if my heart was a compass, You'd be north

the themes of my Christmas break, aside from trying to remind myself the reason we celebrate, are to be simple; to stop & think; to dream and set goals; to try to listen, both to others and myself but more importantly, to god; & just... to really know. i want to pay more attention to the page than the screen, more the pen than the keyboard, more the wind than the radio, more the Him than the me...
throughout some of this quiet time & attempts at reflection, i've finally kind of had an awakening about the path i'm on in my education - specifically, why the program i'm currently in isn't leaving me with the warm fuzzies i was expecting. since i started the BEd program at UBC in early september, i knew there was something missing. i know i love kids, and i know i'm stinking good with them. i know i can be stinking good at teaching them & this is what i've been planning on doing with myself for 6 years now. so why don't i have that same fervency my peers all seem to embody? i know that this isn't about them and that i shouldn't compare, but it stirs concern in me because i've been watching their eager engagement with the curriculum, extracurricular workshops, projects, reflections, class disscussion, etc., and i can't help but feel like i'm just not there. & i know i should be.
this is true for me full stop: i'm not a sport for complacency & i don't take it lightly i've been blessed and fortunate enough to be born in a country and circumstance of opportunity. i believe in finding true joy everyday in something outside of yourself everyday. & if you can get paid for it, that's just an added bonus. & if that something is rejected by society, well... even better:). although i don't always understand them, i admire in the "happy radical" who just relishes in his/her detachment from people-pleasing or fear of rejection.
i don't remember the last time i've felt this estranged: suddenly the career i've had my heart set on since 2006 no longer seems like my happily-ever-after. i knew this for a while but i kind of just compartmentalized it until i had time to sift through a little bit. it's not that i don't love my program. ubc is a great school and they've developed an incredible program for my cohort centered around ethical issues, social justice, diversity, inclusion, and genuine love for our students.
it's not that i don't love my placement. i'm placed with an awesome group of grade 5/6 kids whose teacher (my mentor) is phenomenal at what she does. & she gives the best feedback and guidance i could ever ask for.
it's not that i've discovered i don't love kids. in case anything is unclear: i love love looooove children. of all shapes and sizes. i love their imagination, their joy, their simple, tenderhearted, untainted sense of justice, and their excitement for learning and complete dependance on, and love for, the models in their lives. i love their energy and fragility & they are the pb to my celery. just to be clear.
it's just that my heart is not in teaching. & it was finally my honesty with mom this morning during our typical coffee-chat (that i've missed oh-so-much) that brought about the truth: i just don't love teaching. as i thought back to being a camp counselor, it became so obvious: my least favorite part of the days were teaching instructional activities. why? because it usually gave me little chance to get to know the hearts of the kids. my heart is in hearts - stories, feelings, passions, love, difficulty, social-learning and development. my heart isn't in educating minds; it's in enriching, inspiring, and encouraging hearts. although we are being trained to be involved with our students on an individual basis, our primary responsibilities are to educate, train, and build-up and to meet irp's to ensure that our students are being adequately equipped for the next grade. although i feel this is of incredible worth and value to children's lives, i know it would break my heart to be in front of a classroom teaching to the children and meeting this standards, because i'd want so badly, but simply wouldn't have time, to be sitting in with them, listening to their hearts, & guiding them socially.
when rubber hits the road, i'm not stressed about it because i know who is in control. & though ironic, His plan is also entirely loving. i'm not going to quit this program. i think that i am right where i'm suppose to be because even if being an elementary school teacher isn't exactly the dream job for me, i don't know what is. i believe in my whole heart this will simply be used as another vessel in steering me where i know God wants me. After all, my steps are directed by Him. how then can i understand my own way? (Proverbs 20:24). i believe in His purpose in where i am right now. beyond that, i have no idea, i have no control, & i'm excited to see His purpose in my life unfold.


  1. feels SO good to say it out loud, eh?!?!?!?!?! you're my hero - as always

  2. ReNa!!

    this is such a beautifully written piece; you are so good at delivering your emotions, at BEING on "paper" (well, a screen, really). Well, CONGRATS on having gotten into the UBC ed program!!!!!! I was thinking of doing something similar....but i am kind of in limbo right now..! Im thinking of doing school counselling....hve you considered this? you get to be with kids...with their hearts, to be exact :)
    you are so empathic, so full of life and laughter and creativity...sounds like a great combo to me!!! hugs:)