Every good story has to start somewhere.This one begins with a bear puppet.
Hey, now. Stay with me.
This isn't exactly how I ever pictured things working out. For the past 15 years, I've been a classroom teacher. That's what I went to school to become, what I've been recognized for, what's become a huge part of my identity. I thought that was all there was to do and be - and it wasn't too bad a deal or bad that I thought that way.
I just had no idea what was about to happen next.
2014 brought a lot of changes that you can read all about on my other blog. The short version is that it gave me a new purpose and outlet for what I hope to do with my life. The fun, fuzzy version is that a furry black bear puppet became the catalyst for writing and illustrating my first children's book.
The sad, achy version is that things often don't go back together to the way they were. Sometimes what you think is the destination is really just a place to grow and prepare for the rest of the journey.
That being said, the joy in this journey over the past three years has been in rediscovering how much I love to write and draw. It was a part of me that I forgot existed. Maybe God waits to give us back or introduce us to the best parts of ourselves when we are truly ready for it.
It's taken me two months to squeak out this blog post. I'm writing this feeling a little foggy from it being late and a school night. Right now I'm balancing being a teacher during the day and navigating the waters of marketing a book while also inching my way towards finishing a course for my doctorate. This isn't a humble brag so much as it is an acknowledgement that the past few months have felt like treading water, with my head dangerously close to bobbing under the waves.
I want to tell you all about how this came to be. There's a lot in my heart and my mind that I'm eager to share. But I may need to get some sleep first.
Welcome to the end of the beginning.
And West Virginia, meet Berkeley.