Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Winning When You Are Not Sure You Are Winning"

Often I get caught up with my environment, all the visual and audio distractions.  Having Attention Deficit Disorder and having the majority of the associated symptoms, for example, if a person walks by I glance at them, if people are talking, I overhear their conversation and often think they are talking to me.  It’s actually quite a menace.  I would happily trade to be a normal person, who can ignore things.  But then my Obsessive Compulsiveness kicks in and I feel like not only do I need to be the best; I need to always be ready for any opportunity.  This is partially Buddhist philosophy, as popular Buddhist writer Greg Martin would say, after you climb the first mountain, you start on the second and keep going.  Having these two particular types of health issues often makes me forget I am not super person because I am drawn to staying busy and being active.
When I first moved to Phoenix, I had a part-time online teaching job and I built curriculum for the same University.  Over four years later, I’ve grown a lot, not within the University, I went further.  I started teaching on ground Communications two years ago for another two Colleges.  I love being in front of others and teaching them knowledge, sharing personal experiences, and learning from them just as they learn from me.  I have had some wonderful successes, I now teach for four colleges/universities in both on ground and online capacities plus I was promoted to a senior in the curriculum position.  Since I am teaching for four colleges/universities I regularly have around 200 students, who I do my best to get to know personally.  One of the best gifts though, isn’t getting to share my knowledge with random students, it’s having the ability to change the way someone thought about something and inspire others to find their infinite potential.
My husband and I have always taught our daughter to bring happiness wherever she goes.  She is very intelligent, within five days of turning five years old, she was a first grader.  I see myself when I was younger, in her, the spirit, the happiness, the honesty, the heart.  I could tell you a million stories just based on her five years of life that have monumentally changed my life.  Much more than you can just get from teaching students in a classroom.  It’s being able to share in moments with someone who shares your values.  My family is very different from yours and you can’t compare apples to oranges or grapes, but when you are lucky enough to realize that the part of your life you are winning at the most is watching your daughter be more brilliant than you ever were and seeing her changing the world around her.  Then I believe you can really feel a sense of accomplishment.
When I was little I lived in a small town that didn’t have musical troupes, swimming pools, in fact, our music teacher even taught Driver’s Education and there was no soccer team.  All I wished for as a child was to be able to be involved in music, theater, song, dance – I wasn’t the best, but I did pretty well at most of it once I got to be in high school.  Being on stage felt right, perhaps that’s what lead me to the field of education, I spent years of doing and wanted to spend years of sharing.  I had a very good childhood, very kind middle class parents.  I went onto college, first child from both sides of my family and then even received a master’s degree.  But none of all those things compare to how it feels to watch your young child be extraordinary.
Having Nina as a daughter is more than just being the luckiest mom in the world, it’s being a part of a significant person’s life that I know will change the world.  We have always believed in early education and activities and she was in dance when she was three, this past year we enrolled our daughter in drama classes and she really enjoyed it and excelled at it.  But the thing she loves to do the most, outside of drawing is singing, and sometimes those two are simultaneous.  Her brilliance lights the room when she makes up her own songs. 
Just today, we received confirmation from the children’s theatre that she would be permitted at the age of five to train in a music troupe for ages seven to twelve for twelve weeks.  She never ceases to amaze me.   She is really what every parent dreams for.  As much as I would love to have another child, because I know that child would be just as amazing, I don’t because I want her to always be my #1.  I can only imagine what her future holds, maybe a Nobel Peace Prize, honorary doctorates and her turning into a world traveler because she seems to have “really haveinfinite potential. 
Buddhists believe that we can all attain infinite potential in our lives and I will tell you, many people, even those I don’t know have called Nina, our little Buddha.  But the moment I realized how wonderful she really is was when I read the Thank You Note from an anonymous person, posted on the bulletin board at our Cultural Center, it read “Congratulations SGI Future Division “Summer Theatre Camp” that started May 19, 2012 thru July 27, 2012.  Your performance on Sunday, August 5, 2012 “World Peace Prayer” was a Success! Thanks to Jennifer (Nina’s Mom) and all parents/SGI members for your support.”
You know why that note made me shine with tears of happiness in my eyes, because everyone doesn’t know me as Jennifer, they know me as Nina’s Mom and that’s the greatest honor I’ve ever achieved and I know that fact will never change.