It was 1987 I had just graduated from the University of Louisville with a BS in Guidance/Counseling with no prospects for the future. I enrolled in Graduate school and continued my studies but soon my plan to spend my life studying at the University come to an end. I had to find a job.
My search for employment leads me to volunteer at the Crisis Center in Louisville, KY as a phone counselor. Soon thereafter, I came to realize how my environment mirrored my emotional and mental state. Oftentimes my pain and anger hid behind walls of shame and guilt.
I did manage to find a job as a Camp Counselor for emotionally disturbed girls, but it was in Brooksville, Florida I left my daughter for over two years with her father’s family that would prove to be a costly mistake that at another time and post I will address.
The camp was in a wilderness setting. Living there afforded me the opportunity for enough quiet time to journal. It was there that I got in touch my own emotions scars whilst I helped the campers through their own problems using Reality Therapy.
Poetry was how I expressed my truth. It put me in touch with my deepest pain and my greatest joy. This was a pivotal point in my life that helped me to discover my passion for Education.
Realizing an Outward Sense of Purpose
I returned home after spending two and a half years in Florida. All I could think about was how I was going to open a program or a home for the emotionally disturbed girl. This never happened. I had to find a way to make a living, education opened to me. I also married the man of my dreams and spent five years in bliss, but this too failed to quiet my restless heart.
I had completed my studies in Louisville a few years prior at the School of Education but teaching was never on my radar. Suddenly I was in the education teaching in public schools. I invested over one hundred percent of my time and effort to make it work. It proved fruitless.
I was an elementary school teacher. Every year I changed classrooms trying to find my niche. I found no camaraderie with my peers or principal. However, there were bright moments in my nine years as a classroom teacher as my practice of Buddhism flourished.
It was within the Buddhist practice that I found meaning and a sense of purpose. I attended two Educational conferences in Florida. There I found a sense of hope. We discussed a renewed purpose for education. It was determined that the single most important factor in changing the world was the educator. This gave me confidence. I returned to school only to be met with resistance and a business as usual attitude.
Disillusionment and the Perfect Storm as I searched for Purpose and Meaning
What I found in education was the opposite of what I learned at the conferences. Education took on a new meaning. Teaching children to take a test was the purpose of education. Giving difficult teaching assignments to new teachers was the protocol. Making children wear uniforms during times of war and insisting on a nationalist agenda went against all that I thought was the purpose of education. This was not the place for me.
Two Thousand One was the Year of the Perfect Storm!
I walked away from my career as a teacher; from my marriage to the man that I always loved; and the faith organization where I had dedicated over fifteen years of my life.
Sitting at home looking for a way to express my grief, poetry and writing open the floodgates to my sorrow. It would flow for many years. Stories, articles, and poetry found its’ way on empty pages. Still, I did not have a way to find meaning and purpose for my life. This would begin another search but I would be more focused and inner-directed.
Realizing an Authentic Sense of Purpose
Thirteen years later, my Blog and now this book I am writing expresses my deepest hope for humanity. I write to express my Humanity and to restore my Emotional and Mental Wellbeing. Writing helps me to make sense of the world. Book Talks are how I will continue with my love for teaching.
I write to reconstruct my life. Writing helped me to discover the Seven Keys to Life. The Keys are a PANACEA for achieving Optimum Emotional and Mental Wellbeing. This is how I will make a difference in the world and fulfill my highest potential as a Human Being.