I am a flutist.
I want to practice and improve. Watch YouTube videos of masterclasses and recitals, attend concerts every week. Focus on my pedagogy, so my students can benefit from what I learn and share. Write a method book because even after 20-odd years of teaching I still haven’t found one that suits the individual needs of my students. Dive into a new piece of music and only come up for air when I’m good and ready, and to solo with the wind ensemble, instead of putting it off another year…again. I want to be at the top of my game once more.
I am a writer.
I want to lock myself into a room and listen to the words in my head, then pull them out and arrange them on a page until they suit me. Write until my fingers tingle, read until my eyes are bleary. Work on blog posts, my book, anything and everything. Luxuriate in the contentment that comes with getting it all out on the page and feeling good about it. I want to be better.
I am a parent.
I want to enjoy the crazy moments instead of gritting my teeth through them because they never seem to end. Live in the moment for a change. Laugh with my boys instead of attempting to teach a life lesson about farting at the table, when in reality it was a well-timed toot. Give them my full attention because they deserve it, when I’m really sick to death of Minecraft and hacking and tech. Push them past their comfort zones because it’s good for them and stand my ground when they push back. Relax at the end of the day, knowing I did the best job of parenting I could. I want to feel like I’m not screwing this all up.
I am a homeschooler.
I want to plan lessons for my son, ones that hold his attention as they scaffold his weaknesses and harness his strengths. Go on field trips and learn through doing. Learn together and have fun with it. Experiment and fail and try again and succeed and celebrate. Share the love of lifelong learning by modeling it myself. Give him my full attention because he needs it. I want to see him succeed.
I am a gifted advocate.
I want to help other parents as they navigate these murky waters of gifted and twice-exceptional. Weave a net. Listen and help and guide and support. Start a school for these out-of-the-box kids. I want to make a difference.
I am a chameleon.
When I am a flutist, a writer, a parent, a homeschooler, an advocate…that is who I am. That is my wild passion, all I want to do, and do it with my full focus and energy. But that one area is not all I am, there are all those others, and they are all equally insistent. When I am pulled from one area into another, it is actually painful, and when all five pull on me at the same time I freeze, not knowing what to do or where to start. They’re all equally important to me, you see. To give myself up entirely to one means giving up the other four, and that’s just not an option, especially the parenting.
Changing colors and foci is exhausting and destroys concentration. When you’re at your best diving deeply into an area and are pulled out for something else, even something you love just as much as what you’re leaving, the colors fade and blur into one another. You’re left with muted and murky blobs of color, lacking defined edges, lacking impact. You’re left with a chameleon fed up with changing and wishing she could just pick a single color and stick with it, even knowing she’d be miserable with only one color.
Mine is a chameleon life. It’s wearying changing personas every day, sometimes every hour, but I’ll fight to keep those parts of me. Someday I hope the colors each become stronger, joining together in a brightly colored tie dye pattern, instead of the blurry and pale watercolors of today.