After talking to many of my recently graduated friends over the holidays, I came to a comforting and disheartening realization that we are all just a little bit (or a lot bit) dissatisfied in where we are at right now. Landing a job at a cool company or being an altruistic, life changing teacher is just not what we thought it would be. There’s grief because the the hope we had in what we were working towards has been lost. The “dream” and the “goal” of the past few years does not live up to the “hard work” we were putting into preparing for it.
We all lie in this weird balance of recognizing how good we have it (we have jobs, we are educated, we have friends, etc.) but also living in a state of disappointment and disillusionment questioning why we ever chose this for ourselves.
I had a few çar ride thoughts on the way home from a conversation with an old friend:
- It’s a fight for joy. I can either get frustrated that my frenzy of trying to figure out what to do, how to prioritize, and how to even prepare for teaching is going nowhere. I can feel defeated at the fact that all my work seems to be getting blown away by the wind. I can feel lost in my disillusionment and frustration of not even knowing how to help myself. Or, I can fight for joy. I can commit to seeing the good and seeing past what is in front of me. I can continue to hope and believe that it does get better.
- Life is not a race. It’s not a race to figure things out, to get to the end of the year, or to have it all together. It’s not a race to the top, or to the power, or to success. I have to believe that this first year of teaching is actually helping me learn and improve. I have to believe that where I am at right now is where I need to be, and I don’t need to be at the “finish line” right this second.
- Recognize what you have done. I have to recognize what I have done, the success I have experienced, the changes and growth I have seen in my students. If anything else, I have to see it. If it doesn’t mean anything to anybody else and if nobody ever sees or values what I have done, I have to be the one to see it and value it and treasure it. I can’t be looking to other people to point out or name or recognize the things I’ve done. I have to be able to see it for myself.
There has to be beauty in the current standing of where we are at. There has to be purpose. There has to be a reason. And we have to be the ones to see it for ourselves.