I’m fascinated by children.
As adults, it is our responsibility to teach our children; but I find that I learn so much from them.
When I used to work in the nursery at church or teach Sunday school, I enjoyed observing each child in my care.
Some were loners and enjoyed playing by themselves. Some were raucous and free spirited. Some interacted so easily with other children and played effortlessly. Some just wanted to be held and wanted me to read a story.
I needed be in control of the classroom; but I needed to learn how to deal with each child individually.
I’ve learned that each one is unique with special gifts and talents.
TRAIN UP A CHILD
A few years ago, I heard Bishop T. D. Jakes give a very interesting interpretation on the scripture verse from Proverbs:
He, basically, said that children will exhibit an affinity for what they would love to do later in life. It’s our job as adults to notice what they gravitate towards and encourage them to pursue the way they should go. With that, they should embrace their true vocations when they are older.
As a child, I loved TV and the movies. I made up my own stories and acted out the characters. I also took ballet; and loved it. My affinity was toward the arts.
My young nephew, Ethan who is almost 12, enjoys and is good at so many things. It’s challenging to determine, at this point, what will rise to the top as cream as his future vocation.
He is an avid reader.
The possibilities are endless.
He loves to run track and play soccer.
He’s competed for several years as a member of a hip hop dance team.
He’s extremely gifted at building things. When he was six, my father gave him a Lego’s helicopter set. He read the instructions and built it alone in three hours. My dad, who was an architect, developed a major project for them to work on together. He taught Ethan how to design and build a home from the foundation up. My dad created miniature scale pieces to fill every room in the house.
Last, but certainly not least, Ethan has a gift for music. He plays the guitar, the trumpet and now the piano.
Okay, so I’m a proud aunt. I’m also proud of the fact that he is being encouraged to explore his many interests. I’m grateful he’s well rounded and is excited about life.
WHEN YOU ARE OLD
As I mentioned, I had an affinity for the arts as a child.
I was also amazed when I discovered I could write.
When I was in the 7th grade, my teachers submitted my composition on fire prevention to the New York City writing competition. And to my surprise, I was a winner!
Even though, I exhibited these talents early in life, it wasn’t until much later that I started to pursue my passion full time.
I wanted to major in the fine arts in college; but that was a big NO NO! It wasn’t responsible.
Instead, I took the business route. I started out as a secretary in the beauty industry; and then went to college for my B.B.A in marketing and then, while working full time, off to graduate school at night to get my M.B.A. in management.
I thought marketing would fulfill my creative side. I didn’t realize how much math and analysis were required.
I’ve hated math ever since I can remember. When I was in the 6th grade, I spent hours trying to figure out how to reduce fractions for homework. I thought I was ready for class the next day. I was called up to the blackboard to do a math problem that wasn’t in the homework. I stood in front of the blackboard frozen; and I was accused of not doing my homework.
As punishment, I had to stay after school and write the preamble of the Constitution 100 times. To this day, I don’t remember the preamble; and still have no clue how that was supposed to help me learn fractions.
In marketing, I struggled with the analytics; but I thrived with the advertising, promotion and product development side of my career choice.
After 22 years in business and trying to tow the corporate line, I realized I wanted out. I was overworked and exhausted. Mostly, I was miserable.
I needed to find what gave me joy.
Lo and Behold! Without planning it, my quest to figure out my passion led me to acting and now writing.
YA NEVA KNOW!
I’m delighted that the proverb is true, especially the second part, “and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Not that I consider myself “old”; but I’m not in my 20’s anymore. I’ve got a lot of life behind me that I can use to fuel me as an actress and a writer. I have a lot of life in front of me to pursue what I gravitated toward as a child.
Am I pursuing what comes naturally to me? YES!
Do I work hard? YES!
Do I continually train and work on my craft? YES!
Have I found my joy? YES!
Do I believe…it’s never too late to go after your dreams? ABSOLUTELY!