Tomorrow, I'll step foot back into the classroom full-time...something I haven't done in 11 years and something I swore I'd never do again. It's a temporary position in the elementary classroom servicing special needs children. My next step will be to re-enter the regular education classroom starting this Fall.
The truth is, I'm at a crossroads in my life. There are so many things my heart desires--a full-time art life, an agent, more licensing opportunities--and at the same time, financial stability, a house to raise my family in, travel while my children are still little. And because I know that my art career takes time to build, and that little boys don't stay little forever, I've decided the kindest thing to do for myself, my family and my art is to go back full-time to give all the things I love time to grow.
I have fear inside..."What if I'm as miserable as I was when I left this profession a decade ago?" "Will I still be able to make lots of art?" But I also have hope..."I'm such a different person I was 11 years ago--I'm excited to see how far I can go with my students!" "I'll be able to travel with my children and make memories with family near and far!" I worry that I won't have what it takes to be both a full-time teacher and an emerging artist, yet I'm excited at the possibilities this income will provide for me art-wise. It's such a give and take, things I will surely gain, sacrifices I know I have to make either way. This is not a move I've entered into lightly.
I hope to keep within me this quiet confidence I have fostered, that my art and the income it produces will continue to develop and grow, that I won't lose it along the way. I hope. I hope I won't stop being an artist. And I hope I can give my heart to my students in ways I wasn't able to my first time around? I hope I can fill their little souls with goodness and pour my love and light into them each and everyday. I hope my classroom will be a place of joy and safety for them and for me.
Please pray if you do, and wish me well on this next leg of my journey. Ready or not, here I come!