I had to do this assignment for a class this past week that really had to make you think about your life. Even though I don’t think the intention of the project was to be super deep and inspiring it really turned out to be that way. So our task was to do a free write (for those non-ed majors or people who don’t know what that means it’s a writing exercise where you write for a certain given time without stopping to see what your brain puts on paper) with the prompt to start being “My life really began when…” I found this really difficult as it makes you think about the moments in life that truly matter. So I just recently completed this assignment and really was impressed with what I wrote. After reading them they truly reflect who and how I am as a person. It’s great. So here they are in place of my random thoughts of the day.
My Life Really Began When….
My life really began when I took the big step and moved to Lethbridge for University. Last child to move out of my parents house as my brother moved out 5 years previous. You don’t truly know who you are meant to be until you move to a new city without knowing many people. Old or young moving to a completely unfamiliar place is scary. You don’t know your area, you have little friends and to top it all off I added the transitions of going into University and living without the safety net of my parents. It was the best, and what turned out to be 5 instead of 4 years of my life. I learned how to be me without my comfort zone of friend and family. I did go home quite often during the first few years but there was a point where that changed, where I stayed in Lethbridge more weekends then I went home. I was starting to develop my own life; scary, fearful and unsure I was totally ok with it all.
My life really began when I took it upon myself to take a break from university, as I felt I was learning nothing, and move to Greece. I moved without anything but the smell of home on my clothing to comfort me. When I arrived I was terrified, worried, lonely and desperately longed for that comfortable feeling to return and fast. I discovered many different things about myself; culture shock, loneliness, confusion, sadness but most of all true homesickness. This was a new feeling for me. Never as a child did I experience being homesick so imagine the shock when it hit me as a 20 year old on the other side of the planet. I fully understood the anxiety my childhood self would have experienced and thought if I could barely handle it at 20, I would have been a wreck as a child trying to figure it all out. During the time I was in Greece I had experience emotions I didn’t even know I had and from this I learned more about myself that ever before. I learned how to cope, I learned how to be independent but most of all I learned a new side of the girl I thought I knew fully when I left my comfortable Canadian home. Even though it was the hardest most challenging time in my life to date, I wouldn’t change or do anything differently. I would not be the person I am today if it didn’t happen.
My life really began when while running a children’s soccer camp in the summer months I met a young boy named Tristan. Tristan was a regular at camp, as during the summer, every Monday morning a small silver car would pull up and out would pop Tristan’s little 7 year old body. He was a troubled boy, behavior issues, emotional roller coaster, angry and already had seen me and my staff for 6 weeks straight; some could have titled me high class babysitter but thats beside the point.
To say Tristan was a challenge would be an understatement because after week 6 he knew all our tricks to distract him, he learned all the soccer skills he wanted and he probably was just as happy to see us each day as we were to see him.
Until one day I noticed Tristan really interested in the large clock on the wall during swimming. He was unsure how it worked or how to read it and I began to wonder, Did Tristan not know how to tell time? During the next afternoon of swimming him and I were sitting looking at the clock when he asked ” Kate how do people use ‘those’ kind of clocks?”
From here I knew I had him hooked. I began teaching him how to read a clock, what each of the numbers stood for, how the time between each hand was 5 so really if you knew how to count by 5’s you’d be set. He began to understand how to tell the time when it’s not numbers laid out neatly, like on a digital style; the kind he was use to. I created clock problem worksheets for him to do during break times. When he would misbehave I would let him know that he’d have less practice clock questions and it usually calmed him down. We’d work on them everyday when all the other kids had gone home and it was just him, myself and my 2 staff waiting for that small silver car to pull up to take him home.
I can say that by the end of the 9th week, Tristan could tell time, both digitally and off an analog clock. To me I used a glimpse of his interests that day in the pool to my advantage; nothing more, nothing less.
It wasn’t until after, while having a conversation with my mom months later when she told me “He will never look at a clock and wonder again. He’ll always remember you, even if it’s not you specifically you he’ll always remember” Having a forever impact on a life simply changed my outlook. In that very moment, I knew I was meant to be a teacher.
That’s it. I challenge you to do the same. Sit down and for 5 mins write without stopping on the moment your life really began. You may surprise yourself.
Much Love :o) xoxo