Dr. Rich Patterson

Transitions – II

As we make transitions in our life, it is important to stay flexible yet focused, open yet with control of the steering wheel.  As you look at this Motocross rider performing with amazing execution, it looks as if it will be difficult to get in control of his bike.  Somehow with training and expertise he gets back on and lands safely.  In our own lives we often can feel like we’re out of control.  That we’ve met with an obstacle that will block us from our goal.  I am saying, take control of the steering wheel in your life anyway.  I have noticed that when I am working toward a goal and things seem to be developing nicely and I’m getting close, that I notice the most chaos.  Things seem to fall a part just before we’re close to achieving our goal. That is when we need to stay with it, to not give up.

Bad times can end up good after all.  When I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa and was looking for a job, things looked bad.  I looked at many different scenarios knowing that I would have to make the transition to some type of job to earn money.  Some of the positions had nothing to do with my degree or were just marginally related.  I looked at sales positions, I interviewed for various position in many states, still nothing.  The job market was really tight and I was discouraged.  But that is exactly when you must have perseverance in the tough times.  Bad times can end up good–but you must believe first.  As I persisted in finding a position I took a job playing my drums with a band and made a little extra money to help me through this time.  Right before the school year started I went to an unlikely source in an effort to find something, anything.

I filled out the paperwork and submitted it, it was Labor Day Weekend and in those days, schools were just getting ready to start.  As I was walking out, the clerk said, you might as well take this newsletter of listings because we’re going to mail it out after the holiday.  I looked it over and there was a position.   My heart leapt as I tried to find this small town on the map.  I couldn’t find it (no computers in those days).  I picked up the phone and reached the Principal.  I told him of my interest and he said, can you get here today?  It was then that I realized I was going to make a transition from years and years of being a student to having my first teaching position.  I interviewed and received the job, but then all the anxiety started building.  Was I ready?  Did I study hard enough?  Can I actually do this?

I told myself what I am advising you here, “You must have perseverance in the tough times.”  Those times may not go like you want them to, you may end up somewhere completely different than what you planned or intended.  Keep going, be flexible because you can still get to where you’re going. I will continue this in Transitions III and hope that you will read that next.