I am ready and not ready for this all at once.
I’m all registered for next semester, my last, and I’m waiting for the manifestation of the emotional mess that I know I am but haven’t yet acknowledged. This is it. Last time around. I think I held on to the thought of finishing for so long that it never seemed real in my mind. And now, here I am.
Sara Groves got me through the morning and through writing a paper today. I have to watch what I listen to these days, my mind being prone to wander far too much. At least four times in four different places along my week I’ve swatted away the thought, “I wonder where I’ll be this time next year…”
I’m a mess, and therefore, I’m writing. Because this is how I work: I write my way to the solution, the answer, the slow untangle of things.
I’ve taken on what looks to be both a daunting and amazing set of classes next semester. I soundly ignored the self that wanted to just play it safe and did, for once, what I know I will not regret.
Twice this week, I’ve consulted my “next-year self” to make a decision –trying to view things in terms of what I know I will regret not having done tomorrow instead of what I am afraid to do today. On the bulletin board above my desk, I’ve put up a quote from a character in a short-story I wrote (no, seriously, I really did this): “self-consciousness is rarely worth the trouble when you look back.” And, yes, I realize I’m just weird enough to have received counsel from a character I made up in my head…and actually, this isn’t the first time it’s happened, either.
But, today, I think the clouds broke. I’m less dragging in melancholy and more just …grateful again. I drove in to school this morning with James Taylor on the radio, amazed again at this place in life that I’ve come to –this full-circle eucharisteo that comes in unpredictable waves of joy and fills up all my empty places.
I talked to another student in my journalism class this week. When I explained that I’d discovered in the class that I don’t think journalism is my thing, she told me that she’s decided to pursue a journalism minor along with her graphic art degree, and I could see the light of “I know what I’m made to do!” in her eyes. If you’ve never seen that spark in someone, be on the lookout for it –spotting that particular kind of joy is a gift. It’s one of the side benefits of teaching that I was looking forward to, but I still get to experience it anyway as a mom and a student.
“Isn’t it amazing when you finally get to that point where you know what you’re meant to do?”
She smiled, nodded.
And I smiled back, because I know what that joy of finding my calling is like now. Some would say twenty years too late, but I’d say, like the magnet on my mother-in-law’s fridge, that God may be long, but He is never late.