Not so long go, I went to job application hell and back. And let me tell you, if the real hell is anything like application hell then enjoy your dry eyes and un-gnashed teeth while you can if that’s your choice.
The silver, rather redemptive lining is that all that trouble was for the first time quite fruitful. After arguing with Microsoft Word for hours on end, trying to re-size massive PDF files, and faxing like there’s no tomorrow I was considered the successful candidate. Robbie and I are deeply satisfied with this change in our life. It is an unexpected and much welcomed blessing.
In the midst of making cupcakes for my sister Emily’s wedding I went through my phone interview, with Robbie outside the door, faithfully praying for the right words to come to his wifey. Not an hour later, I held in my hand a portable phone that rang out announcing its latest caller. I looked down on the call display and knew that it was for me, that this was the call. I picked up the phone and ran out into the back yard away from distractions of icing and cupcake batter. I could feel the gaze of my family from inside as I listened to the other end of the line. They offered. I joyfully accepted. I turned around and gave a simple, telling thumbs up along with a bursting smile. I heard a cheer from my onlookers, a faithful crowd waiting to support me through any outcome.
In between the interview and the offer Robbie had left to pick up some wedding materials for Emme’s big day. I called him to share the happy news. It was wonderful. I went back to helping with cupcakes, only to have him return 30 minutes later to give me an in person congratulatory hug and smooch. Good man that one.
In many ways it is great that it was so last minute. Without the abruptness of this change, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our dreamy summer, one that will likely not be repeated until we are retired. How do you possibly come out of a dream? In this case we just slipped into another one. The dream of a salary. Stability we haven’t known for 14 months.
So on Tuesday of the first week of September, I started my work as a teacher. Right now it feels like the early days of marriage, when you randomly find yourself with a huge grin on your face for no good reason other than that this is your new reality. Then you look heavenwards, unable to give enough thanks for the gift you have been given. I cannot comprehend what this means for us, for me as an individual. It is very good indeed.
But like the rough parts of the early marriage it can be exhausting too, working through this new way of living. There are times when you look around wondering ‘what is this new demanding presence is my life?’ Suddenly there are numerous new things to worry about. There are responsibilities that were simply not a reality not so long ago. It can be quite daunting.
Then there are the possibilities, the dreams, and the nightmares that are with me each step of the way. The possibility that I can help to instill in my students a sense of dignity and worth through the way I treat them. The possibility and the opportunity to inspire, to motive, to help them to see a different world they never knew existed. The dreams of grandeur. The dreams of amazing theatre productions and a pitch perfect choir. The dream of being a part of a community and being in it so deep you feel you were born there. Then, there are the nightmares, the realization that organization and throwing away collective apathy is all junior high students need to turn the tide in their favor.
Of all the big changes in my life, this has been the most abrupt, the most sudden of them all. From the time I started dating Robbie to the day we got married 5 and a half years had passed. I had about 5 and a half days from the conception of a job posting to the birth of the offer for me to take the position.
So now I’m all mixed up between metaphors on marriage and birth, a true sign of whats always on my mind and that I am truly a tired teacher.
And yes, you read that right. I really am a teacher now and I love my profession long past the honeymoon phase, beyond Spring Break and right into June 30th of every year.
I am finally here and it is so very good indeed.