A Lesson in Being Cool

I was driving to my first day of teaching at Daoist Traditions (an acupuncture college in Asheville) when I had a flashback to when I was a little girl hanging out with my cool older brother.

I was roughly 7 or 8 years old when my brother was around 16 years old and just discovered that there was a profession out there that involved playing music and partying. He had just bought all kinds of fun light machines, and a disco ball and the two of us were dancing and laughing away in the loud music. Suddenly, he became serious (a rare trait for my brother) and asked me, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I thought about it for a second, caught off guard by the change of vibe, and said, "a teacher."

He responded, "no, no, no, that's not cool. You want to do something really cool, like be a D.J.!" And the music and dancing and laughing continued. I didn't overthink my plans at that point, being young and carefree.

Over time I was told again and again by friends, colleagues, and patients, "You should consider teaching." One day, a mentor told me to look deeply within and ask myself, do I still want to be a teacher? Every part of myself screamed YES! I want to teach!

I put the notion out there into the universe, and shortly after, I was offered the position as a clinical supervisor at the nearby acupuncture college. One year later, I was asked to teach the Practice Management 2 course in the Spring. Three weeks later, I was contacted by Brevard College to teach an alternative medicine course in the Fall.

I'm four weeks into my first experience of teaching and excited about another adventure in the Fall, and my best friend asked me how I'm feeling about the whole teaching thing... My response: "It is the hardest and scariest thing I've ever had to do. The students are challenging and unappreciative. I'm stressed out and anxious. And I wouldn't stop teaching for anything."

Never give up on your dreams, as uncool as they may be. This is my cool success story. 

P.S. My big brother presently thinks I'm incredibly cool for being an acupuncturist and now a professor as he continues his dream as a professional D.J. and entertainer.

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