A Kindergarten Teacher, a Counselor, and a Priest Walk into a bar….

I’m certain that many have heard a version of this joke at some point or another. Unfortunately, this particular joke is the story of my life in a nutshell. I say this because I have discovered in recent years that I have many avenues available to me concerning my choice of career. As I’ve already mentioned in an earlier article, my current profession is as an embroiderer. This, however, is not my chosen career path. Instead, I hope to become a counselor for elementary school age children. While I have no formal schooling for this particular career outside of a B.S. in Psychology, my goal is to somehow create my own version where more schooling isn’t required of me.

Though I may be good at what I am currently doing, it isn’t my passion or what makes me truly happy. Working with children, particular kindergarten age children, is what makes me feel like I am fulfilling my purpose. Most people spend their entire life searching for their purpose and some, unfortunately, never find it. I don’t want to look back, at the end of my life, and feel as if I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do. In all honesty, working with children gives me a sense of purpose and allows my inner child to come out and play. I have pursued this goal through volunteering in my old kindergarten classroom with the same teacher that I had twenty years ago. It has been such an honor working alongside her and in turn, learning so much from her.

As an aside, the concept of allowing your inner child to come out and play is almost taboo within our society. People often don’t allow themselves to free their inner child due to a variety of unsubstantiated fears. This is truly a tragedy within our world today. In my own life, I cannot stress how important is for me that I allow my inner child out to play through my work with children. It feeds my soul and nourishes parts of myself that have lied dormant for years. Children don’t have the responsibilities that adults do and because of this, are able to be creative in the most wonderful of ways. I remember being that way as a child; always creating something with blocks or pretending to be a character from a television show/movie I had seen. In other words, I was using my imagination. This is the space in the mind in which the inner child can roam freely.

Imagination is what led me into the mind-space where I allowed myself to look at other options after graduating from college and is what ultimately led to my desire to work with children. Last time I can remember experiencing this kind of imagination prior to college, was when I was in Catholic school. Not being from a strictly religious family, I was able to explore religion in a way most children my age were unable to. For a period of time, I even considered becoming a priest because I was so fascinated by the religion and the good works which came through it. Being in that school for the period that I was (6th-8th Grade), allowed me to experience my inner child one last time before entering high school. I think it is fair to say it was one of the most critical points in my life and also the happiest. I felt loved and was able to give love back in a variety of ways.

“So a kindergarten teacher, a counselor, and a priest walk into a bar.” I am all three of these people rolled into one. I have no clue what my future holds when it comes to my ultimate career path. One thing I do know for certain is that it will be helping people, young or old, in the way that I was helped throughout my schooling years. I can promise you this: I will be able to die knowing I did something valuable with my life and gave back to the world in the only way I know how-by allowing my inner child to roam freely.