Sunrises and sunsets.
A lot of reading.
I threw away my to-do list. I went for my to-be list: be present, be mindful, be still, be calm, be at peace.
I shared on Facebook last evening that vacation does wonders for the mind and body.
And the kind of vacation I did – unbeknownst to me – would end up being a game-changer.
Taking a Step Back Really Does Give You a Fresh Perspective…
As you know, I’ve spent the last year doing writing, photography and art.
And I’ve really liked it…mostly.
It’s one of those things where I gave myself permission to be creative.
But, if I’m entirely honest, I didn’t deeply enjoy this last year.
I felt like it was more like a self-imposed year of asceticism and…a certain amount of suffering. Because I’ve mentioned it in other posts, I won’t go too much into it here.
But I will share that it sent me into a “searching” mode.
I was searching for myself: my true calling, what I was “supposed” to do, where I was supposed to be, why I wan’t progressing very much with my writing (at least I felt like), why I couldn’t seem to get it together to sell my art or photography more effectively, why I hadn’t gotten more freelance gigs. Little did I know, those answers would come....
I was going to try to blog and write while I was down at the beach. But as I was working under the pavilion at the campground on day 2, my laptop lost its charge and the only place to “plug in” were the bathhouses. Ugh.
Plus, I had 4 kids who randomly came up to me, invariably surrounding me with questions: what I was doing, questions about my dog (who was sitting beside me), and they just wanted to tell stories. They were kinda cute, actually.
I think I met Honey Boo Boo…
They were an interesting mix of kiddos: one looked like Honey Boo Boo (I think – I don’t watch that show), and the three other kids were from Mexico.
I sort of wanted Honey Boo Boo to leave me alone, I admit: she kept wanting to wrestle my dog and would complain loudly when he wrestled back and gnawed on her hands.
With the other kids, their faces lit up when we started talking in Spanish. They lived there at the campground in their motor home with their mother and helped her during the summers as she cleaned, maintained and otherwise helped keep the campground looking spiffy.
Needless to say, I accepted it as a sign that I should probably “sign off” for the week. I was on vacation anyways, right? Besides, when I got home, my laptop had literally fried itself. It had been on its last legs for awhile; apparently, the beach made it go on permanent vacation.
Day 4: The Game-Changer
While building a fire and having taken two naps (!) and reading a chunk of philosophical books (I’m a nerd like that), my mind began to light up with possibilities for my immediate future.
You see, I recently blogged about getting back into teaching.
I didn’t know how much I needed it. I needed the people, the interaction and the challenge of becoming part of a community. I needed to sing, laugh, dance and wear sombreros for fun…I mean work.
Then I thought, I work part time at the school – with the possibility of going full-time as the school grows.
That gives me time to…finish my Master’s Degree.
It was like my brain lit up. I was thinking about how long it would take me, how I’ve always stayed in touch with my professors, and it would give me that extra authority I’d need when confronting educational leaders about decisions relating to language and development. And, holy cow, I’ve been teaching going on eight years, with only a six-month break.
Then I thought about the ebooks I want to write, and the units I want to create, the Spanish-language blog I want to work on…
All of a sudden, this past year made sense: I left one frustrating teaching job that burned me out on teaching, but that would send me on a path of personal discovery, which would enable me to be open-minded about teaching in a spiritual community, and would ignite my quintessential passion for working with people again…which would then lead me to better myself with an advanced degree.
I immediately emailed my professor to tell her I was interested in continuing.
Then, I thought about more possibilities: teaching would allow me to continue writing. On the side. For fun. With no pressure.
The Final Sign…
Yesterday, I went to a friend’s house who was having a garage sale.
Suddenly, one of the first professors I had while getting my Spanish degree (yes, yes, my second bachelor’s…I DO like school, dang it) walked up to me.
Do you ever think about the Law of Synchronicity? If things are meant to happen, they align themselves to create the opportunity for you….
This particular professor hasn’t been teaching at the university where I’m getting my master’s – for at least the past five years: Appalachian State. (Yes, that is pronounced: A-puh-la’-chunn.) ASU is located two hours away from where I live, mind you. And she moved to Iowa to complete her PhD.
She just “happened” to be in town for a wedding.
I just “happened” to drive into Asheville – 40 minutes away from where I live – to go to my friend’s house – on a whim, no less – whom I hadn’t seen in about six months, anyways.
And we ended up meeting on her front lawn at the same garage sale at the exact same time.
My professor and I started talking about me finishing my Master’s and she looked at me and said, “you’re a third of the way there. The rest of it will be a breeze. You need to finish it. If I’m completing my PhD, you can finish your Master’s and it will open a lot of doors for you.”
I stared at her, with my jaw hanging open.
What are the chances?
The Summer Institute is starting at the University two hours away on July 1. After some quick paperwork, I may be deep in the throes of the mundo hispanohablante (the Spanish-speaking world) in two weeks.
Oh, and yes, that means there will be changes with this blog…I have no idea what this looks like, yet, and if I’ll really be in classes in two weeks. I’ll definitely let you know.