Off and running…so to speak


OK, so I don’t run but I feel like I am finally entering into something wonderful-even if it isn’t a race 😉  I made the decision to leave my line of work-something I love doing-which, somehow, seems like a strange thing to do.  I love teaching. It is what I went to school for and a goal I held on to all the years I was raising my family.  I felt especially equipped to teach at a college level and this is exactly what I ended up doing! Yay me-right?

Reaching a goal is a fantastic feeling-it really is. The reality of reaching that goal is that it may not live up to the idea or image you had created in your head.  Teaching (and creating art) is an honorable and undervalued occupation and I was thrilled to finally reach this particular goal a couple of years ago.  What they don’t teach you in school is that academia is like any other institution-competitive, bureaucratic, and down right, foot stompingly frustrating when it comes to the internal workings. And, like my husband has told me in the past, I don’t play games and I don’t play well with others who do.  This exempts me from finding-and staying in- a job almost anywhere.

Insert disclaimer here-some of the professors I worked with are the hardest working, most dedicated, focused on their students, kindest, most generous people I know!  If institutions were made up of nothing but these kinds of individuals it would be a breeze. But, the sad truth is, they are not and it is all the other ‘stuff’ that really forced me to take a good look at what I was doing and why I was doing it.

Chasing a goal for so many years can convince you that IT is what you are meant to do-that it is what you were made for but in reality it is the opposite. In my case I created this goal because it was what I should do and the only way I could justify getting an art degree (gasp! and art degree-what good is that?).  I often think that God (yes, I am bringing him into the conversation) allows you to reach these goals because you are just so determined.  He also lets you see them for what they are and will sit back and say-“there, I let you achieve what you thought it was you really wanted to do-NOW, sit back and let me show you what it is I want you to do and see how it compares”. OH, and he likes to add in there ‘Trust Me”.  I have a complicated relationship with those two words because typically they lead to some major disappointment and dissolution -but this is the big guy talkin’ and I am pretty sure he’s credible.

All this to say that I quit-what feels like yet another job-in the pursuit of I don’t know what-yet.  I am just moving forward. Stepping out in areas that might be uncomfortable but feel right. Making plans based on inklings that have settled into my psyche and challenge me to do something about them.  Leaping.  I can do this because I know he has a plan-not that I always remember in time to keep me from doing it my way. And listening.  This is the tricky one for me.  Finding quiet and listening and not charging ahead.  I am done pursuing that perfect job that will make my resume glow red hot in someone else’s hands.  I don’t want to force myself into being someone I know deep down I am not.  I am trying to focus on those things I know I love and make those work for me.  Teaching, small groups, art, encaustics, helping others succeed, helping others find the creative juice they possess and maybe a glass or two of really good wine.  I think combining all those elements may be just the ticket.  First big leap??  Here it is…

Care to join me?  It is sure to be fun and I think I might like this new journey as He unfolds it for me!

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2 thoughts on “Off and running…so to speak

  1. judikruis says:

    Well I’ll be.
    I think its grand but then – I can relate well to this and BTW I would love to join you here or there for some wine or a margarita AND the lettuce bowl groweth in my garden so I would love to share fresh greens too. Some greens are better than others in life…..
    Here’s to the doors that are waiting to be walked through! Bless you in ALL that you will do!
    Need an assistant for the workshop? I think you’d make a great boss 😀
    love ya!

    • Susan Mulder says:

      Some folks take longer than others to sit down and listen 😉 but I knew if you saw this you would understand! Yes and yes-let’s get together and we can chat about the workshop! I already know we work well together 🙂

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