It’s amazing how much time we spend in life waiting. I’ve waited for jobs, for apartments, and for answers that never came. I’ve waited for phone calls, for a student to finally get it, and for things to finally settle down.
Right now I’m waiting for the ultrasound that will tell me my baby’s gender and for the months to pass until I’ll get to meet him or her. I’m waiting for the first phone call asking me to sub this year, and in the long run, I’m waiting to find out what God has in store for my career.
You’d think we’d get used to it, all this waiting. You’d think that we’d finally understand that anxiety doesn’t make the waiting easier, that patience is (usually) rewarded, and no matter how much or how little we wonder about and anticipate things, what will happen will happen.
To some extent I have learned this, at least when it comes to certain issues. As I await the arrival of Baby Roberson, I find myself oddly complacent about it all. I do wonder about things – what my labor and delivery will be like, how those first few weeks with Baby will go, what patterns and habits we’ll develop – but I’m not anxious or worried about it. I think back to all the stress Dan and I already handled, all the major change we’ve already managed and survived, and I know we’ll be OK, no matter what happens. We survived sleepless nights in Boston during Dan’s accelerated program; we’ll survive the sleepless nights of infant-hood, too. If I try to make too many plans now, I know they’ll just go out the window when Baby arrives, anyway. And if something goes wrong – inventing unknowable, unanswerable worries for myself now won’t make the journey easier. What will happen will happen, and I’m just interested to see how it all goes.
I wish I could say I’ve been as calm and at ease about the changes in my career. I could elaborate on all my fears and concerns – and if you looked in my drafts folder, you’d see enough emotional angst to make a teenager roll their eyes. But I don’t want my blog to take that tone. I fear it has already a little, but now I’m really trying to look forward. Not to the future I wish I could have, not to the frustrations of “what ifs” and plans that have already gone out the window, but to the reality of what is and what will be, even though I can’t see it now.
Here’s what I know: God built two dreams in me. First, for a family, and second, for an opportunity to make a difference through my career. I’ve spent the last six years building that second dream, fighting for it and pouring my energy and passion into it in a way that I never would have imagined when I was young. I invested so much of myself into it that it became the core of my adult identity, and I loved it. Now that dream is being put on hold as the dream for a family has taken over. However, since putting my career on hold wasn’t my choice or in my timing, I’ve been fighting, wrestling, and holding on to unhealthy resentment.
Even as I dreamed separately about my career and my family, I didn’t know how to reconcile those two dreams with each other. Honestly, I still don’t. This is my big struggle. But I know it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It doesn’t have to be teaching OR family, not both. If I really do believe I’m still on God’s path for my life (and I do), then I have to accept that He has now asked me to wait without knowing once again. He built a dream in me. He gave me a passion for teenagers and a talent for working with them. Now I have to wait to see what He’s going to do with that. It’s just extra hard because now the wait is indefinite, and not something I chose. I chose to walk away from other jobs and follow my husband around the country. I didn’t choose to stop working to become a stay-at-home mom, and I’ve resented that lack of control. But if I’m not in control, God is, and He’s the one who instilled the passion I have for my work in the first place. I just have no idea what the timing will be for me to pick up that dream again. I hope it’s not too long.
With every move Dan and I made, I knew the time frame. I knew I just had to make it through this year, these three months, until the next change, the next move, the next set of unknowns. The same is true with the baby. I know when my ultrasound will be. I know when I’m due. There are a ton of unknowns, but I know that they’re coming, if that makes sense. With my career, I don’t know. I don’t know how long this wait will be. Honestly, I don’t even really know that I’ll ever get to pick up this dream and passion again, but I choose to believe that I will.
And without getting too emotional or angsty, I want to admit that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that in letting go of the past, I’ll lose all the momentum I built up in the last six years. I’m afraid that for all my tenacity and fighting, all I have to show for my career is a hodgepodge resume and a blog that I’m currently struggling to update. I’m afraid I’ll be out of the field for years and then struggle to get back in. I’m afraid of professional stagnation.
But there I go into that world of “what if” that doesn’t have much bearing on what will actually happen. I need to stop this train of thought and look forward again, knowing that things will happen as they will, and my worries and fears won’t change anything.
So for now, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for my baby, and for God to shed some light on the next steps in my career. Until that happens, hopefully I’ll find something more inspirational to blog about. 🙂