Finish Line; Starting Line

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I’m so glad to finally be back here! While I won’t apologize for my absence, I can say this:  For the last month or so, there’s been so much I’ve wanted to write about, but other things (specifically writing academic things & the job hunt) precluded that from happening. I’ve missed my “happy place” of sorting myself out and writing what I WANT to write about. It struck me as rather hilarious that it took me 12 hours over 3 days to write a 2900 word paper when I can whip out a 1500 word blog post in 20-25 minutes… I guess being interested and motivated makes a difference, at least for me! 🙂

This probably won’t be my greatest post, as it is hard to synthesize a month of thoughts, feelings, happenings, and “write-able moments” into a cohesive post, but I’ll start here, and hope to be back quite soon!

Admittedly, since my last post, there have been two other instances much like the “softball”post…. Job search frustrations and heartbreaks, and the painful realization that I can’t help but care about/ get really attached to jobs that are appealing, even when I try not to/ swear that I won’t allow that to happen “ever again”.  I am thankful that I had the end of a semester that forced me into some kind of functionality. I’m even more thankful for my friends that were there, yet again, in such a fully present and loving way- even when that means calling me, coming to my house, and throwing cards under my door when I’ve said, “Just leave me alone!” I found THIS BLOG POST which pretty much sums up the way I have felt and the way so many spectacular people in my life have been over the last few weeks. (Just discovered this blog; great stuff…LOVE this post…seriously, read it.)

As I continue the job hunt, a friend reminded me that technically, I finished my degree last Wednesday… So really, despite the fact that I’ve been searching, my job hunt really is only about a week old. While I can’t say I really buy into that idea, it’s a good re-frame I’m trying to embrace. 🙂

In a sense, last Wednesday was both my FINISH LINE and STARTING LINE… bringing truth to the “when one door closes another one opens”.

Finishing my master’s degree? … It’s a good feeling. An exciting feeling! An AWESOME feeling!  It’s also SUPER WEIRD! I had this strange realization the other day that literally, in my nearly 30 years on this planet, I’ve been engaged in a formal educational process for 25 of those years…. Mostly as a student, several years as a teacher, and the last 3 years as BOTH. It’s pretty strange to not be in that space at all- as a student OR a teacher.

It was great for a few days… Like most students and teachers, the end of the semester was a little stressful for me- full of deadlines and things you don’t totally want to do… but have to do anyway. I reveled in the first few days of not having to do anything. Then, I started to realize just how strange this would be…. My routine has been, get home, check moodle, check grades, do reading/homework/ papers/ forum posts/research AND/OR grade/ lesson plan/ pick music/ e-mail parents.

Suddenly, NONE of those things are options anymore!

I get home and its like, “Umm…Ok… What do people do now?? TV is only interesting for an hour or two a night!”

To quote on of my friends, “Uh, have a life, maybe?”

Hahaha!

I could be willing to try that…. 🙂

I have to say though, I LOVE learning. I really, really do. Homework and obsessing about grades? Not so much, thanks. But, I will say, after a few days off, I have already thought more than once, “ok, which degree do I want next?”

Don’t worry… I’m pretty strongly committed to taking some time off of school- like at least a year or two… and I may never go back to school again. But when I chose to pursue this master’s degree, I was really torn between counseling and conducting. I would still love to learn more about conducting, and there are other areas of the mental health field I would love to continue learning about, too. I would love to get a Connections Certification from Brene` Brown; I’d love to get my psychodrama certificate; and a host of other things. I also love writing and history and about 10 other things.

But, for now, I think it’s time to get settled, to get clear, and to try out “real life, sans school”.

But do we ever really get clear? Seriously?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think a piece of paper is suddenly going to give me this magic moment of clarity where I go, “Oh, yes… I want to do this ONE THING.”

And more importantly, do we want to? Would it even be good for us? I’m pretty sure that would suck for me.

