF to figure out a tangible life job.)
I’ve been in the early childhood world for about ten years and I’ve acquired so many different skills like the ability to communicate with parents and educators, the ability to be have immense amounts of patience. My leadership style has grown and changed. My capability to read a room helped me as the bible teacher at RFKC.
And obviously I now have the ability to put 14 one year olds to sleep in under thirty minutes ( RIP teacher Meg and teacher Victoria nap time show).
But, that’s not what I want to be when I grow up. I’m thankful for the jobs I have held, and currently have that have caused me to grow and change as a person, but I’m not sure where this all leads me.
Last week, while curled up on my friend Tiffany’s couch, she asked me what the dream job was.
Can I get paid for writing and sitting and listening to people and then telling them their potential?
Because, one of the other skills that I’ve realized I hold is seeing who someone actually is even when they don’t see it. Adults, teenagers and of course, the tiny humans.
(Though most of the time it comes out in the form of “man up or shut up” or reciting the “but was he a man?” dialogue from the mindy project )
Rewind to the past few months in the two year old room.
Two year olds mean business. And I have a few that are more than a handful.
I was on the phone with a parent a couple weeks ago telling her about something her tiny human did that day that caused teacher Meg to have a heart attack and she began apologizing for the fact that her tiny human is a handful and is always the one to be the first to test the boundaries.
I stopped her apologizing as quickly as it began.
I could easily see her becoming defeated, so, I said that said tiny human wasn’t a handful (and I will never confirm or deny if this is true), but to think about how when the tiny human is older, they will be able to take risks, and push the boundaries.
She responded that I was thinking positive.
But I mean, what would happen if we looked at tiny humans like that? Saw the things that may look like not great life choices and find ways to turn them positive and frame them in that way. What would happened even if we looked at teenagers, adults like that? What would that change?
I’ve been watching a lot of Girl Meets World lately. (Sidenote if you are caught up PLEASE CALL ME BECAUSE I HAVE FEELINGS).
On GMW they have a lot of lessons and life wisdom and warm fuzzies and a handful of mentions of the “long game”. The long game is just how it sounds. Being in it not for the immediate results but for what will happen at the end.
I have kids that I had in day camp that are out of college. I have preschoolers that are in junior high and high school. You don’t work in early education for the short game. Sometimes you get those immediate gratifying moments. But for the most part, you have to just know that at the foundation you are and were apart of that tiny humans life. I may never know what happened with them, but I will know that I will live in a little piece of their present in the future.
I want to live whatever I am doing in the long game. Be it working with tiny humans, or writing or sitting across from people or being in leadership or maybe one day being a wife and a mom.
Living in the long game is being present with who you are today knowing that it will be apart of who you are tomorrow. Living in the long game is taking care of yourself and your heart and soul and being so that ten years from now when something comes into your being you are prepared for it.
I’m 31 and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
But I’m choosing (attempting) to be present and honest and living with my whole heart. Because it’s for today, tomorrow, next week and next year. It’s for Bellingham now. It’s for Bellingham later and wherever else I find myself. I’m choosing to live my life using the pieces of life I’m given and wrapping them into gifts I can give.
I’m living in the long game.