A couple of weeks ago, I asked the principal of the middle school where I teach English if I could speak with him in his office. I walked in, closed the door, and sat down. My heart was pounding, and I grinned stupidly the way I always do when I’m nervous. My voice shook as I told him, “I have to tell you something you probably aren’t going to like to hear.”
“Oh no….” He looked worried.
“I’m not coming back next year.”
“Well…shoot,” he replied, and I felt a mixture of sympathy and guilt because I knew how proud he was of our school’s success over the past five years, particularly in the English department, and that my resignation would be a blow.
A few days later, I told my students, who begged me to stay and demanded to know why I had to leave. And while I did my best to convey to these seventh graders that change is an inevitable part of life, and that for me, this change would be a good thing, and pointed out that they would all be going on with their lives and leaving me at the end of the school year anyway, it was difficult to put my reasoning into words because I don’t exactly know yet what “the plan” is.
At this point, there are multiple avenues open to my husband Josiah and me, and we still don’t know which is the best road to take to reach our goal of being financially free to devote our time and energy to our passions. But I do know for certain that that the current teaching phase of my life, a phase which has been difficult and tedious at times but has ultimately been tremendously valuable in helping me grow as a person, has reached an end.
Change is nothing new for me. I recently counted that so far I have called fifteen addresses, three countries, three of the United States, and seven cities “home”. Change is usually bittersweet, but so far, each change has brought with it not only new challenges but also joys I could never have imagined.
Even though it’s somewhat risky to quit my job without knowing for sure what money will pay the bills after my last check in August, my experience so far has been that the answer always presents itself just before I need it–and no sooner.
So, in this season of change, in spite of the risks, and in spite of some wistfulness at the ending of a career at which I have worked hard to succeed, more than anything, I am excited.