starting fresh

I’m doing what I (and every other college grad who just started adulting) do and starting a new blog for this new phase. This one, though, I intend to keep for the long run.

I look back on my life and see obvious pieces of time where certain things were happening and certain lessons were being learned. Each of these seasons has brought its own joy and trouble, but I can see good things or good lessons in all of them. So that’s what I’m going to (try to) do for the rest of my time - seek the good in every moment and each season - and document it here. Photos, words, whatever it might be - celebrating the good and all of the not-so-good that made it possible - it’s a lovesong for this season, for wherever I am in life and in the world.

So here’s where I am now - 

On July 8th, I made it to the second round of interviews for one job, interviewed for the first time for another, and found out I got that second job two hours I left the school.

The following Monday I had to make the call and accept the job. Now, anyone who knows me understands (or at least tries to) that I go with my gut in any decision. That’s where Jesus sends the message to let me know where to go. My gut said go to Hope even though you hated the first time you visited. I went. My gut said go to India, even though you’ve never left the country before and knew only one person in the group going. I went. My gut said student teach abroad, but not in South Africa - go to New Zealand instead. I went. My gut said say no to a tough four years that would give you a masters and a guaranteed job. I said no.

But just my luck, my gut had no opinion on this matter. I waited and waited. I said yes because what else am I supposed to do? I still waited, hoping and praying that I’d have some certainty before I had to drive away from home and start this new part of my life.

That certainty never came. I showed up in Michigan, (not at all) ready to start my first real-life-adult job the next day. We had two weeks of training where I felt completely unable to soak up all of the procedures and wisdom and information that surrounded me. But I met good people. And I remembered some stuff. And that’s good.

September 8th, two months after I’d signed on for this gig, the kids came. Apparently my classroom isn’t just a place I hang out in alone and decorate with anchors. In one of my other teaching interviews, a principal asked me what I do with a kid I don’t love. I told her I didn’t like that question - because I may have met kids I don’t like, but never a student I didn’t love.  And these kids, I love them and they terrify me and they’re insane and it’s awesome. I love these kids and I love the people I work with. The strict procedures and expectations are hard for this free-spirit to get used to, but I’m doing my best and it gets a little better each day. 

I started out the school year answering “How’s it going?” with “I’m not dead yet!” After a week or so I started mixing in “Today is better than yesterday!” so I guess that’s called progress.

October 8th marked my first month of my first year of teaching. What a ride. I’ve learned to find something good and wonderful to remember and also look forward to every day. I plan something (anything) for every weekend to get me through the tough moments in the week. I drive the 35 minutes to Holland to be in a place I love with people I adore as much as I can (especially while the weather is still nice).

I still haven’t had that big gut feeling that ‘OH MY GOSH I’M EXACTLY WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE’ but I’m learning to be okay with that. A wise friend of mine told me this before I left, and it makes a lot of sense - “Maybe this is a lesson in trust. Maybe your gut, even if you believe that’s how God lets you know where to go, is still technically you. You need to trust him fully. Blindly, even when there’s no right answer.” YES.

Outside of school stuff. I have friends (from school, but still)! I go to church (still finding the right fit)! My house is nice (the people who live there are too)! I’ve been home twice and it was glorious. I also remembered that I need Jesus. A whole lot. And, if nothing else, that’s my lesson for this season.

So that’s where I am right now. This season is a hard one, but I’m learning and that’s all I can really ask for.

p.s. I love you for reading this, whoever you are.