Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Edition and The Payoff of Taking a Chance

Hello all!! Yes I realize it is Tuesday and we all know I'm not the early type HA.  If you saw recent postings on our twitters you would know we have gained a new member into our ranks.  I had the pleasure of turning her into a zombie more than one time and I can speak from experience that her brain sure is good!  Plus this gal has a fun personality to boot.  I hope you all enjoy hanging out with her as I have.  Without further ado, the awesome Christine Benson!!!!


The Payoff of Taking a Chance

I have always been one to play it safe when it comes to making important decisions. Not
the “What should I do this weekend?” kind of decisions, but big decisions like “What should I be
when I grow up and how much education will I need for that?” For as long as I can remember, I
have been scared of feeling pigeon-holed in a job or career I couldn’t stand or one that leaves me
unable to support my family. (I mean, choosing the wrong path is not a small mistake!)

Choosing a career path costs time and money, and neither are refundable. This is not something
I felt I could afford to screw up. Just out of high school, I thought I might want to go into
nursing. I got a job at a hospital while pursuing my general-ed courses. Thank goodness too,
because about two years in, I saw this 10 year old boy who broke his arm skateboarding. His
arm zigzagged in the most unnatural way and I almost got sick. It was the weirdest thing. After
all I had seen, (blood, guts and mucus) nothing had bothered me yet, but this kid and his twisted
bones had me dropping my entire course load for the next semester.

I had no Plan B, so I enlisted in the Air Force until I could figure out my path in life. My
parents' marriage was falling apart and so were my morals as I quickly approached my 21st
birthday. My hope was the military would finish raising me. And raise me it did, until Plan B
dropped itself right into my heart and I felt an inclination to start a family. Since the military
didn't fit with my new family plan, I sought a medical discharge— I was pregnant— and
pretended I was a real grown up.

The problem was I still had no career. I also didn't like the idea of leaving my baby with
strangers. My extensive babysitting experiences led me to explore working in daycare. After a
few years there, one of the parents said to me, "Why not go to school? Time is going to pass you
by no matter what. Where do you want to be in two years? Here, with everything unchanged
except your age or here with a raise and an associate’s degree in education? No one can take
knowledge away from you."

I thought about the risk involved in picking one degree area. Scary stuff to think about. What
if I tried, spent all that time and money and found out I wasn't smart enough to teach? Then I
realized, I was already teaching. I was teaching at daycare and I was teaching my son. So, I
took the chance; going to school could only make me better. While I was there, I learned a few
things about myself: I am excellent at teaching. Writing brings pure bliss—even papers for
school. And, hey, I like to read this YA stuff. Taking this opportunity is how I found my Plan C
(C for calling). Teaching middle school reading and writing just feels natural.

But I have since learned that taking chances can't apply only to choosing a career path. Taking
chances HAS TO translate into everything you do in life. Every venture that comes your way
has to be honestly explored with self-confidence. That's where you find happiness. That's where

you find the people who are most like you and who will support you.

I am taking a new chance now thanks to those wonderful supporters and a little bit of faith
in myself. I'm taking a chance with my writing. I can be something with it. I can make a
difference. In taking that gamble, I find myself here: a member of the YA Warehouse blog,
sharing my experience with you. Won't you please share with me in return? What is your
journey? What dreams are you deferring?


  1. I really relate to this! Raising three kids meant that I had to work with my hubby of 33 yrs. in his janitorial company, instead of going full throttle for my dreams of being a fashion designer. With all the paperwork and payroll duties, running a household and filling in for our employees when sick, I had little time to design and create my fantasy couture! I even taught Spanish at the local elementary school and volunteered often at school and church. But, I kept dreaming and today I am launching my couture business and doing runways and gaining some notoriety for my novel designs! This has been thrilling and all the more sweet, as if fulfilling a long-awaited passion! My collections are found at www.j-nacustomgsb.com as well as my bio! Several magazines have published my work and bio, as I went up in flames when I was six, and the massive scarring led me to sew and dream up beautiful clothes to compensate for my fragile self-esteem and great shame of my disfigurement. This drive to feel beautiful led me on my quest to be a designer. I am THRILLED to say that dreams can come true if we hold to them tightly! With Love and Compassion, Jena Taylor Garcia

    1. Wow Jena,

      What a heartfelt story! Sounds like you have an amazing spirit. I am so happy that you are able to live your dream right now. After all the struggle it feel surreal I am sure. Enjoy every moment, you have earned each one of them. Your story is so inspiring and hearing it gives me an idea. (Check out my fellow blogger's post above about shiny new ideas...lol!) Would you be interested in sharing more of your story for a possible anthology of inspiring people who deferred their dreams but did not let them die?

      Thanks for sharing! Stay Groovy,