I wonder if I’ve become jaded with all my life transition. Six years ago, starting a new teaching job set me on edge with anticipation, nerves, and excitement. I went to bed thinking about it and woke up thinking about it. I had my first-day outfit planned out a week in advance. I couldn’t keep my hands off the curriculum, making sure I knew everything I needed to know and brainstorming for creative ideas all the time. I wasn’t ever able to take my mind off it.
I’ve started over so many times since then. I’ve walked into a new school for the first time so many times. “New” and “different” don’t have much power over me anymore. I don’t find myself wondering or anticipating what things will be like on my first day of my new job. I probably won’t pick my outfit until that morning. I have my first-day lessons planned and good idea of where I’m going from there, but I’m also aware of my need to be flexible. There will be first-day hiccups that I can’t predict, and I’ll deal with them as they come. There will be things that I won’t know, but I’ve learned that it’s easy to ask for help in a new place, so I’m not worried. The first day in a new school doesn’t hold much novelty for me anymore.
That doesn’t mean I’m not excited. I am. I’m so glad to be a real teacher again, so relieved to work for a supportive administrator, and so pumped to begin making new student/teacher connections. This is my dream job – my ideal grade level, demographic, and content. 10th graders studying Shakespeare and career explorations? Amazing!! I’m excited about the curriculum, the students, and the possibilities. I’m hopeful for the future and already entertaining ideas of where I could take some of these projects in the future, if I’m blessed enough to stay on next year.
It’s New Year’s Eve today. Commenting on a new year is a bit strange for me, because it’s only one new thing in a long succession of “new.” I spent New Year’s Eve last year standing on a boardwalk spread across the frozen tundra, watching fireworks in the Alaskan sky. The year before I was in Massachusetts, having just returned from visiting my family. And the New Year’s Eve before that I was in Washington. A new state for each new year. New jobs, new beginnings, each with their new sets of unknowns. I’ve lived in a constant state of transition for several years. When new is normal, is it still significant?
This year is significant, though, because I have hopes that the constant transitions are soon to come to an end. They haven’t ended yet. I have this job now, but it isn’t confirmed for the future years. My husband has his residency through August, and then he’ll need to find a job, too. I still don’t know our own future a mere eight months down the road. Of course, that state of unknown is normal for me by now.
But I can hope, can’t I? Can I hope that this job is where God has been leading me and where I’ll get to stay for a while? Can I hope my husband finds successful, fulfilling work in the same area so that we can finally settle down? Establish some roots? Get a chance to breathe and plan a little more of our lives beyond just the immediate future?
I don’t have goals and resolutions for the new year. That would imply that I’m in control, and I’m not. I just have hope.