How Our Past Experiences Prepare Us for the Present Moment
I myself am guilty of constantly over thinking a situation, whether it is a day's schedule, a new project at work, or a problem that I need to solve. When that happens, I get overwhelmed, stressed (sometimes a lot), and get stuck. That's not where I want to or need to be. It doesn't help myself or anyone else.
What empowers me in those situations is the thought that I'm as ready as I'll ever be for whatever is in front of me. Unless I ever gain the superpower to freeze time for everyone but myself, there is no way I can prepare myself more. Professional athletes condition and practice as much as they can before their big games. During a game, they can't pause and practice, they must do the best with all the preparation they've already done.
If you saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire, you saw how all of Jamal Malik's past life experiences prepared him to correctly answer the trivia questions on a game show. The same applies to us.
All of my experiences in school (both as a student and a teacher) and outside of school have prepared me to be the best teacher presently possible. My experience as a student in school helped shape my educational philosophy and teaching style. My Sociology degree gave me a critical understanding of how education and socioeconomic status affect each other. My relationships with my family, friends, past classmates, and everyone I ever interacted with in the past taught me how to interact with my students, their parents, and my colleagues.
Being a parent is the hardest role I've ever had. It's a job that I don't think I could ever prepare enough for. Even though parenting has existed as long as the existence of children, it's a craft that is constantly changing, varies from situation to situation, and (in my opinion) can never be perfected. It's one of those jobs where I have to learn as I go.
Even though I've never been a dad before, I'm as ready now as I'll ever be. I have my own childhood experiences to draw from. My dad has been an awesome role model for me and shown me what a good dad looks like. All men I've encountered influence my view of manhood and "manliness," which inspires me to raise my son to be a responsible gentleman. Talking with both women and men about their great fathers, absent fathers, distant fathers have been learning lessons for me. Every conversation and interaction I've ever had about parenting, kids, fatherhood, motherhood, society, and even things that seem that they are unrelated has shaped and prepared me for every parent task I have before me.
Being reminded of all this, I can now say that I am ready.