Teaching … I loved it.  Loved it.  I loved having a student who didn’t understand how to see value, or color, or the delicate tracery of a line around a form, who gradually began to see, to understand that within his or her power, just by moving some graphite or paint on the end of a stick, lay the creation of beauty, or intrigue, or truth.  That part, I loved.  My students, I loved, and love, and always will.  But I hated the bells, the sameness of the schedule, day after day, year after year, and the stifling of creativity which is the bane of the current incarnation of the public school system.  So I left, to do … something else.  Scary … leaving to do something else.  But also, well, exciting.  Scary, exciting, overwhelming, empowering, difficult … leaving what you know to do what you can only imagine, and vaguely at that … is, well, something to experience.  At least once in life.  I am lucky … luckier than I could ever imagine … I’m married, and this transition occurs within a blanket of safety.  Yet the fear remains … the fear of not being good enough at what I try, or not loving it, or being dependent, or not still knowing how to learn, at 44.  How do we decide, we who do one job for 20, 30, 40 years … so many choices, thousands of choices.  How do we pick: teacher, web designer, home-maker, engineer, waitress, writer, carnival worker?  What if we’re wrong?  Does it matter to the world, or just to us?  What does the world need?  Successful people … productive people … smart people … kind people … happy people?   I paint, and photograph, and (apparently) write, and learn, and try new things, and am often overcome with the fear of uncertainty and the excitement of newness.  I started this blog because I’m learning web design and development, and one web-designig blogger I read said: create a site in which you blog, and post, and practice all the things you want to learn how to do.  So here I am.  (If you want to see my site which does nothing, except show you my artwork and sit idly waiting for admirers, please go to larakloppstudio.com.  I created that from the ground up, my first website, and I’m proud.  I am now studying JavaScript and JQuery, having found HTML and CSS kind of easy, and it’s terrifying.  It’s hard, and I’m worried it might be too hard.  I’ll push past that, but I’m worried still, for now.  And that’s ok.)  My first blog post, to be followed by artwork and photographs and musings and hopefully emails, and comments, and who-knows what else.  Learn with me.  It’ll be fun.  I promise!