Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shaping the Clay

I have just spent the last couple of hours creating a tool for defining what someone wants in a college.  It was exhilarating and I can hardly wait to offer it to some real people.  It is a risk to expose ideas that have been living in one's brain and imagination for awhile.  They are so perfect living in an all-accepting place.  But, hey, they are like seeds in a packet complete with a pretty picture of what the plant would look like if you actually stuck it in the dirt.

"We shape clay into a pot, but it is emptiness that holds whatever we want." (Tao Te Ching)


I am now the parent of a college student and a student who is beginning the college search.  Have I learned anything?  One hopes.

From a parents' point of view it is very challenging yet amazing to have a child take the leap to the next step on the journey.  It feels sad because it is a loss.  But, it is also a beginning and has all of the shimmer of newness.  There is plenty of room for reality to enter in but it is in between the sentences where the learning happens.  I have never been carried away with GPAs or awards but I do get very excited when my children know how to do or use something.  (Not that grades or awards aren't satisfying...)  And, it isn't just my children, but me and anyone else I have the fortune to be with.)

I do know that I have some understanding of how this process can work.  And, that there are many paths leading to "what do I want to be when I grow up?"  I have been taking a couple of them:  homeschooling and game design.  Maybe it's that rebellious child inside that insists on doing things her way, and who asks inconvenient questions in an attempt to get to the bottom of the question.

"As people grow up, they cease to play and they seem to give up the yield of pleasure which they gain from playing." (Sigmund Freud)

I have been observing more and more people who seem to want to throw off the cloak of their job or career, and do something they WANT to be doing.  My inconvenient question is "WHY DON'T WE FIGURE OUT WHAT WE WANT TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE?"

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