Several weeks ago I hosted a bonfire to celebrate the end of the teacher licensure program. After a tour of the garden, as we sat down to enjoy s’mores with homemade marshmallows fresh from my kitchen and as P brought over kabobs from the grill, a fellow cohort member said in passing, “I envy your life.” For the first time ever I didn’t grimace or immediately think, “You say that now, but if you only knew…” I didn’t flash back to years of abuse and looniness, I didn’t instead pour over my own envy of her kind and supportive family. Instead I smiled, fully and sincerely, and said, “I do, too.”
It’s true. These days I live what feels like a charmed life. I have my teaching license and was offered a fantastic position in my first-choice school. I was the second person in my cohort to secure a job, and I didn’t even have to interview. With guaranteed additional income this fall, P and I have been doing a lot of travelling this summer. We’ve finally visited good friends in Maine, spent ten glorious days in Yosemite, and will be heading north this August for long-anticipated relaxing long weekend with family.
I feel more in control of my life. With the summer stretched ahead of me this spring, I knew I’d struggle with depression, so I secured a part-time job at a local garden center. While the work is hard and oftentimes tedious, I’ve greatly enjoyed my co-workers and learning about plants new-to-me. Embracing the discount, I’ve planted more than 20 new shrubs in our yard and I think it’s really going to look nice in a year or two. I successfully turned an impending bout with darkness into a source of fulfillment and joy (& a little drudgery, for good measure.)
I’m also keeping busy with professional development this year. I’ve already attended two weeks of classes and have four more to go. I’ve learned how to identify dragonflies, learned how to incorporate citizen science into the classroom, and will be learning more about metagenomics and biomed technologies.
I love it. Teaching science has given me full license to embrace the nerdinest part of myself. It’s given me a sense of purpose and excitement. I now have an excuse as TSA searches my bag full of rocks from distant coasts as I travel home. I think this must be how some people feel about parenting – it gives my life breath and purpose, sharing my love of nature, science and the outdoors with the next generation.
Speaking of parenting, P and I have been wrestling intently with the question of babies. Well, we were wrestling until we finally decided we are perfectly happy childless. We have so many children in our lives to love and spoil. I will gain 200 more once I start teaching. I love loving other people’s kids. I just don’t know what I’m cut out to be a parent of my own accord. This is enough fodder for a whole other post, but now it suffices to say that we are at peace without babes and I’m knitting like a fiend for all the other babes arriving in my life.
So much more remains to be said, to be chewed over in writing. But I at least wanted to get this much out. To say hi. To see what ya’ll have been up to. More soon, I promise. XOXO