Lately, I've had this fear of growing stagnant. This is a new fear because I spent 23 years doing the same things. I was happy. Picking up and moving to Alaska was terrifying to me. Moving to Missouri presented its own challenges and then so did this transition to Colorado. But now that we've been doing this army thing for almost 6 years, I've gotten used to upheaval. Used to change and transition. I honestly think the "fear" has a lot to do with the fact that I'm now 29 years old and I want to keep accomplishing things. I have this theory that if we are not pushing ourselves into sometimes uncomfortable territory, we are not living. I never assumed I would travel to Alaska at all, let alone live there for almost 4 years and have a life there. I never thought I'd find a job in Missouri when we were there for exactly 12 months, but the timing worked out seamlessly and that job was the biggest challenge I'd ever undertaken. The current challenge is remodeling a house on the prairie, and I don't even want to get into that.
Lately, I've been complaining about how I'm desperately trying to manage this place and the projects it entails while Scott is deployed. I'm a big believer in not wasting deployment time. I did that back in 2010. It was only 4 months, but it was 4 months that I spent not growing on my own because I was so focused on the waiting. During the 2012 deployment, I blogged, I found friends and fitness at the gym, and I taught 4th grade. I grew. I kept going even while he was gone. This is why I'm focused on reading, writing, cooking, baking, decorating, organizing, and just all-around accomplishing while Scott is away this time. It's not easy. I have to make an active and deliberate choice to come home from work and do a Pilates workout or do the dishes or tackle some gardening. Instead of curling up in front of the t.v. with a bag of candy. When no one's watching, it's easy to stay stagnant.
With this in mind, I applied for a new job a few weeks ago. Same district, same grade level, different school. The people I work with now are actually quite wonderful and that made it much harder to believe that I could move on. However, I knew that my greater happiness would most likely be found somewhere else when I considered the big picture. Honestly, I could've stayed where I was for a few years. No harm would've come to me. But I knew that I probably wouldn't stay at that school long-term.
My thoughts started circling around the idea of Maybe I should try and move now because if it's going to happen anyway...Why would I prolong it? What am I afraid of? Failing? Disappointing someone?
Sure, I could've stayed where I was for at least another year, gratefully, because when a principal hires you and wants YOU, it feels good and you do feel that you owe them that. But I knew that my principals would be supportive because they supported my reasons.
It was kind of a Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? train of thought. Big picture, greater happiness, and me staying in this field meant I should probably just transition now.
Therefore, in August, I will begin at a new school. So yes, after an interview, I got the job. Which will make it 6 years, 5 classrooms, 3 states. But who's counting, right? I will say that I am honored and flattered to have been chosen for my new position. To know that principals want you and are willing to recommend you without hesitating, and to know that they believe you are good at what you do, is the best feeling.
A tiny fraction of the stuff I have to pack up and move for the third time in three years:
So whether your particular challenge is finding a job, losing weight, starting a business venture, or transitioning to a new place, it's okay to feel uncomfortable because that uncomfortable-ness is what you feel when you're growing. You totally don't realize it as it's happening, but you see the difference afterward.
(Scott, our friends, and our families have remarked that I've been incredibly lucky to have gotten all these jobs I've gone after in the last few years. I whole-heartedly agree with them. I'm also quick to remind myself of that stack of rejection letters I have from almost every school in Pennsylvania, though. It's a stack with a label that says "Rejection Letters". Someone told me once to save rejection letters as a reminder of how far you've come. I'm pretty sure there were like 6 or 7 trees killed in 2008 just to send those letters to me. And, for the record, I interviewed for a junior-high job last year that I definitely didn't get. So it still happens sometimes :)