Dear Daughter: About Options
Another block complete to add to your Dear Daughter quilt. This one is called Periwinkle. I like the name, although the pattern reminds me more of the compasses found on old maps. The ones where only the North is labelled.
With 111 quilt blocks to choose from the book, sometimes it’s difficult to settle on which one I’d like to do next. (Between you and me, sometimes I just like the name of the quilt block!)
The decision process can take a while. *twiddles thumbs* Add in the time taken to choose the fabric, and I can deliberate over the choice longer than it takes to stitch the pieces together.
I usually lay out all the blocks I’ve completed. Fourteen this time. Rearranging. Wondering about the colour I’ll use to separate them all eventually. Making sure my fabric choices this time, work with my general theme. Oh, the choices.
Making choices and seeing the way forward has been a recurring topic of conversation between us recently. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing your options at school. I’ve admired the way you have analysed the possibilities. Laying them out. Rearranging them. Checking they fit in with the bigger picture. Not unlike my sewing decision.
The choice you are making is far bigger than my scraps of fabric. Like most 13-14 year olds in the UK, at the moment, you are figuring out which GCSE courses you want to take. It’s the first time you are deciding subjects to drop. Up to now, subjects have been hoisted on you, but now is the time to thin them down. It might be easier if your heart was set on a particular career, or if there were obvious subjects to drop. No, that would be too easy.
So you have started to analysis your choices. We’ve fine combed your reports, counted up the number of exams you’ll take, talked about possible careers each option would lead to. You have researched the curriculum for each subject. You’ve talked to your teachers. The choice is slowly becoming clearer.
I think the most important point is to choose something you love. After all you will be sitting in the class, for that subject, for the next two years. If you don’t love it, you’ll find it hard to sit down in the evening and open your books.
Choose something that inspires you to learn more and doesn’t feel like a chore. That way, you will learn to love learning, which I think is the biggest and most important lesson you can learn. The rest ….will follow.
From the other side of the coin, the subjects you drop will not herald the end of the world. Later in life you can change your mind. It might mean a bit of a catchup, but nothing is impossible. I’ve known people, for example, who have followed the humanities or arts all the way to university, and then switched to a science career afterwards, and vice versa. The window may seem shut, but it can always be forced open.
So choose the options you find the most interesting.
Oh, and please don’t use my tip about making a choice based on the name alone. A quilt block called Periwinkle is one thing, but a study option is a totally different kettle of fish. It will not work in this case. Not one bit.
Your loving mother
(You’ll find the other finished Dear Daughter quilt blocks and letters here)