“There’s the inability in this country to disentangle self-worth from career” – Christina Shideler

When I first started to share that I had written a book, it was hard to explain what it was about in that compelling ‘stuck in an elevator, you only have 2 minutes’ kind of way that everyone tells you to do.

I wish I had written what Christina succulently said because that’s the crux of it. I was a Waldorf teacher, believed in Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy, and when they told me, ‘hit the road, kid’, I was blindsided (but not really), and devastated (I’m better now).

Despite it being published ten years after the event, I still did not have the distance or perspective to clearly see the book’s strengths. Or to understand that the cliche ‘getting fired and getting back up’ was a perfectly fine selling point. I wanted to be more literary or something, but really it comes back to recognizing that who we are is not necessarily what we do.

I think about this a lot. I contemplate mothers and fathers, and what would happen if their children died young. Not because I like to entertain dark thoughts (sometimes I do), but because being a parent is an unbreakable connection and role that many feel completes them.

I contemplate my own role as a teacher (and I never thought I’d return to the profession), and how I constantly tell myself that I’m not really a teacher, or that my influence in this capacity is a minor one. Because life changes, demands of us to move, and a career today can be gone tomorrow.

Getting fired from a job that trained me to possess it body and soul, was not supposed to happen. And while I can’t say, “I’m glad it did”, I can say, I learned a great deal about myself, which for a person who values self-development, is mighty important.


Thanks for being part of the conversation.