Monday, January 11, 2010

going (not so) confidently in the direction of my dreams

Tonight I am feeling like I used to on the last night of summer vacation.  Tomorrow, school starts for me again and I am dreading it – so this is my way of convincing myself to feel otherwise.  I am about three semesters away from having my certification to teach English at the high school level.  I’ve always wanted to teach, in some fashion, and while I adore my job as a preschool teacher, I sort of fell into it and never thought it would be my final teaching destination.  My heart belongs to English literature geek-dom and, while I am super excited to begin the actual teaching, the getting there is making me crazy. I love the classes, once I’m there, but each time I walk or drive on to campus I think about why exactly I’m there.  I’m almost 35 years old. I already did the college thing – back when I was young and could stay up til all hours drinking studying and still drag myself to an 8am class just to do it all over again.  I read the books, wrote the papers and got the degree. So, why, then, did this seem to be such a good idea?
Some days I feel sorry for myself that my friends are getting off of work at the same time that I am heading out to school. Their weekends are full of relaxation and family time and reading books that they’ve picked from the library – not sitting at the computer or reading books that someone else has put on a syllabus. I get frustrated that I can no longer watch television at night – or at all for that matter. Not that there is that much on TV that particularly interests me, but the point is that I don’t have the time to watch anything for an entire season – even if I record the shows.  But mostly, I wonder how much my children will remember of me being gone or busy during this time in their lives. I hope that someday they will understand that what I am doing is partly for me, but is mostly for them.  Some day I will have summers off so that we can spend time together and travel; and I hope that they realize that what I sometimes feel is a selfish move on my part will allow us to have two incomes and more freedom to do those things.
I hope that one day my girls will look back and say that they think what I did was pretty great.  And, as much as I envy people who don’t have papers to write or books they have to read, I also sort of feel like I have something they don’t.  I like that even though I’m older than most of them, I have met people I never would have met otherwise and have made connections with people I’ve grown to really admire and respect.  I’ve also realized what my brain was missing – I love a challenge and have enjoyed what I get out of discussions and lectures.  I started back to school out of frustration – I really, really just wanted something that was mine…and soon, if I don’t let nights like this drag me down, that something will be my own classroom – watch out, kids! See? Mission accomplished, I really do feel like I’m ready to go back and tackle this semester head on.  First, the campus bookstore gets to tackle my checkbook – but that is a sore subject for another time.

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