While other kids were playing things like Kick the Can and Cowboys and Indians, my imagination took me to some odd places. I played things like Democratic National Convention and a dramatic play game called Uncle Fargo and Aunt Margo which was nothing more than a thinly disguised plan concocted by my friend Chris and me in an effort to fan the flames of romance between her sister and my brother. But perhaps my perennial favorite fantasy play was Missionary.
Lining my dolls up side by side I would evaluate their needs. Some would be desperate for clothing, others required medical attention and all were in need of a nutritious meal. Dinners were served on the set of Blue Willow doll china I received one Christmas. Any dolls who had been orphaned were paired with suitable doll families. Once these immediate needs were seen to, the preaching began immediately followed by academic instruction.
As an adult my work style might be best described as serial monogamy. I am passionate about the work I do. I throw myself into it completely. Single-mindedly, I tend to give until I am used up.
I then retreat for a period; I rest and refocus. After some self-care and soul searching I stumble onto the next vocation that sparks my interest--vocations that would seem quite familiar to the little girl at play so long ago. I work very hard in each chosen field for several years until I have once again used up my reserves.
Though I have never journeyed to far off lands to find work as I did in my imagination during childhood, my work has seen me travel through multiple careers. After college I taught both elementary school and pre-school children. Following grad school I spent several years as a social worker working with families. I moved on to the job of Director of Children's Programming at my church. Currently, I am back in the school system serving as School Social Worker to middle school students.
Looking back I would have to say I've been playing Missionary for a good long while now. It is hard to imagine that will ever change.