May 13, 2019-
A dear friend posted, on another media site, that we are ever in a state of metamorphosis. This has nothing to do with the shape-shifting that was all the rage, on television and in film, as recently as two years ago (“Game of Thrones”, “Power Rangers”, etc.) Metamorphosis is best-seen in terms of growth.
I have also read quite a bit, elsewhere, on narcissism. I once had a touch of that affliction. My mother never let that horse out of the gate. She told us that one who regards self as above reproach is dead in the water.
That’s true beyond doubt. In the course of dividing up the contents of a bin, I re-read some old papers from my administrative and college-teaching days. One, invaluable, summary of my students’ evaluation of a rather paltry teaching effort, in 2009, pointed out that I trended towards hidebound monotony, complete with soft, unchanging voice, in presenting what should have been a vibrant, challenging course.
When I returned to teaching, after Penny’s passing, the presentation became more vigorous and engaged. The old dog had to master new tricks.
Likewise, in younger years, my disciplinary tactics included the bellow, and a harsher tone. Being a full-time counselor “metamorphosed” my demeanor towards favouring my empathic side, and the hardness of my teacher training went out the window. I have kept that empathy, yet have also learned to employ a modicum of taking people to task, when that appears necessary, though without being rough or demeaning.
Nowadays, my life-change continues. I am in the process of giving many of my professional materials to others. Work, as I have known it for the past forty-three years, has a light at the end of its tunnel: One and a half years remain, until my focus becomes largely travel-journalism and Work Away-based, with a healthy mix of family, perhaps even grandparenthood. There may be some money, in the former, but I am not worried about that.
My destiny, it seems, has always been to go forward, to build bridges and to not be held to anyone else’s notions of success-no matter how well-meaning those may be. This may require a few more positive life-changes.