February 28, 2011

My Portable Career

I'm a teacher. Well I would be if I had a teaching job. Or could find a teaching job. I am certified to teach elementary school and had intended on finding a job once we arrived at our next duty station. Well, now that we're headed to Japan, that is a lot easier said than done. After looking at the website on where and how to apply to work in the Department of Defense Education System, I saw that the only overseas jobs available for new teachers are in Guam and Puerto Rico. That's quite the commute from Okinawa. We will not be out there for another 5 months, which is shortly before school starts, but knowing that there are very few jobs and many more people than that applying for them, the outlook that I will get hired with no teaching experience is looking unlikely. Boo.

Hence, I am forced to evaluate my other options. What the heck am I going to do for 4 years on a tropical island in the Pacific with no career? My husband will deploy, my babies will grow up, go to school, and I will be left with what? In researching and reading about what other wives do, and what other jobs are available, I learned that many of them run their own businesses out of their homes. There are photographers, artists, hairdressers, jewelers, and so much more. I realized that this is a moment of opportunity. I have a chance to pursue something that I may never otherwise do. So I started to think about the things I am good at. I started to think about what I used to do in my "spare" time that made me happy. I write. I draw. And I'm good. I am truly, honestly going to pursue one of my dreams of writing children's books. I am doing this.

So with renewed fervor, I rummaged through my many boxes of art supplies. These are things that I haven't even looked at since my brother died. I found my pencils, my sketch pads, all of my precious things that have been packed away for 4 years. I had to make a pilgrimage to Hobby Lobby to replace some of the items that were damaged, or missing, and of course purchase the holy grail of art supplies, Prismacolor colored pencils. I almost bowed down right there in the isle filled floor to ceiling with drawing supplies. It is my Graceland. However, losing the respect of my 4 year old in the Hobby Lobby was a less appealing option!!

Upon returning home, after my children were napping, I sat down on my couch and began to draw. Though some of my skills are rusty and need further practice, it all came flooding back. Visual images poured from my fingertips through my pencil and onto the page. Yes, this is me. This is something I was born to do. If I can't teach in Okinawa, I can do this. I don't need to apply for the job. I don't need to report to the office at any specific time. I won't need to worry about who will pick up my kids from school or gymnastics. My inspiration comes from life itself, and now it's one that has many positives on the horizon.  So months before we are actually in Okinawa proper, I am beginning what I hope can be my career for the next 4 years. Happy drawing!

1 comment:

  1. Go for it Steph - you have the talent and the smarts to fulfill your dreams writing these books. So proud to be your Mom. Love you.