Closing one door, in hopes that another will open
Over the past 7 months, i have had moments that been hard, moments that have been beautiful, moments that I have wanted to cry, but mostly, I have been amazed by the world. Amazed at how much beauty is out here, amazed at the kindness of strangers, amazed by how much there is to see and do out here….
My world has been broadened, my senses alerted, my perspective changed. The world out there…. it is both bigger and smaller for me. Bigger because I realize I have seen so little of it. Smaller because through my experiences around the world, I have seen that people everywhere basically just want the same things (besides food, water, safety, shelter) –they want to live free, they want the best future for their kids, they want to laugh, they want to share, they want to love each other. All around the world, I have seen amazing tenderness of parents with their children. I have heard great respect being paid to teachers and schools. I have seen beautiful moments between couples. i have played soccer on a beach with people I could not communicate with (other than laughter), I have played with children and all I could do was smile at their talking, I have been taking care of by strangers.
This is all to say that the adventure is amazing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I cannot wait to have really good Mexican food (with black beans and real cheese and sour cream and…. oh, wait, I digress). And sleep in a quiet, super clean, comfortable bed. And to have a clean bathroom. And drink some really good beers (real IPAs with a hoppiness you can smell).. But, I don’t want this adventure to end. I feel that there is still so much more for me to see and learn out here. I have not had moments when i though –‘ no, this isn’t right. I should be at home’.
Instead, the opposite has happened. The longer I am out here, the more I wonder what home is, where I want my home to be, what I want my home to be. The longer I travel, the more questions I have. The longer i am out here, the more I realize that I do not want it to end – that the adventure needs to continue.
When I embarked on this journey, I left my school and my home with the thought that I would come back. I took a leave of absence from work and sub-let my apartment – all with plans to return. You see, I loved my job — being at Renaissance (the school I work at) is one of the best professional (and personal in many ways) experiences I have ever had. I grew in leaps and bounds. I loved (and still love) my students. I had amazing colleagues who pushed me and cared for me and taught me and were patient with me. But as much as I loved it, I always felt something was missing. There were times when I would catch myself thinking ‘when my real life starts….’.
What?! When my real life starts? What is this life I am living now, if not my real life?
But, that is a problem I have — I tend to be always searching. The right job, the right location, the right relationship. The real life?!
But this year? I haven’t been waiting to start living my real life — I knew I was living it. I am living the dream. Living the life exactly the way I wanted to. Exactly the way I had dreamed of (well….. maybe not exactly – as I don’t remember vomit in dorm rooms from partying 20-something year olds in my dreams, but pretty damn close!)
So, all this is to say that I have decided, painstakingly, with a heavy heart, to not go back to Renaissance next year. I closed that door. And though I know that it is the right decision, it is still incredibly hard for me to walk away.
But in this economy? What are the other options? Where will you go? What will you do?
Those are the voices in my head, wondering what the next step is. I try and quiet those voices, trusting that something will work out if I am following my heart, knowing that I am making the right decision for me and my life. But – the answer is – I don’t know. I shut that door – but I don’t know what and where the next door will open.
I am just trusting that a door will open for me.