Two weeks ago I resigned from my post as a news editor and editorial assistant.
After much meditation, I finally admitted to myself that I no longer have the desire to write for a living. (Yes, I said it. You can pick your jaw up off the floor now.) I realised that writing was my catharsis, my escape. Turning it into a profit, especially in areas where I’m not well-versed or even particularly interested is not really what I see for myself. And maybe this is foolish? I guess that’s for you to determine. But I like keeping my writing to myself. The idea of selling my creativity to someone else, to another entity with different motivations and goals than mine, was no longer something I wanted to build my whole life around.
Plus, it was time for me to start making a big mark in the world. Time is ticking and I haven’t got much to show for all the work I’ve done except for a whole lot of self-love and self-improvement (which should really be the measure of a good life, but only in a perfect world of course).
I told you in a recent post about the inspiration I found on top of a hill in Jamaica, as the dawning of a new Gregorian year was upon us. And I told you I would write about it. So here it is…
My partner and I pretty much drove around the entire island during our two-week trip. Aside from spending time with me and getting to know my home, he went to Ja to make connections. And I, well…do I ever really need a reason? I had the time off from work, and since my Thailand trip fell through the cracks, Ja was my next best bet. Before we left, he had written down several places across the island that he wanted to visit, and I promised him we would make it to at least one. Turns out, as usual, the trip did not go as planned. In between being tethered to my computer for work, getting sick, and meeting up with family, we ended up making it by the skin of our teeth to The Source Farm EcoVillage in St. Thomas. We woke up early one morning and drove there from Portland and it changed my life forever.
Now, I know I am a pretty simple girl. I revel in small pleasures and natural beauty way more than I would in grandeur gestures of “luxury” and material. Still, my partner and I have been to many places in Florida before––farms, nurseries, permaculture havens, food forests, rainforests, botanical gardens––and I’ve done all kinds of community service projects both in the U.S. and out of it, and nothing has moved me quite as much as this little EcoVillage on top of a hill in the poorest parish of my home country. On top of that hill, five strangers grabbed hold of my hand, and heart, and became The Source (pun intended) of an inspiration I’ve been riding with ever since that day.
They weren’t living in poverty. I wasn’t moved because they were small children with no food to eat and no water in sight. I was moved because they were the happiest children I had ever seen in my life. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen children running around outside, getting dirty, falling down and getting right back up again, that I’d almost forgotten the difference the outdoors makes in a human. They made me think back to my days in country where my cousins and I would find games and pleasure using nothing but our imaginations and whatever prop Mother Earth gave us that day. Seeing these beautiful children play, grabbing leaves off the moringa tree for snacks and, as they usually seem to do, gravitating toward me to show me their beautiful Earthbag home with a view of the whole parish, their room, and their lofty book collection gave me back my motivation to follow a path I have always wanted to walk.
Then, when their mother asked if I’d consider being a teacher in their Nature School, the heavens opened up and I realised that I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment. I realised why this was the only place we visited, and I left the farm that day feeling like I had just been given the key to my destiny. I don’t think anything I have ever done in my life has ever given me such a feeling of peace and clarity. It was that moment where you realise: this is what I was meant to do with my life, this is the direction I am supposed to go, and this is how I get there.
My enthusiasm from that day has barely let up, and I’ve been riding the curtails of the high-energy all the way through my visits to the local Montessori school, my application for their early childhood training program, my acceptance of a job as an assistant teacher, and my resignation.
At this time next week, I’ll be standing in front of a classroom of six- to nine-year-old students giving, and getting, my very first lesson in my first ever position as a teacher in an actual classroom.