This past year has seemed about nothing other than finding my story – the evolving story. The best part about life’s stories is that we don’t know where they will go. We can’t read them backwards. If we could, I wonder how different they would be.
For most of my life, I have been a maker. From an early age, I was diving into my mom and dad’s supplies and finding things to make. I had an obsession with my dad’s copy machine for a while. In fact, I still have a book of copies I made. I copied every thing (including myself) that I could find, wrote a story over it, and adding binding to it using the binding machine. I was 8 years old.
I’ve always found release and happiness in creation and nature. When I need a dose of happiness, I create or I take a detour outside.
However, I never thought about doing creation and nature in my career. Why? I don’t know. Partly, I’ve never thought I could make it into a career. I secretly doubted myself.
First, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I loved to uncover mysteries. I liked finding answers. Then, I saw a video of archaeologists smoking and I didn’t want to take part in that. True story.
So, I drifted into the world of astronomy. I wanted to be an astronaut. However, my inner ear issues reminded me that it would not be a feasible career.
So, I went to my other love: writing. Afraid I couldn’t make it as a writer, I thought I’d help others through teaching writing. And, that’s how I found myself as a high school English teacher – plus a few other details.
My love for creation and innovation returned in teaching. I added art, technology, music, math, and more to my lessons routinely. I struggled with classroom management but excelled in finding innovation. After other teachers came to me for advice on how to innovate, I decided to take the plunge into the edtech realm. That was 6 years ago.
I became a technology director. Within a few months, I realized I went to far to the other side. I missed the kids. I missed working with teachers. I missed innovating.
So, I became an instructional technology specialist and found my calling – for now.
One thing I’ve discovered about my story is that it changes and it changes often. I started in the edtech realm as a digital literacy enthusiast and quickly joined the Google cohort. However, that, too, has transitioned into an excitement over making and digital citizenship.
I’ve come full circle. Now, I find myself seeking maker opportunities, seeking books on creation in education.
Each decision I’ve made has pushed me into education, but my love more making keeps returning. Now, I find my story merging – creator and educator.
You can’t escape your story. You need to live your story. You can, however, evolve your story. Our focus needs to be on evolving and growing our story. The best stories in literature are the ones that draw us in. They are full of color and life. The best life stories are the ones that change. The ones we can’t predict.
So, in 2016, I challenge you to try something new. Evolve your story. See where it goes. See if it comes full circle. Each time I find my story, it changes. It evolves. I thought I found my story as a Google Educator, but that has evolved. It is part of my story, but it isn’t my only story.
Make your story a story of stories.