My husband asks me each day how my work is going. I'm learning a lesson - to create without judgement. I can truly answer that it's going well.
I find success in sitting down to be a part of the process each day. I find joy in doing the work, a work that exists only inside me at the moment, but that is percolating and will soon be ready to be brought in to this world. Sometimes it is hard, but I show up. Sometimes it's ugly; Sometimes it's messy. I do it anyway. And, I acknowledge that it is concurrently a process over which I have little control and over which ONLY I have control. I see that within my one creation are the seeds of many more works to come.
The neat thing is this: when you read all that, did you think I was talking about our baby or my research?
Maybe I was talking about both...
I've been in a strange limbo this year.
I find identity in many titles: Christian, wife, friend, sister, daughter, musician. Soon I'll add mother to that list.
But the one title I find that I cling to is this - teacher. Teaching is in my blood. I come from generations of teachers. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins have undertaken this noble and challenging profession. During the 2014-2015 school year, I took on a full-time new role at a non-profit organization that I care about very much, The St. Louis Children's Choirs. My title there was "Deputy Director". I still taught a choir (1-2 rehearsals a week) and engaged with educators in my role facilitating community engagement for the organization. However, the time wearing my "teacher" hat was far too rare to satisfy my soul. When Kyle and I found out we'll be expecting a new addition to our family in November, I felt God asking me to consider my life and current path. As time becomes an even more precious commodity, how will I use it to move toward what God has called me to do?
Over the summer, we had an intern in the office. She accompanied me to hold some auditions for young singers at a local summer camp. In between the 4th and 5th audition, she turned to me and said, "You would make an excellent teacher". My heart sank.
"But I AM a teacher..."
This was my defining moment. In this moment, I knew my decision for this coming year was the right one.
In 2015-2016, my employment will be pieced together in such a way that I will soon be qualified to teach future teachers in settings of higher education full-time. My 2 big goals this school year are to work on and finish my dissertation by the end of 2016, and to welcome Baby McFarFar to our family in November.
To make a more flexible schedule possible, I have two part time jobs that I feel passionate about! I'll be working as the Community Engagement Coordinator and director of the Choristers Ensemble for The St. Louis Children's Choirs, continuing the work I started last year on the Music Made Together project and building connections with area teachers and students. AND, I'll teach courses and direct the Women's Chorus as an adjunct faculty member at Webster University. The students and colleagues at Webster have already made me feel so welcomed. I can't wait to continue to work with future music educators, helping them to see the awesome challenges and fulfillment ahead of them as music teachers! There isn't much I'd rather do than teach music and teach people. I'm really blessed that I have the opportunity to do both!