My life has never fit standard templates. So, I have always trusted my gut when making decisions. Many of my worst choices, according to most standards, became my best decisions. That’s because they rarely adhered to rules or templates about what, when, and how one should do things. When we “should” all over one another, we build traps and cages for one another. We need to stop that because the best lives are spent exploring myriad roads. That’s how we discover our passions, our gifts, and our purposes.
I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. At the time, I would have said I was burned out and bored. Looking back, what I called boredom and burnout probably had something to do with my yet-to-be diagnosed narcolepsy. It is hard to feel sleepy all day, every day, no matter how many hours of sleep one gets. Fighting to stay awake is literally painful. Therefore, going to school was painful. So, I stopped going.
I moved to Toronto where I got a job working at the head office of an insurance company downtown. For a few years, I worked in a clerical position in cubicle culture. I made a decent salary for someone without a lot of education and I was fortunate to work with interesting people. I also became certified as an aerobics instructor and taught in the company’s fitness center. I acquired a few job skills along the way as well.
That’s Where I Want to Be
At one point, I took an in-house course on effective business writing. It was taught by a woman whose name was Leesha Van Leewan. Leesha had a presence like I had never seen before. Her hair was flaming red and she moved through space like a dancer. As I listened and learned, I thought, “that’s where I want to be.” I’d never imagined myself teaching. Nonetheless, my epiphany that day was the beginning of my journey to the front of the university classroom.