“A person often finds his Destiny on the Road his took to avoid it.”
— Jean de La Fontaine
Growing up I took interest in many things around me. I’ve proclaimed that I was going to be a private investigator, a graphic artist, a real estate agent, a rapper, an NBA basketball star. The list could go on a few more lines but to spare you the repetition I’ll cut to the chase.
One day during a conversation with my dad he asked if I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember at that time I honestly didn’t know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what I wanted to be. I had a small list of key factors that I wanted to be in place for my ideal career but I didn’t know how it was going to come together. I knew I liked dressing up, as we called it, but what I mean is to sport well-tailored business attire. At the same time I’d like to have the flexibility to dress in jeans and boots and get my hands dirty from time to time. I knew I wanted to run my own business and have a big office while still being able to work in the community. I wanted total freedom and a salary I was excited about.
My dad asked me with excitement in his voice “Well son, have you ever thought about being a teacher? Since you good at public speaking and you good at training others on your job, have you considered a career as a teacher?” I responded with mixed feelings. I said to him “Da’, I would love to be a teacher but I wouldn’t want to be confined to just four walls. I’d like to be able to travel and teach, and help implement new programs.” Now I said I had mixed feeling because what he proposed would have been a great idea with the exception of the facts. Teachers don’t get paid good money. I wanted more out of life than to sit in a classroom and be bounded by a curriculum that I didn’t agree with in school. I wanted to impact the youth that didn’t get all the love, care, and attention they needed at home and therefore they may have felt out cast, thus leading to behavior that has deemed them undesirable.
Life is a trip though or rather a journey. The key is to enjoy the ride along the way and learn as much as you can. Since that conversation with my dad many years have passed. I worked as a supervisor in a few retail shops before going back to school to get my undergraduate degree in Healthcare Management. I worked full time as an outreach liaison for a community health center while earning that degree. While working at the community health center I took advantage of many opportunities to speak to “at risk” youth groups and participate in graduation ceremonies. While in the presence of the young men and the staff coordinating the programs I conducted my own needs assessment. I drew several conclusions which led to the construction of the body of work known as “The Man-U-Script, You are the Author of Your Own Design.” The preparation of the book and the platform from which I launched my works grew into a passion that was altogether realized one sweet day. Out of nowhere it hit me. I was now blessed to be on the verge of realizing all of career desires. Every one of the key elements that I wanted in my ideal career was now at my fingertips, and now, more than ever before, I am working to achieve my goals.
Now the funny part is. All of the work that I have been blessed to produce thus far has led me to the career path of a teacher. My dad always had a funny way of being right about almost everything. I have learned to expect that result and furthermore, I strive to be on the winning side of his predictions. I found my path on the road I took to avoid it. I knew back then I wanted to be a teacher and I also knew I wanted to teach on my own terms. It is at this time that I realize that I am exactly where I want to be.
In this moment I Am Free…
W. B. Ward