I’ve been told that I’m fickle. And not by strangers, but by people who really know me and swear to me that they care for me. So, I suppose I need to think about this a bit, painful as it will be. Let’s start with a definition.
Fickle – adj. Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious (capriciousness is characterized by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable).
Changeableness or instability? Ew. That stings. Who aspires to this? If I’m totally honest with myself, I must admit that a lot of this really is true. As I review my life, I do see lots of examples of erratic changes and impulsive attachments. It is true that I’ve always had an incredibly difficult time making decisions. I double majored in Political Science and Communication as an undergrad in college at Auburn and became dual certified in Language Arts and Social Science in graduate school when I decided to teach. I’ve never enjoyed teaching the same thing all day long, so I’ve always asked to teach multiple subjects. I have focused on mastering teaching different courses throughout my career, then I move on. Early on it was Drama, Speech, and Media Production, then came Advanced Placement U.S. History, later it was cross-curricular English and history, then integrating technology in ALL subjects and PBL. Scattered in there I had a need to go beyond the classroom with things like school-wide events like History Fairs and World Showcases and later co-authoring a book for national publication and implementing professional development programs for teacher training in technology. I’ve spent so much time focusing on technology that I can’t remember when it wasn’t on my mind. Most recently, I am obsessed with leadership. I did spend 13 years in one school, but after that I’ve had a tough time staying put more than five years. From the inside, I’ve never really thought about how this might look, but yes, change is the constant in my life. If one knows my history, I can imagine that I must always look like a flight risk.
What about affections or attachments? This one is tough to swallow. I have not maintained the same passions over my entire career. While that isn’t necessarily bad, I’d rather not be known as the kangaroo with slightly sticky feet. I love the tortoise. I understand the hare. I’d much rather be one of them. Not the animal that hops around as soon as the sticky goo wears off her feet. I can take great comfort in the fact that I am NOT fickle in my personal life. I am blessed with a truly beautiful twenty-year marriage to an amazing man. I don’t think my children experience sporadic affections with me. While I can be whimsical and impulsive at home, my husband and kids do not see that in me often. I don’t care for surprises and they know exactly what I will be doing if I have a free afternoon. (Reading or searching for what I will be reading next. Or working.)
OK. So, I’m partially fickle. Now to decide what I think about this. Is it a bad thing that I’m in constant need for change? Why do I need a new challenge and constant motivation? I suppose I get bored easily. In the midst of a new challenge or project, I can’t help but look ahead for what might be next. To be completely honest, I think about writing all the time. I’ve even written 25,000 words of a novel. If only I could find the time, I would love to find out if I could write something someone would care to read. I know myself well enough to know that someday I will find out the answer to that question. I suppose I’m cool with being a bit erratic and unstable. Professionally, I am impulsive, prone to hop off into unchartered territory at any time. But I am not erratic with respect to relationships, devotions, and the deepest concerns of my heart and soul.
Thus, I am a sticky-footed kangaroo. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not fickle. Unless I change my mind about that tomorrow.