Character Study

The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world. – Toni Collette

My son is in his first term of college and is taking a career class that is helping him narrow down career options based on his interests and personality. It’s a pretty brilliant idea, actually. I wish I’d done something similar in my first year of college; perhaps I’d have realized that my chosen career wasn’t a good fit for me and changed tracks.* Instead, I had to figure it out the hard way in my 20’s, when I finally started to realize what I was good at, and what I enjoyed.

I don’t suppose I’m the only one who missed the mark on understanding certain things about myself as I established my adult identity, but I got so many things wrong. There really should be some sort of “adulting” certification, and personality testing should be a mandatory component.

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Childhood’s Garden

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”- Elizabeth Lawrence

How often have you heard someone remark off-handedly, “Oh, to be a kid again!”?  After all, that’s when life was simple; obligations and commitments didn’t exist, and every moment of time was yours to spend as you desired. Every day was a gift to be opened and celebrated- an adventure in the making.

Right? Can I get an amen?

Well, yes.  And no. Nostalgia is a funny thing, so let’s allow that our memories may be a little fuzzy here. With the challenges of adulthood, we often forget the trials of youth. We dismiss a child’s lack of power and influence in their own lives, what it means to have decisions made for you, and how life contrives to present circumstances and conflicts that would overwhelm even those with the benefit of perspective, knowledge, and experience. We romanticize the notion that childhood is a series of still moments of perfection.

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