Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chinese. If You Please.

Things can change.

Jane and I talked about this idea the other day on our way to the big city to take part in a church gathering of 20,000 young women and their mothers. (I'm finding that time in the car allows for good conversation and talks with my teenagers.) She told me that she's been thinking a lot. College and the future are on her mind. Especially as she's finishing up the last quarter of her high school experience. She had a long talk with Gary on the phone the night before. After talking to him, her mind was settled. Now, she wanted to bounce her ideas and thoughts on me.


Jane has wanted to be a nurse her whole life. Her Nana was a huge role model and inspiration for this dream. She even did a nurse shadowing experience during these high school years to see for herself if this was something she wanted to pursue. Since her accident this past summer (she fractured a vertebrae jumping off a high dive) and the subsequent pain resulting in it, we both have wondered if she would be physically able to meet the demands that a career in nursing might involve; being on her feet a lot, lifting patients, etc. Now in the car, she said, "Mom, do you think it would be okay if I decided to change my mind about nursing. I think I really would like to major in Chinese."


I was quiet. Surprised, (but not really) I allowed this idea to sink in. Warm tears starting to fill my eyes. "Yes, this just feels right."


Now, let me back up a little. She formed some really special friendships throughout her high school years with some Asian foreign exchange students, especially with her Chinese best friend Xiaoyi. This year, she decided to take Chinese, just for the fun of it, even though she didn't need the credit. This class has opened up a whole new world for her. She can't believe how much she's loved all of it; the language, the culture, the speaking, her relationship with her wonderful Chinese teacher, Ms. Ma. It's just come so easy. Such a delightful discovery about herself. In fact, she was selected by her teacher to represent her school in a state Chinese competition at the nearby university in a couple of weeks. She feels such a connection.

Jane and Xiaoyi

She proceeded to tell me some her thoughts. I told her that she didn't need to prove anything to anyone and that this decision isn't letting anyone down in any way, especially me and her dad. She, alone, should make this decision. That's what these years of high school and even the early years in college allow--time to discover ourselves, our interests, our gifts, and our talents. Even then, things can and will change. Whatever you choose, I told her, should be something you feel drawn to. It should be your life's passion.


The whole thing has left me thinking:


1. I've been able to see a connection between my own talents, loves, interests, and strengths in what I've emphasized in our homeschooling experience and now those same interests (in one form or another) are being manifested in my kids.


2. If Jane's accident wouldn't have happened, would this have played out differently? I believe that there are no coincidences in life. Things, even tragedies, happen for a purpose, are meant to teach us something, or open up doors we wouldn't necessarily open on our own. I believe we each have a destiny or life mission to perform and sometimes, circumstances change to allow those things to happen.


3. You might never know another world of happiness and opportunity, the "what else is out theres", unless you get a taste of something that's out of your comfort zone. Give things a try. Even if it's "different" or out of the norm.


4. Listen to those whisperings, those feelings, those things that attract something within yourself to open those doors of discovery and possibility. To find the true you. Then ACT on the feelings.


5. Have I chosen a life's path that's made me happiest? (I think I have.) What else is out there for me that is yet to be discovered?

Chinese foreign exchange students who joined us in our at home Chinese New Year Celebration

**(these little ~'s I have to insert in between paragraphs are so annoying. Yes, they are random quirks that I have to use when Blogger won't let me put spaces in between paragraphs. That happens sometimes. Sorry. GRRRR...)


  1. Plenty to discover, Emily! Gut feelings are never to be ignored! She'll do good whatever she chooses to do! It is very frequent to have college students change their minds about career paths over the years of their education! It is wonderful that she is thinking about it right way - thoughful girl!
    Car and closets make excellent conversations! Moms do better in cars I think!

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