So today, the day after we officially launched our rebranding, I’m sat here, with about twenty documents open wondering why on Earth I talked myself and my Witchy Sisters into thinking I could do this!
You see, I’ve always felt, from being a very young age, that being a teacher is my calling. My whole life I knew that guiding others to reach for a greater understanding of… Something… Was what I was supposed to do. As I grew older, I became convinced that I should be a history or literature teacher. I have a flare for etymology and narrative construction, which borders on the obsessive at times (that’ll be the autistic hyperfocus! YAY!)!
But it never happened for me. Getting through the education system wasn’t possible for me, in the era that I went to school. Girls with learning difficulties and neuro-divergences were abandoned, blamed and generally neglected in that era. The boys got a little more help but usually they also got fobbed off with instructions to find a job where they didn’t have to think. Girls were told just to keep quiet and find a nice husband to look after them. This may make it seem like I’m far older than I actually am but this is the reality of living in a modern era but in a place so underfunded that old thinking was still in place.
So, it’s taken me more than a decade to recover from the education system to the point of feeling empowered to go back to school, to get qualified in a field that will allow me to join the effort to ensure that no child gets left behind again… And what do I do? I decide to start writing my own online courses!
As if I, who struggled to thrive in even the simplest lessons at school, could ever begin to understand how to guide and support others in their learning. I must be either mad or incredibly arrogant, right? Maybe… I don’t think it’s either though… Well… Maybe I am a little mad. I mean, I do talk to trees, even when people are looking. Got to be a little nuts to do that, I guess… But it’s more than that.
I have a fundamental and unshakable hope that my years of experience and unique viewpoint can be of use to others. My neuro-divergent brain and ability to hyperfocus allow me look at things in a way other Pagans don’t always immediately see. Someone told me I practice Autistic Witchcraft the other day and although I consider myself an Animist first and foremost, it got me thinking about that… One of the defining traits of the Autistic community, if you get rid of all the politics and neurotypical narratives, is that we do look at things from a completely separate angle to others, even differently to each other a lot of the time too.
Sarah, our resident Healer, understand my brain better than I do a lot of the time and Rose has known me for going on a decade so when the two of them told me I could do this, I didn’t question them for long… Not even fully sure why I’m writing this… Except that we have an online journal on our site so that you guys can read it and get to know us, as well as learn things, and as I sit here, writing a section about journaling and why it’s going to be important to our courses, I got to thinking about why I use a journal…
For me it’s very much about thinking out loud and giving my mind a chance to really finish a thought. When thoughts going around in my head they often go so fast that they don’t fully form and I miss the end, which is usually where the defining point is! But writing, or talking to someone I trust, seems to stop the thoughts from disappearing and allows me to finish what I’m thinking and actually get to the point…
So, I guess, in the end, I’m writing this to be able to finish my thoughts, so I can look back (*looks back up to see what I’ve written*) and say of course! This is imposter syndrome! One of my most annoying traits! I’m struggling to write because I don’t truly believe that anyone will care what I think, what I know or what I can offer because why would anyone listen to me?
I stopped listening to the people who love me and know me the best and gave myself a chance to start listening to the negativity inside me that’s fed by every encounter I’ve had with someone who didn’t believe in me…
So maybe another reason I’m writing this is to ask… Will you believe in me, like Rose and Sarah do, and allow me to share my knowledge and experiences with you and allow me to become the teacher I’ve always felt I was supposed to be, before I was told I couldn’t?
Maybe a faith community is about more than sharing beliefs? Maybe it’s also about rebuilding that inner spirit that the world has knocked out of some of us? To allow us to truly be ourselves again, without the contribution of those who don’t understand our core, our souls?
Maybe… Or maybe I’m just spouting nonsense… Who knows?
xXx Debi xXx