Dreams, Transitions, and Peace.
I’ve been having the craziest dreams lately. I always seem to have the most “out-there” dreams, wild combinations of anything that may or may not have come into my day-to-day life. But lately they’ve been more realistic. I have had countless dreams of getting ready to go back to teaching (I have these every year around this time), but not being able to find my new classroom, forgetting to set up my room before the students come, or in my latest dream, being assigned to teach Spanish and not knowing it until the day before. I’ve talked to other teachers, and dreams like this seem to be more normal than I realize. It’s part of that August, back to school preparation/anxiety.
The thing is, I am not going back to teaching this year, but my body doesn’t seem to have caught on to that yet… This year I am on an adventure, embarking on something completely new and unexpected, but amazingly, brings much peace and contentment when I think about it. This fall, I will be going to seminary outside of Philadelphia, and studying theology and public policy, and working at a center for social action on campus (as part of a scholarship). A few months ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be a seminary student at this point, but it is the fruition of many years of dreaming about it and the constant answer to the question from others: “If you could dream of doing anything besides what you do now, what would it be?” It has always been seminary ever since I have been old enough to seriously consider what I would like to do, and feel passionate about doing.
I feel incredibly blessed that in this time of major transition, back to being a student from being a teacher, I have the strong support of my family, friends, and Ben. They were my biggest encouragers, telling me that this dream could be a reality if I felt like it was the right thing, and helping me to make it happen. There have been so many times when I have been affirmed by their encouragement, and the encouragement and excitement of others around me, at my church, former workplace, and old friends.
So, change is the big word in my life right now. Change of schedule, change in my use of time, change in my direction, and change in our income. Thankfully, although it will not be easy, we are prepared mentally and practically for the changes that going down to one income will bring. I am excited for the change of schedule and time. I love studying, reading, and writing, and I can’t wait to be a student again. It just feels so right. And for the first time in my life, I don’t have a definitive “endpoint” to my direction. I don’t exactly know where all of this will lead, but I’m okay with that (and for a person who loves to have control, that is pretty amazing)!
Peace is a funny thing-it doesn’t always come when everything is perfectly settled, figured out, or logical. It comes more with that feeling that this is right, you are affirmed in the direction you’re headed, and you can be okay with the unknowns. Peace for me, is actually being found in relinquishing some of my control, trying an unknown path, and feeling the excitement of knowing I am following an unexpectedly realized dream.
Before vacation, my dad and I went to the seminary campus to register for classes and meet with an advisor. I will be taking three days of classes a week, and hopefully taking the train only four times a week (and staying over a night to save time) into Philadelphia. I can’t wait for all that this change will bring. Poor Ben, I tell him all the time lately how excited I am for this all to begin (he is great at handling it – he’s my biggest advocate). Along with all the excitement and anticipation, I am experiencing peace, and that is the greatest blessing.