“There’s the inability in this country to disentangle self-worth from career” – Christina Shideler
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.
🌟 And coming soon, my second memoir tentatively titled Misfortune Cookie — about family, being a first-generation American, and finding freedom that comes from not fitting in.