Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Back in May I flew out to visit one of my dearest friends who had just had a baby--her first and a wildly cute little fella. While planning the details of the trip I let my friend know that I wished to take some pictures of that peanut and that we should plan some time for a little photo session.
On the plane, enjoying the bliss that is traveling alone for the first time in roughly a decade, I continued reading a book that had been casually recommended to me in the two-year Teacher Leaders development program that I had recently completed. The whole experience had ignited my teaching as it tapped into deeper aspects of education, inspiring me personally and professionally, and I expected nothing less of the book You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. While it's not a perfect book, Sincero's voice is funny, a little pushy, and the book made me feel like I was flying with a new buddy who had charged a couple of cocktails to her account.
Up in the clouds somewhere between Detroit and Phoenix, I realized that so much of what the book was saying about being brave, following what excites you, and doing the work to build a badass life was not making me think about my classroom. I was thinking more about that little photo session that I had planned, how excited I was to capture those sparkling little eyes, and how much I would love to do more of that.
I am now doing more of that!
In one chapter Sincero discusses gifts, how they are meant to be given, how we feel eager to give the meaningful, personal ones and are filled with great satisfaction when we do. What really stayed with me was this sentence: Most people, however, wander through their lives giving the tasteful candle version of their gifts. We get jobs that pay the bills, have hobbies for which we never seem to have time, and just travel along life in a not very badass way.
In photo sessions I feel so many sides of myself lighting up. There's the lesson planner scoping out the location for the best lighting ahead of time, making a plan for the session but eager to let impromptu developments arise. There's the department chair taking charge with lighthearted authority in a new context, keeping things moving and meeting our goals. There's the teacher, the mom, the photographer, chatting and joking, getting some giggles and genuine smiles, knowing that how you make people feel about themselves and their experience is what makes or breaks every outcome.
Clearly the teacher is still here. She's not going anywhere, thank goodness. However, I am excited to see what new gifts emerge as I grow as a business owner in a creative field.