My sliding doors moment

The book I’m reading at the moment (Rodham: what if Hillary hadn’t married Bill?) as well as a question I was asked yesterday have both got me thinking about this blog post. I was asked which moment in my life was my “sliding doors” one. After all, they say, everyone has a moment which alters the trajectory of all future events.

I replied that I would have to think about it.

And now that I have, I recall a moment which fits the bill… the moment which would have seen me not become a teacher.

You see, after high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. My heart said teaching. But my head said something more prestigious, something with better pay, something that made use of the good grades I’d worked so hard to achieve.

So I applied for both a bachelor of education as well as a dual degree in economics/commerce, knowing that I could defer one or the either. I got into both.

I gave economics/commerce a go first, and simultaneously applied for a job in a local firm which would have seen me sitting in a cubicle, wearing a suit and heels, sporting a (stylish!) briefcase by my side.

Needless to say, that degree wasn’t for me. I hated the campus (the only upsides being that I could sneak into Philosophy lectures and I had some lovely friends who I could hang out with) and the content. Especially statistics. Ugh!

Now, back to the job. I went for an interview, moved forward to the next round, went for another interview, got shortlisted, received a phone call saying it was between me and another applicant.

I distinctly remember how I felt while I waited for the next call. I got a bob haircut so that I would look more corporate, I envisioned myself a career women; successful and proud. I could sense in my bones that this was a life-defining moment which would set up the trajectory of my future and have far-reaching consequences.

I’m convinced that if I had been successful in attaining that job, I would have completed the degree and that would have been that. I would never have looked back.

When the phone call finally came and I was told that the other girl was “just slightly more experienced than you” I was gutted. I felt so rejected.

But it was the moment. The moment I decided to pursue teaching instead. And thank goodness I did!

If I had gotten that job, I would not get to witness the everyday miracle that is student learning.

If I had gotten that job, I would not be able to say that I have touched the lives of 400 students and their families through the honour and the privilege that is being an educator.

If I had gotten that job, I would not be sitting here blogging right now.

That job was not meant for me. Teaching is my calling.


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