a great many things

I have often thought about all the many, many interests I have pursued over the years. Some of these interests became passions, some were fleeting interests-and several costs many, many dollars! My education was a combination of Early Childhood Development, Sociology, Photography, Massage Therapy, and all kinds of classes in between that thrilled me and stimulated my other interests and passions. In my professional life I have been a retail salesperson & manager, nanny, pre-school teacher, kindergarten aide, massage therapist, research assistant at a large museum, and crafter–did I miss anything? I have loved every single job–even if that love only lasted a short time. Some of my personal interests and hobbies  have included collecting, sewing, photography & darkroom printing, writing, drawing, painting, movies, music, making jewelry, shopping, gardening, cooking, and on and on!

When I think back on my collection of interests, hobbies  and jobs I realize I am still passionate about all those things (at least the ones I remembered to mention!). I still  believe in high-quality childcare, child advocacy, educating and supporting parents. I loved being around children- they brighten everything- and their parents. I still remember all the names of deep muscles, where they connect, and how they move and miss being able to relieve tension and/or pain for my clients. I continue to pursue photography–although I haven’t been in a darkroom in a few years–I have embraced modern technology and now use a DSLR and Photoshop (which I swore I would NEVER do-I used to say- “I’m a purist when it comes to my photography!”) I actually loved working retail and still love shopping, appreciating and fashion. The one job that surprised me was being a research assistant- I have never been particularly good at collecting and analyzing data- at least in that capacity. Turns out I was good at it and really enjoyed the work (though I got antsy and lost interest because I am not at my best when I am tied to a computer in a cubicle). And now I am pursuing what was once only a hobby, but has always been a true love of mine- sewing and crafting.

Today one of my favorite bloggers wrote a blog post called “A Great Many Things”. As usual Kelle put words perfectly to something I have often thought and worried about–that I have some sort of deficit because I don’t “stick with” anything.  The truth is, I do “stick with” everything I love. Yes, I have had many jobs- no “real” career- but I have enjoyed my  experience working with different types of people in different environments. I have traveled and learned and loved. And I continue to pursue my interests-just not always all at once. Kelle quoted Little Women:

Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.
Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.
Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

This quote is exactly how I feel- I should have been a great many things– except from the “should” part. Instead of feeling self-conscious and defective in some way, I feel proud. I am a great many things! Sure, I think there are many other great things I could have been, but I am confident that everything I have worked towards is part of my “grand plan”. I plan to be a great wife and mother, to be an artist that brings smiles to children’s faces, to support and educate parents, and to continue loving and pursuing all my passions! This is what I choose to do with my “one wild and precious life”- proudly, excitedly, and always, always  passionately!

So, yeah, I am a great many things! You are too, my friends!

{Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”Check out the whole poem, it is a beautiful!}

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