“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world.
And normally he doesn’t know it.” ~Paulo Coelho
Those of us who’ve been out in the cold cruel world for a decade or so have a pretty good idea of what we can do – our strengths – and what we have trouble doing – our weaknesses. We sometimes think there’s a gap in our knowledge bank. Did that college math instructor zoom past the basics? Was our high school curriculum weak in grammar and verbal communication? Did I sleep through something? We try to figure out what courses we need to take, or re-take.
And boy, do we take courses! There are 6,358,652 people taking on-line courses from the Coursera partnering institutions alone (as of January 31, 2014). I found more data, breaking down 7,000 out of nearly 10,000 enrolled students who are taking at least one internet class. That was from one southwest university alone! K-12 classes are available on the internet to kids young and older that provide all the same testing and requirements as brick and mortar schools. Click here http://stories.k12.com/ and read some of these kids’ stories. Wow, wish I’d had that option.
But wait – what haven’t you learned? That’s the question, especially for those of us who have finished our basic formal education. I realized a long time ago that the experiences, events and people we are exposed to in our early lives, and in our parents’ and grandparents’ lives, teach us through observation as well as at a different level of instruction.
We observe greetings (from how-do-you-do to oh-my-God-I’ve-missed-you-so-much), and the different types of hugs, kisses, and handshakes that get exchanged. We hear polite conversation and questions, as well as shared stories, family history and tall stories. Our instructions may range from “just do what I do” to “you better not embarrass me in front of rich Uncle Patrick!” So much to be shared with siblings after the gathering, especially the off-color stuff!
We came from the ‘children should be seen and not heard,’ unless-asked-a-direct-question, generation. I usually heard “you better be good” or “just don’t get in any trouble.” It surprised me that after my grandmother’s death, we also lost a whole group of ‘family.’ That was because my grandmother was outgoing; she loved and attracted people. Her daughter was very shy, self-conscious and introverted. I must have been a super challenge to her!
I also learned a lot about financial accountability from my father. The best example of that involves a young teenage girl begging for a fancy record player on which to play my 45s (de rigeur for my generation). I got it for my birthday. Nearly a year later, my dad took me to Sears. We went up to the offices, where there was a little window. I wasn’t paying much attention to what he was doing until he returned his curved wallet back to his pants pocket and handed me a very official-looking document.
“Here. You now own your record player,” he said to me. “I just made the last payment. Enjoy it.”
Reading that back to myself, it can sound almost mean. He didn’t say it in a mean way. He was proud he was able to buy and pay for that treasure. I never looked at large gifts exactly the same way again.
We stumbled along the way, missing some life lessons that were beyond our parents’ experiences and knowledge. But we were taught the value of hard work, education, good ‘work’ ethics and independence. All those people changed my history through subconscious education. I’m so glad they did.
So many of my friends – both corporeal and digital – say you have to put ‘it’ out there. If you put your wishes, hopes, dreams and goals out into the universe, they will come back to you fully realized.
Well, I don’t need thanks to come back to me. I am fortunate to receive that regularly from those I care about. But I do want others to understand why I am grateful, and maybe send out a little of your own.
Being Ms. Independent has not always been easy. I’ve had my reasons. But the last couple of years I’ve put my art first, and by doing that, I’ve also fed my soul without realizing it. Miraculously and subconsciously, I have reached out for help and advice and it’s been there; and other people have offered help and advice without my asking at all.
Perfectionism is one of my weaknesses, though I know it does not exist for me. I’ve come to accept that. But I have learned to recognize improvement and small achievements. Those are accomplishments along our writer’s journey as well, perfect or not. This blog I’ve created is still not where I want it, but it’s a helluva lot closer now than it was a year ago. I don’t write great literature, I write category Romance. Plus, I’m a terrible teacher and I’m still studying the process of story writing myself, so how could I tell you how to do it? Finding my niche to write about has been slow going, but here it is:
What I am is a great student of life, and should share with others what little I have learned, both in my blog and my books. I know that life is messy and ever-expanding, and everywhere I look, there lies more to learn. I’m one of those crazies who can’t play with Wikipedia or the thesaurus or the dictionary, because I’ll lose the rest of the day. So expect me to share some great new words or events with you. Life truly is what you make it, and I will continue pursuing my art and knowledge (as well as this blog) with the hope I will encourage one other person to follow their heart, practice their art, whatever that may be, and fully live their own life without fear or regret or embarrassment.
So I sent my heartfelt gratitude out into the universe for all I’ve accomplished, both in my life and over this last year. More gratitude for all I’ve learned and for all the new goals I’ve set. And more for the new friends I have made. May it be returned ten-fold to anyone receiving this letter of thanks, especially if you took the time over the last 12 months to aid a student of the arts like me. You deserve the gold medal!
Finally, to anyone who reads this and decides I’m right: You’re starting tomorrow morning to achieve your dream! Just baby steps to start. But remember to celebrate each baby step, and remember to send it all out into the universe, along with your gratitude.
Then you pay it forward.
If you’re a writer and haven’t seen this … just read and nod your head. Awesome is right. Thank you Christina L. Rozelle!
Tricia Drammeh put her heart and soul into this post, and it’s one of the shorter writers’ posts I think I’ve ever seen!
I thought it was important enough, inspirational enough, to share with my readers, whatever they’re about to embark upon personally.
Thanks, Tricia! Sent and received on a day when I r-e-a-l-l-y needed it! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Force yourself to watch the video. It’s worth it.