One of my students gave me her novel to read, and it was all about the paths we take in life. Some are paths we shouldn't be on, some are good paths that lead to good places, and sometimes we are on the right path but it has tough climbs that wear us out. The book got me thinking about how interconnected the paths we walk are. We can't see it at first, but when we stop at a summit and look back, we are amazed at how one thing led to another to get us where we are in life. I think of it like a path, but also like a puzzle, where pieces fit in their places at exactly the right time to propel us forward into new challenges and opportunities.
I have been thinking about returning to University for a few years now, but always said that the kids were too small, or found other reasons why I couldn't. In November 08 I felt that the time had come to go back to school. These feelings or instincts come to us when it's time to make changes, and it's important to listen to what they are telling us. I believe it's God directing me, but for others it could be your own conscience or intuition or whatever you'd like to call it. I hadn't been to University since 1992, so it was a big step to go back, and I had no idea how to fit it into my already busy life. I went to the University of Calgary to meet with an advisor and walk around to see if it felt right. It did. I knew it was the next step.
I began writing my screenplay that same month. In the year it took to get accepted and enrolled at U of C, I produced 4 drafts of a screenplay, writing 3 pages per day, and eventually had a product I felt might be marketable. I took my Film 201 course in the fall of 2009, and loved every single Saturday, watching movies and discussing them in detail. I felt like another piece of my writing puzzle clicked into place as I've dreamed of being a part of the film industry since I was 15 years old, and over the course of that film class, something took root in my soul, convincing me that people work every day in the film industry - it's a real job and there is no reason why I can't be a member of that community. It was the last piece I needed to really believe in myself. I am a writer, I am going to sell a screenplay and watch it come to life on the screen, I will pursue my dream and turn it into a reality. It was just an idea before, and now it's become a reality. If I hadn't taken that film class at that moment in time, I wouldn't be writing this today with the conviction I feel.
My church has been another important path/puzzle for me. Our Pastor is not afraid to wrestle with the deep questions of life and faith, and he has brought us along on this quest for truth, stripping away what doesn't matter to reveal the simplicity of God at the core. Jason and I knew with an unshakeable conviction that we were to move to Alberta. There were many practical reasons why we needed a change, but it was a hard move as we left a good life behind in BC. I can see now that part of why we needed to be here was our church. It has helped me find my voice and be confident enough to express myself with no fear of the repercussions. Without my church I'm not sure I would be writing this post today, revising my screenplay again, or submitting an article to parenting magazines. I needed to grow in my confidence, and God gave me a few different avenues in which to do it. Friends have helped too. Encouragement means so much in this journey of life. Give it freely to those in your circle. A kind word when someone is discouraged might be just enough to get them moving again, nudged onto the right path, heading toward change that will stimulate and inspire.