i may always grieve a little . . .

It is official.

I have accepted a job offer from a small company, where I will be the office manager. Because it is a small (very) company, I will have the opportunity to do many different things– a wide variety which appeals to my brain, and many of them are things that I love!  Like — data entry! Who would have thought? I actually really do love it!

Anyway… I am entering the Post-Educator phase of my life.  Hmm… what other titles.

Post-Pressure
Anti-Anxiety
Middle School Band Music Free Zone  — for real though — if you have ever had a loop of three measures of one song, played by your students (mistakes and all) in your head — then you understand the thrill of this NOT happening anymore.

Hmm.

Ah—  The Land of Clear Expectations.
A Time WITHOUT middle school drama *except that within walls of our home.*
Perhaps being less emotionally DRAINED at the end of every single day?

The Season of Conversing with Adults.

A SEASON of Alone Time!  Having been in the same school, and home, with my children since their education career began, has resulted in me NEVER BEING ALONE. When trips to the grocery store can be considered Me-Time? Yikes.

I AM SO EXCITED! I do know that I may still struggle — but at least I have the happy memories of a career well earned, and a life well lived, investing in my precious students for the last 16 years. (17 if you count that one year in an elementary school …. which I really don’t.)

I am just so thankful that this strange and awful season is ending. I have so much hope for the next chapter!

 

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a new low, and a new name

Yesterday was wretched.

It was the day that I was NOT starting a new school year with my colleagues and friends.

It was also the day I tried to file for unemployment and somehow failed.

This whole chapter started 3 days after my 40th birthday. If you were to hazard a guess that I have not been enjoying this new decade, you would be correct. But — in the middle of such turmoil, I am learning.

I have learned that I have friends to lean on. Friends that believe in me, friends that love me regardless of what fills my days, or how or IF my bank account gets filled. Friends that remind me who I am, and WHOSE I am.

I have learned that the words of the songs I have written are a huge source of encouragement and the sharpest form of conviction.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 10.06.34 PMToday, however, the tides turned. I moved forward with two new administrative assistant positions. I have a phone interview tomorrow and a facetime interview on Monday. I am still waiting to hear if and when I move to the second round with the previous two companies with whom I had phone interviews.

I am learning that I have the OPPORTUNITY to see myself in a new way. To reinvent myself in a way….

I am learning that I have many skills and useful traits that will help me anywhere. I love being part of a team, and will thrive anywhere that I know I am making a difference.

I have finally learned that I will not be able to move forward unless I am able to let go.  I have to let go of the sadness and the pain and the anger and the bitterness. I have to let go of the indignance of the unfairness of the situation. No — it isn’t fair, and it does not, and will not ever make sense.  (Well — maybe someday it will.) But–  I am learning to remind myself that Jesus endured a lot of things that weren’t fair and didn’t make sense. So who am I  to be so outraged that my life is difficult, and I lost what I thought was perfect.  When I gave God control of my life, I MEANT it. Now I need to prove it by trusting Him (REALLY TRUSTING HIM) in the hard times.

The lowest of days, followed by a new resolve and a true humility.

And a new name, given to me by a beautiful friend, that encapsulates everything I hope to be and achieve. I would tell you what it is… but since I am keeping this anonymous for right now, that would be foolish. 🙂

bleeding heart

bleeding heart flower

My friends and former colleagues are heading back tomorrow… They will gather and laugh and begin a new year — and here I will sit, waiting for responses from the more than 30 applications or resumes I have submitted over the last three days…

But today the Lord reminded me through the words of my own song that He is with me every day. The first verse goes:  “How can I be discouraged, how can I be dismayed, when Your love goes with me, every step of every day.”

Today was a much better day than yesterday . . . and when I caught my emotions tumbling toward despair, I was able to stop before I hid myself away in my room. I am resigning myself to the idea of a new career. A new direction. A new chapter that doesn’t involve teaching in a formal setting.

I know that whatever happens will be okay. In fact, it will be more than okay. Even if the path my life goes from here doesn’t go where I expect or hope . . .  He is with me, every step of every day.

the brave face

I have been floundering . . . failing at this.

The weight of the sadness and disappointment bubbles up from my heart (the physical pain apparently too much to stay inside) and releases a stream of hot tears down my face, and they drip squarely onto my nearly twelve-year-old son’s shoulders, adding to the weight of the world that he already carries around with him.

Summers off are amazing when life is going great.

Summers off are brutal when life is falling apart.

There is nowhere to hide. The apartment is small, and voices carry, and his worrying ears understand far too much than they should. None of his friends worry about whether his parents will be able to pay rent this much. . .  His mother lost her job. Without any solid or justifiable reason. And he has been watching her slowly try to pick herself up, and reinvent herself… put herself back together.

I have an identity that is independent from the one that was stripped from me on May 25th of this year… but somehow Child of the Most High God doesn’t feel as important or as valuable as the one that I had.

What the hell is my problem??

I am a Child of the MOST HIGH GOD.

It’s not that I don’t believe that He doesn’t have a plan, or that He will provide… I just don’t like waiting. I don’t like the discomfort of the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th hours. I know He likes to make things particularly desperate so He can show off. . .  but it freaking hurts. (Oh crap – here come the tears again.)

I know that Trusting Him means that I have to let Him decide what my next chapter looks like. It doesn’t matter that everything in my life has been this other thing… and that I am REALLY good at it, and have a pile of recommendation letters from colleagues and former students to back up my assertion, and the lifetime of beautiful memories to go with them. He created me, with skills and talents that can be used any way He imagines, and in any way He chooses to achieve His plans and His purposes.

And I am not on the board of directors of my own storyline, apparently.

Because I certainly wouldn’t have created this plot twist.

I wish I could at least be shrinking way from lack of appetite . . . but that’s not happening either. Maybe a lack of resources will accomplish that? Hmm. Silver linings?

Stepping back out of the self-pity for a moment, back to the choice I made to relinquish control of my life…  It doesn’t matter that everything up until now has made sense and gone along a predictable path. God is the one who sees all things, and how they work together. He is trustworthy, and I am going to be fine. Even if I never work in a school again.

Because the other part of the storyline — the one that brought us to Nashville — has been getting sidelined. And maybe a major scene change needs to occur for that to change.

Whatever is next, I know that I can handle it.
I may just need to touch up my brave face a bit first.

It’s never as easy as it looks . . .

Follow.
Trust.
It’s worth it, they say. Why be sad, they ask?
But it’s not easy.
On the hard days, when the tears are hovering right behind the eyelids, and trickling down as the kids are blissfully unaware, playing video games or watching youtube videos…
it’s hard to have it all together and to trust and to believe that life isn’t actually falling apart.