Article by Wendy McCance
Have often have you been on going after a goal and you hit a big snag? You are stopped in your tracks. Do you throw up your hands and give up, or are you aware that something bigger and better is around the corner?
Let me give you an example. My daughter is in college. She is determined to try new things and really “find herself.” She wants to challenge her skills and discover what she is truly passionate about.
My daughter has had all sorts of moments where she has started on a path, got stuck and backtracked only to discover something that fit a little better. If you look back at the path she has taken since she was young, the breadcrumbs make sense. It’s obvious why she is where she has landed.
My daughter started off at the age of 3 with a huge fascination for art. She loves to create and would grab paper, cardboard, glue, crayons and whatever else she could find and build all sorts of 3 yr old creations. That year she turned 3, for Christmas all she wanted was a roll of tape. Tape was the greatest thing she could get her hands on. With tape, there was no holding her back, she could create anything!
Christmas came and in her stocking there was several rolls of tape of all different colors. All other presents were ignored. She was thrilled and spent the next few weeks in constant creation mode.
As my daughter got older, she took drawing classes and then landed squarely on jewelry design. By 6th grade, she had set up a business. Her bracelets were a hit and in huge demand. Each day she would come home from school with a good-sized list of orders from classmates who had to have one of her bracelets.
That summer, she took her business on the road and sold out her collection of bracelets at the annual city-wide garage sale. She had set up her own table at her grandmother’s home and found that everyone wanted to buy a bracelet from her. She was on her way.
By high school, she grew bored with drawing and jewelry. She had learned to sew and dabbled in fashion design. She had her own sewing machine and had made shirts, dresses and a Halloween costume. She didn’t like the rules of sewing. She ventured away from patterns but still felt restricted. She was ready for a change, and a big one was about to emerge.
Ice skating was next on the agenda. My daughter fell in love with the way you could express yourself through music and movement. She was able to hold onto her artistic interests in a completely new form. She began taking lessons and quickly caught on. She was a natural. After a year with a continued interest, we began building an ice rink in our backyard each winter. My daughter was thrilled and spent hours practicing her new skills.
By the last year of high school, nutrition and excercise made their way into her life. She was determined to be as healthy and fit as possible. She wanted to excel in her physical ventures and felt that she should keep her body in optimum shape. She learned all she could about the paleo diet and crossfit exercising.
After graduation everything fell apart. My daughter had no idea what to major in and was losing interest in crossfit. She was still fascinated by healthy living, but didn’t want to make a career out of it. There was also something else that was really getting her down.
My daughter has ADD. School has always been a struggle for her. Now that she was going to college, panic was setting in. How could she build a life for herself when she was struggling trying to avoid failing classes? What would she possibly do with her life? She became overwhelmed and depressed.
I had several talks with her and made sure she realized that this time in her life was a gift. There was no rush for her to move out and she should relax and explore what made her happy. Her greatest success would be in finding that thing she was passionate about and figuring out how to make a living off of what she loved.
One of the things that gives me great pride is that my daughter is not lazy. She can be incredibly focused when she hits on something that catches her interest. I knew once she found something that thrilled her again, she would be off and running.
That moment came rather quickly. My daughter has always loved music, dance and has been fascinated with movement and expression. She decided she wanted to explore this and looked for a hip hop class.
One path after another seemed to hit a deadend. The closest classes were about an hour away. It was too far to drive that far for a variety of reasons.
One day she was looking for a class and found the exact class she desperately wanted to take walking distance away from our home. I had been looking online too and hadn’t seen this school of dance mentioned once. A small amount of hope emerged.
We took a look at the dance school and she found out she would be the only student in the class. It looked like the class might be cancelled. Surprisingly, the school decided that one student was fine and she began taking classes.
She bonded with the instructor quickly. He was only a few years older and had a way of explaining how to do each step that was understandable to my daughter. She excelled quickly and was asked to be in the dance show at the end of the year.
Soon other students and teachers would pop in to check her progress. She was a natural. She loved what she was learning and was good at dance. She was really good. Everyone at the school began commenting on her abilities. She had that natural talent and people thought she had been dancing for years.
While taking dance classes, she has also been going to school at the local college. My daughter has fallen in love with her sociology class and is excited to take anthropology next semester. She has decided she wants to go as far as possible with dance, but wants to take classes that work with her new interests. She is looking at taking art classes, a dance history class and wants to study different cultures and how they interpret dance in their society.
Although she isn’t sure what her career will be exactly, she has a renewed sense of being on the right path. She can see how her past has led her in a creative direction. She needs to do something artistic with her life. She also realizes that she enjoys physical art more than art based on creations by hand.
My daughter has seen how the right things pop up at the right moments. The school for dance she attends is a perfect fit. Other schools might have had so many students that she would have felt lost in the crowd. She might have ended up with a teacher who wasn’t as good at explaining how to do each move. She might not have gotten the encouragement or the feeling of success she feels every time she takes her class.
My daughter has learned that she should have faith in her future. She should keep listening to her voice and block out the voice of other well-meaning people who might throw her off the track that is working for her.
She has also learned that there really are no roadblocks. It looked like there wasn’t a dance class for her, and then the perfect place popped up under her nose at just the right moment. She had been looking for almost two months, but wouldn’t give up. A better opportunity was just around the corner.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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