Saturday, February 19, 2011

Passion-Driven Journey

I'm reading - Creating a Life Worth Living: A practical course in career design for artists, innovators, and others aspiring to a creative life by Carol Lloyd: Founder of the Writing Parlor & the Life Worth Living Workshops.  I was ready to put it away, because I felt it may be written for those starting their career journey, but as I delve deeper, her writing and examples keep me connected. 

"The task of looking at your life as a series of paths winding out in different directions emphasizes two of the beliefs inherent in this book: First, that there are many roads to choose from.  Second, you really do have free choice." The book is a reminder that "every life of work should be a work of art."

The Passion-Driven Classroom -  I'm so glad to have encountered this book through my PLN! When I read it, it makes sense why I am grieving -- I am about to leave a passionate community of learners that have taught me so much -- made such a difference in my life. On Friday, Feb. 18, several teachers and students came together to share their passions and stories about student learning ... a moment I will never forget.

Angela & Amy's message is helping me heal and deal with my personal transition.  Their words - "In order to tap into passion as a resource to motivate, engage and empower our learners, we must understand these underlying values of passion - Passion is serious, internal, perservering, often quiet, difficult and rebellious at times, purposeful."

I know that my passion for helping to change outdated educational systems so they take on life for students and teachers will never leave my heart and soul. How do we un-school schools? I know I will find that place/cause in time that allows me to keep the flame burning. I also need to give myself permission to "play" and enjoy the things in life I  never had a chance to connect to. My career journey - Living in the projects, being a silent voice throughout K-12 schooling, no hope of going to college, cleaning homes, working in dry cleaner and factory to special education teacher, literacy teacher, academic/professional development director to renewment...The stories and journey will continue.  Alicia's current definition of passion -- Passion is listening to your pain, joy and dreams - believing that there is so much to become part of and make happen.

Emotional Jolts!

I'm trying to prepare for this phase in my live I'm calling RENEWMENT!  Decided to go out for Chinese food.  Received my "fortune cookie."  As soon as I read the written words, a flurry of emotions took over and so the  tears emerged as I read this simple  phrase - "Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors."

For my entire career journey, I've been great at listening to others and providing support about change in one's life. Now that I'm at crosswords, I can't seem to wrap myself around everything I know about transitions and loss.  The pain within really hurts.

My friends, family & colleagues are so happy for my "retirement."  They look to the day, they can enjoy this phase in their lives.  Many ask if I'm counting the days! My response is an emphatic "no!" It seems like no one really understands what lies deep within my heart.  I'm surrounded by so much love and understanding; yet I feel so, so alone in this process. Al, my soulmate, is there for me unconditionally.  He's been retired for several years and certainly looks forward to our life journey together. I almost lost him to cancer.  He is an amazing  man and has made such a difference in my career pathway.  Without him, I would be working in a factory or clerical position.  It's because of him that the hidden passions/inner light were ignited within.

Words cannot capture the life-long learning that led me through 30+ great educational experiences including Aurora City Schools. 

Spring will be here soon.  For me this means my time to walk away and venture into the unknown is fast approaching. I don't know how to say, "goodbye" to teachers, colleagues and students. I know I will find a way. For now, I'm struggling.