I got that pang again the other day, the “it’s back to school time and I don’t have a job” sinking feeling in my gut. I’ve felt it too many times, often enough to have a name for it.
I am glad for the past year at home. As I’ve said before, I think I needed it. But every time someone brings up how good it is that I can be a stay-at-home mom, I’m quick to jump in with the “for now.” It’s a gut response, a primal instinct to defend the career I worked so hard to establish, a refusal to let go of dreams that have been pushed to the back burner yet again. I poured so much of myself into becoming a good teacher, and I’ve haven’t really seen that work come to fruition in the ways that I’d hoped yet. Yes, being at home is a blessing. This time with my daughter is as precious as it is irreplaceable. But those dreams haven’t gone away. It’s still hard watching my teacher friends prepare for another school year. A good friend just finished training to teach AP Literature, and while I’ve loved hearing about it, man, I’m jealous!
Sometimes waiting makes things seem so far away
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.
Despite the fact that I normally like to mull over my posts for a few days before I publish them, this post isn’t getting that treatment. There isn’t time. In 48 hours I should know where I’m living next year. In 48 hours, for good or for bad, the anticipation will be over and a giant question mark will be removed from my life. And it’s the anticipation that I want to write about. The venturing into the unknown, the bend in the road, the moments right before the moments that direct the course of our lives.
We’ve all felt it. In high school it was waiting for the drama director to post the cast list for the spring play. It was the waiting for SAT scores and college acceptance letters. It was the road trip to a university halfway across the country and the moment right before meeting new roommates. It was the intense emotions in the weeks leading up to our wedding and marriage. It was standing in my first classroom, looking over the yet-to-be-filled desks. It is jumping every time the phone rings during a drawn-out job hunt.
It’s the intense heartbeat and the conscious effort to breathe normally, wondering how your life will change. It’s watching first a calendar and then a clock, but not being sure if you want time to speed up or slow down. Continue reading