Personally, I have more ideas about “what I would like to do” than I could ever fit into one lifetime. At any given time, I have 4-5 things that are really important to me, and I’m sure the fact that it’s not just one thing blurs the focus a bit… but that’s also what enriches it, I believe.

I mean, would you rather trying on clothes at a store with that super-bright operating room light, or would you rather  the soft, orange-y light at Banana Republic that lets things seem a bit more flattering?

I’m going with soft and flattering, every.time. (Just sayin’)

Last night, I was at a choir concert with one of my friends.

Like basically any choir performance, it wasn’t perfect. Two musicians, familiar with the bulk of the repertoire sung, we probably heard/ noticed more flaws than the average audience member…. However, the comment we made to each other was this,

“The space is too crisp; it’s too exposed.”

Acoustically, things are better in a more reverberant space; the sound bounces around and mixes together in the air, beautifully blending things (and covering up a few of those things you’d rather not be heard anyway). It’s one reason singing in big, old churches is so great…

Last night, it was too dry…. Acoustically, there was bright fluorescent lighting. You saw some ugly…

I don’t want a “fluorescent lighting life”…. While I’m glad to to be done with school, I can’t wait to see what else I’m going to color my life with- new interests, hobbies, people, jobs, relationships, whatever!

I’m looking forward to being able to read what I want, to write what/when I want, to do more volunteering, to spend more time with friends, to being more present with people and not obsessively worrying about grades, to discovering more about who I am and what I’m about and what I like and don’t like; to having TIME.

I think it’s these kinds of things and people and connections and space that keep the focus on our lives in “soft light”… Clear, but not too clear. Flattering and full and warm; not some sterile, rigid expectation. It allows things to mix together in an awesome way that just makes it all more beautiful, full, and rich.

Like always, that means rolling with the unexpected, and learning to be flexible and being willing to CHANGE expectations.  (Which is not always my best skill.)

This time last year, I thought my life was pretty perfect, and I never could have imagined I’d be where I am now.

Jobs disappeared.

Degrees finished.

People moved.

I moved.

New people came in.

New challenges surfaced.

New cities have been explored.

New skills are being acquired.

New networks are forming.

But life is the story of unexpected.

…And thank god it is!

I sit here, now, with so many unknowns, in advent… the season of “waiting”… Which seems particularly poignant for me this year: waiting for a degree in the mail, for a job offer that’s a good fit, for a winning lotto ticket (just kidding!).

In a weird way, I feel like I’ve been in “advent” since about May…

But in other ways, I feel like I have had the “rebirth” that comes at the end of advent about a million times over, too.

I’m waiting; but renewed.

Impatient; but blessed.

Frustrated; but hopeful.

I can honestly say, despite some real challenges right now, I can look at my life at this time, this year, and say the same thing I did last year… My life is pretty perfect. I wouldn’t have imagined myself “here”, but I’m so glad I am.

I just crossed a finish line; I just crossed a starting line.

But considering the first advent, I’d imagine that’s a lot like Mary felt… she probably didn’t think a year before she’d be where she was just before the first Christmas… She had been shocked and surprised and had lots of changes- unexpected and expected, chosen and not, and a bit of a journey.

…Thankfully mine was in an Accord with XM and not on a donkey….LOL!

Yep kids, it’s advent.

I have a sense of completion, and very strong feelings of impatience and expectation.

It’s a journey… and I’m glad to be on it.

Happy to be back on the blog,

TM

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2 responses »

  1. I loved your comment about choosing that “ONE THING” to do for the rest of your life. I’m 57 and still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up! And although we all love the “experts” in our lives, the people who have varied interests end up being the most interesting. Here are best wishes for your interesting, varied journey!

  2. It will all come together Tara…I can relate becauseI have been all over the map as well. Now things are coming together. I will keep up with your post..I am not too familiar with blogs but if it post on fb then I will find it. Keep moving forward. The direction will find you. Tanya

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