I have been particularly emotional the past couple days; pretty much everything has the potential to make me cry. Sad. Happy. Angry. Cute. On and on. So when I woke up this morning on the verge of tears, I wasn’t necessarily surprised just annoyed with myself. And I had to ask myself: What is it this time?
Over the past few days, I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts about school having started or starting soon. I’ve talked with parents whose kiddos are getting back into the swing of school days. And I’ve had several friends tell me their plans for registration weekend. Some are excited. Some live in dread of it. I, personally, am having a hard time wrapping my head around it.
See, this is the first time since I started school as a wee whippersnapper that I haven’t been gearing up for school in some way. The few times I have taken a break from school, I was looking for my next school program and helping families get their kids ready. Last school year, I was looking into another degree, was moving back to school with my husband, and worked in a school.
I simply cannot wrap my head around the fact that school is starting and I’m not doing anything school related. And since I’m pregnant and my default response to everything right now is tears, I find myself a little weepy over the idea that anything school related is on hold for me right now. I don’t regret it at all, please don’t take it that way. It’s just a drastic change and one I didn’t realize was going to hit me quite this way.
Total, in my life, I have spent 8-9 years not in school, depending on how you could last year. Even though I wasn’t studying anything myself, I was teaching and learning a new position, so maybe that counts? Either way, that means that more than two-thirds of my life have been spent in school. This phase of life is completely foreign to me.
In the midst of all of the life changes my husband and I have experienced over the past two years, it doesn’t seem like this would be that big of a deal. I mean, we’ve moved several times (since May of 2017, we have both lived in 3 states; I have lived in 2 countries; and we have moved multiple times within those states), we started dating, got engaged, got married, experienced several significant losses, finished up school, changed jobs several times, started a business (that’s mostly David, but it has brought changes for me too), and are due to have a baby in just over 2 months. I still have trouble finding things in my own kitchen because I have had so many kitchen situations in 2 years that I haven’t quite acclimated to our current arrangement. And there are days where you might find me inordinately upset because someone put something away in the wrong place. It’s frustrating for me to feel that way about it; I’m usually much better at just appreciating that someone put something away to be helpful. But now having something moved on me makes the difficulty of finding something exponentially greater. I wasn’t entirely sure where it was when I put it where I wanted it. To have it somewhere else means I feel even more lost.
So with that in mind, it doesn’t seem like this one change should make much of a difference. But school and the routine of getting ready for it are familiar to me. Familiarity is comfortable and we haven’t had a whole lot of familiar in our lives for a while. I can’t go on autopilot to get to the grocery store; I have to keep a close eye on where I am going because we haven’t been here long enough for me to remember for sure how to get there. My own body is unfamiliar to me as it changes in preparation to deliver our little one. I’m loathe even to bring in some of the new furniture needed for our new addition simply for the fact that it means more change and I am worn down on change.
We’re in a really good place right now; we have great fellowship with our church and are growing our connections. We were blessed to have already built a good support network here before we moved so that in coming, we already had people we could reach out to and who felt like home to us. We have a beautiful home. We have each other, which is huge. Over a year into marriage and I am still constantly amazed at how much easier it is to breathe having my best friend walking through life with me. We really are in a wonderful situation. So this isn’t meant to be a woe is me post, just an honest one.
Sometimes we try so hard to just be okay when in reality we are tired and struggling. Tired and struggling doesn’t mean we’re in a bad place. These are growing pains; we don’t like pain and that makes it hard to go through. But the growth we know we are going through is absolutely worth it. We’re closer as a family, more dependent on God, and more able to sympathize with others who are going through growing pains. The struggle is real, but so is the joy that comes with knowing it isn’t just torture. It has purpose, and while we may not see it yet, we know it’s there.
I’m emotional about not preparing for school, but I don’t regret allowing myself to be in a place of discomfort. I’m excited to see where God takes us in this next phase of life. I’m excited for the new opportunities we have and will have. And even in the midst of the emotion, I am at peace with the fact that I’m not even looking for my next school experience. For the first time since I can remember, I’m not concerned with what degree to get and where to go to get it. I can honestly say I am okay with not being in academia right now. Struggling with the fact that there is another change in life doesn’t have to mean discontent. I know I’m right where God has me, and I will pursue it with joy.