Dreaming and the Organic Process of Learning

Adulting is complicated

Growing up, I always found myself offering to babysit, playing school with my cousins, and helping out with children and youth ministry opportunities. However, initially, I pursued studies and a career that did not place me in the realm of children or education. I suppose, vocationally speaking, I wanted something more sophisticated like law or government.

Currently, I find myself in this space where I’m building a business based on community, the arts, education, and children. It is a wonderfully challenging journey where I’m able to blend my first love of children, my passion for entrepreneurship, and the freedom I find in creating.

I’m convinced that what we should do with our lives has its roots in our childhood, while we are still untainted by the expectations society throws at us as adults.

Kids are genuine and pure at heart. They may not always “behave” but they know who they are and always act in accordance with that. For the most part, they haven’t discovered sarcasm nor the perceived benefits of pretending to be someone they’re not. Everything is face value and what you see is what you get.

I try to remember this while I work with our students. It’s a privilege that I get to do this for a living. I try and let the creative process take its course in what we do so the results are purely organic. This way the kids learn what they want (and the concepts they choose often compliments what’s they’re learning in school) and they love it. Who said learning had to be boring?

We let our love of learning die when we convince ourselves we no longer have a choice in the matter. When we do it because we think we have to. When we pursue learning as a means instead of the end. When we let our adulting get in the way of what is a natural process in life as we develop interests and grow. When we overvalue the result instead of the process.

I bet if we take a few steps back from whatever it is we may be doing right now and realize it has nothing to do with the dream our younger selves once had, then we are not the most joyful we could be. Somewhere we allowed expectations to taint our learning journey and put unnecessary pressures on the process. Maybe we abandoned it for a pursuit someone made us think we needed instead. Either way, there is a need for us grown ups to begin to fall in love with learning again. Maybe we’ll discover something we’ve missed.

Don’t panic. You don’t have to quit your job or get a divorce but maybe you need to learn something new, take a class, read a book or article, start a project that allows you to explore for the sake of learning and not necessarily any particular gain or profit.

Adulting can be complicated and overly serious. The learning process is such that it proves we are not always right nor do you get it right the first time. Additionally, you often don’t “arrive” but instead evolve. Eventually you start to give yourself space to take risks and maybe fail. You become more confident and transparent, a better you for yourself and to the encouragement of others. These are lessons that can give life again to the child-like faith you once had in yourself and the world around you.

It is absolute freedom to give yourself permission to be apart of the learning process once again. Free yourself from the chains and demands of having to be the expert. Be the student again and again. You’ve got this.