Twisty Path of Life

At the beginning of June, five decades will have passed since I graduated from high school. How in the heck did that happen? In some ways, this seems impossible, as if it was just yesterday. In other respects, this feels like lifetimes ago, and in a way, it was. I’ve experienced several different lives since then. I’m sure many of you have the same thoughts about the passage of time.

High School

After high school, I lived life in reverse order. Before attending college, I was married and started raising my two daughters. Together, the three of us “went away to school” after a divorce changed our lives. But the direction I began in my bachelor’s degree program wasn’t the same career I enjoyed until retirement!

Ready for our Big Move

My work life after college began in office administration. I was never crazy about my supervisory position, but years went by before I took the next leap. Becoming a teacher had always been my dream, but that hadn’t seemed like a solid choice when I first entered college.

Office Supervisor

The twisty path of life finally led to a career in teaching. I didn’t take a direct route and was certainly one of the older student teachers in my college class that semester. I’ve never regretted the decision to make that change and appreciated the support of my entire family. For me, teaching was a calling. Not without challenges, it was still the perfect career for my needs.

As ‘Mrs. Wishy-Washy’ at school one Halloween!

Now that I’m retired, my wide background is certainly an asset in my writing and pursuit of freelance projects. In fact, my non-fiction piece about career change appears in How I Switched Careers. This e-book is free for a few days, so I hope you’ll take a look!

In checking out the stories in this publication, it appears more common for people to switch FROM teaching to another career, instead of turning TO teaching, as in my case. To each their own…I loved it. Most of us enjoy a chance to tell parts of our life stories, and this type of project was a great opportunity for me to do that!

64 thoughts on “Twisty Path of Life

  1. I was a teacher briefly and enjoyed it. I was a much better librarian than I was a teacher. Many of my peers became librarians after a year of teaching English. Glad you found a career you loved. I did too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Becky! Thanks for sharing your story. Like you, I married after high school, had two daughters, worked in the business world for two decades while taking college courses. In the early 90s, I left the business world, earned my BS in education and taught for 8 years (grades 4-8). Loved every moment in the classroom–it was a dream come true. I wanted to go to college after high school, but Dad was diagnosed with cancer and college was out of the question at that time. Feel so blessed in so many ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Bette, Thanks for sharing your experience, as well! I started out teaching in 4th grade, also taught 7th grade language arts, and “ended up” in kindergarten during my last years. I’m glad you ended up teaching and enjoyed it so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the ‘twisty path’ stories. I completely understand how it takes time to get to where you’re really meant to be. I started my professional life dancing in a ballet company and ended up as a writer and academic with a PhD in medieval literature.

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  4. The irony is that I decided against teaching when I was in college, but I ended up teaching in a variety of settings. My initial degree was in medical social work, but during a stint doing public health work in Liberia, I ended up teaching in a non-denominational seminary, and decided to go that route myself. After coming back to the states for graduate school, I was ordained as a Lutheran pastor. Then? I gave it all up to do brightwork on boats — which I’ve been doing, happily, for thirty years, and intend to continue for as long as I can!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Another very convoluted path for someone finding what they really love, Linda:) I hear echoes of that teaching, spiritual person in your blog posts, showing that so many aspects make up who we each really are and what we have to offer.

      Like

  5. When you’re a kid, especially “back in the day” they never tell you all the twists & turns you should expect from life. It would have been SO much more helpful if they had. There is never a point where you get it all nailed down ( “happily ever after”). You’ve embraced your changes and there’s a lot to be said for that.

    The pictures are fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great story! I, too, had a non-linear path to my career. I started out as a first grade teacher, then went into library work, back to teaching, back to library as a children’s librarian, and then to preschool teaching, and just recently retired from fifteen years as a library information assistant! I loved them equally and at times was doing both. They complemented each other very well. One interesting side note is that my older son is now a school administrator after teaching for several years and my younger son is a reference/virtual librarian! I guess I passed on both of my talents and interests to them!

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  7. I taught thirty-one years in elementary school. I remember several other people in my teacher preparation classes that were twenty years older than me, some of whom became good friends. I think there are certain advantages that teachers can utilize, depending on their age. Younger teachers may have the ability to connect with their students simply by being more in tune with what’s happening in modern, popular culture. On the other hand, middle-aged teachers, who have already raised kids, have the huge advantage of experience.

    When I was taking a class from someone who had never taught or raised kids and was trying to tell us how to be a good teacher, they lost points for credibility.

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    1. Wonderful that you taught for so many years, Pete, and I can tell from your own blog how much you loved it! In my case, being somewhat older probably made me a better teacher. Not sure I had enough confidence as a much younger person.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and all the comments as well. I, too, was a nontraditional college student, married right out of high school with a baby, got divorced, went to grad school. I majored in creative writing for both undergrad and grad. I didn’t need no stinkin’ career preparation! I’ve been in education ever since, except for two years when I worked in a senior center after becoming disillusioned with higher ed administration. Two years, and I went running back to higher ed as fast as my little legs would carry me.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your wonderful article. I, too, trained as a teacher after my divorce and worked in a school for seven years, and then went on to teach one to one, as well as teaching Creative Writing to adults for ten years. I finally stepped down last year – it was a huge decision, but given that I am working hard on my writing career, I needed more headspace. I am still teaching, though currently on furlough, but it has been hugely fulfilling and I’ve never regretted my decision to return to college and become a teacher.

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  10. I totally get this, Becky. My life has been the same. It started out with art and writing and after so many years finally came back to where I started in a whole new way. People like you and I – and probably many who read this blog – are truly fortunate to not have gotten caught up in some ‘career-track” that never changed. I think “twisty” becomes you/us!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful story of overcoming adversity! There was a lot of strength required to keep going in a direction that was better suited to you. I’m always impressed with women that do this. Teaching is the greatest vocation and should be held in higher esteem than it currently is in so many countries. Had college ever been an option for me, that was my end goal. So I teach in different ways. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, lawyers or even overpaid football players. One day, we will get it right.. I’ve downloaded the book on changing career paths. I’m sure I can learn something for that as well. Thanks for sharing your story and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Becky, I love this! I so appreciate how you honored your calling and went for it. That takes a lot of courage, especially in light of your divorce and two kids. I’m touched, and also inspired. <3. Thank you for sharing.

    How are you with all that's going on? (I've been off and on my blog and I'm sorry that I haven't been around to visit as much.).

    Know that I'm sending you many blessings.
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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