This week will be bittersweet.
While I will still continue to work with children for a little while, this is my last full time week at the place to which I have referred to as my second home for quite some time. I have learned an invaluable amount of knowledge during my stay and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have received simply because my boss decided to, “take a chance” on me.
I served as a great many things. Friendly face, confidant, manager and friend, saleswoman, role model and even the punch line of a few jokes. But, nothing has become more real or evident to me than my love for making those around me as happy as they can possibly be.
Hellen Keller said, “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
A worthy purpose. Serving my community through the enrichment and support of our children is, indeed, a worthy purpose. But I am reminded of those that carry out the teaching to our younger generation and I smile as I remember the support I was able to offer them as well.
During this journey I met some incredible people. Educators that exude compassion and love for their craft, business owners that keep full speed ahead and encouraged me to keep moving and keep creating, students that astounded me with their wisdom and love…I am truly humbled by each and every person I met.
My dad has always said, “You change every seven years.”
When you’re born, you are completely helpless, you need assistance and caring every moment of the day. Then, when you’re seven, you can dress yourself and feed yourself. You have a sense of responsibility for your actions and you are beginning to understand there are benefits and consequences. Your moral compass is developing. Before you know it, you’re 14. You’re coming into that awkward phase of puberty and adolescence. Life is confusing, and you start to feel and control your emotions for the first time. After junior high and high school, you legally become an adult at 21 years young. You are walking around in this big world trying to find your place. By 28, you may have a family or career, or you may still be looking for yourself. Hopefully, you continue on for another 10 sets of seven years, continually growing and evolving, adapting to your surroundings and learning each step of the way.
If we’re using my dad’s theory, then I’m currently in my third set of seven year phases. I’m striving to make choices that I will later appreciate in cycles 4 and 5.
It was difficult to take a step down. It was difficult to make a life change. But, I am walking away with a new sense of self.
I have found renewal in the end of something great and I am taking away many friends, mentors and wonderful memories.
A lot like the phases of the moon, you have different sides and they can appear changed to different people and different places. You stay the same being, but your perception is changing every day. Remember to exude positivity and shine bright, even in the darkness.
All photos via Los Vallejos Blog