From Teacher To Model: How To Make Your Dreams Come True
“Mom, help!” my eight-year-old screeches as I crawl under the backseat of my minivan in an effort to save a Lego mini-figure from its ultimate demise.
I reach blindly underneath, close my eyes, and pray that I can grab the toy without accidentally bumping it into some obscure hole.
I feel a surge of adrenaline as my fingers grip the Lego guy between my fingers, and I slide it to safety.
I smile and announce that the mini-figure has not only been located, but also retrieved from the dark abyss under the seat.
I walk into the house, hair disheveled and recall that I still need to scrub the white saddle pad my daughter used at her last horse show.
Apparently, it fell into horse manure, but needs to be bleached white for the next show.
I sigh, wondering how my life could be so different than the one I had envisioned for myself.
As a sixteen year small town girl, I had aspirations of becoming a successful model or actress.
I would live in a massive mansion and spend my days in exotic locations.
During my first couple of years of college I tried the modeling thing.
I had an agent, my parents paid for me to take classes, and paid for me to have professional photos taken. I even landed a few promotional gigs.
Eventually, I went to New York for a few days with my agent in hopes of making it big, only to learn that I was too short and not thin enough for the industry.
No, I wouldn’t ever be a famous model, but I could be a teacher.
Being a teacher meant giving up modeling. There just wasn’t room for both in my life anyway.
I was blessed enough to land my first teaching job in my hometown right after I finished college.
I married my longtime boyfriend, and forgot about modeling. Well, I tried to forget.
We had twins and then another son, and I found my passion caring for my family and my students.
But in those few alone minutes, I couldn’t help wondering what would’ve happened if I had been a little more persistent, tried a little harder.
Years passed, and as my kids needed my attention less and less, I found myself longing more and more for something that was about me.
I tried to push the thoughts away. I was way too old for modeling, and it was selfish.
What would my kids think?
What would my colleagues, my students, and the parents of my students think?
Was it fate?
Probably not, but I requested membership, and landed my first paid job in fifteen years that very night.
It was a fashion photo shoot. I was nervous, but figured at this point, what did I have to lose? I knew I wasn’t thin enough or tall enough already.
What could anyone say that I didn’t already know? When the day of the shoot arrived, I was nervous, but this time, I was also confident.
I had already been told I didn’t have what it took to be a successful model, so what did I have to lose, really?
Needless to say, the shoot was fun, which was really what I wanted.
After that, the photo shoots and commercial opportunities increased, to the point where I had to turn them down.
And whatever reservations I had about what others would think about my modeling aspirations quickly diminished as I realized that what I did as a model had nothing to do with my parenting or teaching abilities.
I even decided to put my belly button ring back in after eleven years.
And me pursuing a lifelong dream, showing my kids and students that it’s never too late to do something you’re passionate about, is a lesson I hope inspires them.
While it’s doubtful I will ever live in that exotic mansion I fantasized about as a teenager, the life I have built far exceeds that.
I can be a teacher, a mom, and a model.
I don’t have to choose.
So when people think you’re too old, not tall enough, not thin enough, or you just don’t have what it takes to make your dream a reality, don’t take their opinions to heart.
If it’s something you’re passionate, be persistent, be confident, be YOU and then you can feel like you have it all.