Source: Teachers Marketplace
I saw the image, above, circulating on Facebook and it sparked a rainbow of memories and images through my mind. The child’s response is not wrong. It’s honest and innocent and right. So why did the teacher cross it out? Was it because it’s not the expected response? I would have given the child marks for originality!
It made me think about my childhood and some of the triumphs and challenges I faced along the way. At age 10 I discovered I had a talent for sketching and I put it to good use. A friend saw one of my doodles and asked if I’d draw one for her. I did. Then another asked for the same and I thought to myself : ‘hang on, this could be something.’ I started selling A3 size sketches of Mickey Mouse (yes, everyone loved him back then) to my classmates for what was a whopping 40 cents apiece.
Mum couldn’t understand why I needed a new drawing block within days of one being bought. The kids went ballistic. I couldn’t keep up. Until the teacher found out and shut down my very lucrative business.
I was, by no means, the brightest spark in school and I struggled through a couple of subjects. I didn’t realise why I had such a hard time with numbers until later. Or why the words in my books looked as if they were in the wrong order. I remember praying for the ground to open up and swallow me whenever I had a maths lesson. I’d slide down my seat and hide right at the back left corner of the room but I’d still, always, get picked to work out a problem on the board. I could feel the sweat trickling down my spine, my fingers would be clammy holding that white chalk and I’d have 40 pairs of eyes staring at my back. Talk about pressure.
I didn’t realise why whenever I wrote something my spelling would be jumbled. I could read it even when it was in reverse so why couldn’t everyone else? Unless you experience it you’ll never understand the frustration at looking at something many times over and still not being able to spot the error. Talk about an optical illusion. Oh, how I dreaded those years.
Over time, I learnt to cover and even overcome it. These days they call ‘it’ dyslexia. I still hate numbers so thank god I’m not the one keeping the business books in order. And while I’m no writer, here I am tapping away on my keyboard and giving spell-check a huge thumbs up. If you do spot an error … ah well … I’ll get to it when I spot it.
Music was my escape. I couldn’t hold a tune, mind you, but I’d lose myself in the lyrics and rhythm. Music helped free my mind and feed my soul. I’d pick out song titles and phrases that inspired me. Having an active mind, I would relate what I heard in music to real life experiences. Each time I needed a little kick I’d listen to the songs.
These five songs have inspired me and here are the reasons why:
Let’s go crazy – Prince
“Are we gonna let de-elevator
Bring us down
Oh, no Let’s Go!
Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look 4 the purple banana
‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!”
I’ve had moments when it all became too hard and I was ready to throw in that towel. When that happened I would take a step back, think about the big picture and the possibilities. The benefits of that far outweighed the obstacles along my path. I never set the bar too high though because I believe in being realistic. But I want to get giddy with excitement when I achieve something.
Don’t stop me now – Queen
“I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go go go
There’s no stopping me“
I didn’t exactly embrace my early school years. I was too terrified of failure. Once I worked out what my options were though I could always formulate a route. I had a hugely supportive family and, although it wasn’t what they had in mind for me, my parents fully supported my desire to explore my creative instincts. I loved doing the unconventional and achieving amazing results. Forget about convention. Follow your heart and intuition. And if you fail, pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
Don’t stop – Fleetwood Mac
“Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”
When I was in my pre-teens, I remember my Dad started his own little car rental company with a couple of cars and no driver’s licence. He was an insurance salesman, had six kids (me being the youngest) and was an entrepreneur at heart. He never took no for an answer. He was always up to something. He invested in property. He even started his own textile company. He’d ply his trade after work or on weekends when I could tag along.
I’d get a thrill out of watching him wheeling and dealing with the shop owners. He taught me not to fear. I don’t have to be everything to everyone. I just need to know what I am good at and excel at it. He also taught me to show negativity the door.
The best things in life are free – Janet Jackson
“The best things in life are free
Now that I’ve discovered what you mean to me
The best things in life are free“
There’s so much around us that we can take for granted. We can get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to think about the little things we should be grateful for. Everyday I spend a few minutes to write down what I have to be thankful for. Writing it down instead of just thinking about it gives me a sense of peace. And because it’s tangible I can refer to it any time I need to. It also acts as an inspiration on those days when things aren’t exactly going to plan. Try it.
Steer – Missy Higgins
“But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer”
You’re the architect of your dreams and vision. You’re the one in control. Take stock of where you’re at and what you want to achieve in your life. Once you’ve worked out your purpose, the light will shine and you’ll be on your way to greatness. I struggled for years to try and work out my career path. The key is to look at what makes you happy and just do it. Once you realize what brings you the most happiness, you’ll enjoy what you do and the best part is that you’ll have so much fun doing it. Like I do!
In the immortal words of Steve Jobs: “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” We all have unique gifts and talents. We just need to uncover what’s inside of us waiting to be discovered and unleashed. So, let’s unlock that inner you and tell everyone just who you are.
Me? I am a creative thinker. I have a knack for seeing things differently. I love the ability to juggle multiple projects at once. I’m very visual and I love unstructured situations. Did I mention that I enjoy taking risks (even though it hasn’t always worked out…)? And most of all, I love what I do. What about you? Who or what inspires you?