I heard about something happening to someone else today. Someone this person knows was in an accident- major surgery was required and now, that person has to be in an assisted living facility and needs to relearn how to do basic everyday things.
I thought about how quickly this person’s life changed- it took less than a minute. I recently got an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion. I couldn’t believe it. It has not been 10 years! I thought about my own life.
After high school, I went to college. Right after that, grad school. I’m now in my fifth year of teaching. When I was graduating from high school, this is not where I saw myself. I had tried to major in something else, so I wouldn’t be a teacher (then, second year in, I knew I was going to be a teacher, I just thought it would be at the high school level instead). But that isn’t the part that concerns me. That’s my job. I don’t want it to be my life.
I thought I’d be married by now. Have at least one kid. Live in a house I was making payments on. Be driving a car I really loved and was excited for. I’d have more stamps on my passport than the ones I got from studying abroad.
I have a job in the industry I want, I do know that. I need to make myself try other positions, but I do feel like big picture, this is it. But what about the rest of my life?
I was reflecting on this a bit. I’m getting ready to start really preparing myself to look for new jobs. I would like to try teaching at the high school or middle school level, and I am endorsed to teach history at both of these levels. I thought about why I love this subject so much. What I have come up with so far is that I love knowing about other people- their lives, their stories. I enjoy hearing about the history of places, learning about events. But I’m realizing I’m getting caught up in these stories, and I’m not making or truly living my own life.
This year, I’ve been on a retreat with a professional organization I’m involved in. I did this project last year, and it was terrible. I didn’t connect with my partner, and the whole thing fell apart. BUT, I decided to try it again. It was a pretty decent experience! I loved my group, I got to spend time in a new city. And, on the last day, I found a quote that I have read many times before, but always forget about: Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing (Ben Franklin). I’m not going to completely do a 180 in my life; I know drastic changes don’t work well for me. But, I am making progress! Last weekend, I went back to my alma mater for a basketball game. It was an AMAZING experience! I’m so glad I made the choice- I can’t do this a lot on account of my bank account, but I’m glad I decided to say yes to this one. I was supposed to go on a Spring Break trip with my school, but circumstances changed and that is no longer happening. So, I’m going to some baseball games back home during that week.
I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but I feel like I am pushing myself more. I think I have let the fact that this far in, I’m still making first year teacher money dictate a lot of my life and I’ve let that be an excuse as to why I can’t do a lot of things- I don’t have the money for it. Really, it’s just me sitting here, letting my life pass me by. While I can’t finance big trips or big projects, I can do these little things. I am working on making my own life story something for other people (and most importantly, MYSELF) to be interested in. Hoping hoping hoping I can keep this up!