NOT a Dream Deferred :)

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I posted a while ago about making decisions in life and potentially not being ready, and since then, I’ve continued to think about where I’d like for my life to go. I’ve always been a dreamer, but as I’ve grown and matured, my expectations have become more realistic. I still dream but my dreams are definitely attainable. I feel like I’m becoming more sure of what I want in life as it continues, and while some might keep their dreams or plans private, I don’t mind sharing mine because I’ve actually reached a point of excitement about a long term plan I have formed in my mind.

The first goal in my life is to return to teaching. I taught high school English for two years in 2005-2007 and after a period of what will be nine years outside of direct teaching (but still in education), I’m ready to get back into a classroom of my own and be in charge. I was fulfilling a passion when I worked as a one-on-one assistant with a little girl who had a physical disability, but my county needed me in another position in a high school setting, so I returned to the exact high school where I had started teaching but I began doing something I’d never done before. I’m still in a position at the high school, and while I enjoy my position and its purpose, I don’t feel it’s the best personal fit for me. I’m not fulfilling MY purpose or potential 100%. However, I love working with teenagers and find a strange patience and enjoyment in being in their company. I know not everyone can tout that kind of personality trait. 🙂 Some will say that you’re not supposed to advertise leaving your current job, but it’s no secret to my boss. He knows my past teaching experience and my wishes to return to an English classroom, and he’s quite supportive. So I don’t really fear an issue with expressing my career objective. I want to be an English teacher again; I want to impart knowledge and cultivate students on a higher level than with what I do now. I continue to hope and pray that after this school year is over, a door will open for me to go back into teaching in the next school year. If you are reading this and are a believer of prayer, please pray that I’m led to where I’m meant to be.

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On another front, I know that I previously talked about the pressure or influence from others to grow my family. I have gone through highs and lows of feeling totally confident in having another child or feeling absolutely terrified of having another child. As Ella Grace continues to get older, I am paying attention to the age gap that would occur between her and any potential sibling. There are large age gaps between my siblings and me, and I personally don’t want children who are far apart in age. In thinking about my own experience as a child, I feel like my sister was more of a second mother to me because she was almost nine years older than me. It’s just now that I’m older and a wife and mother myself that the two of us act more like sisters and are in more of an equal phase of life. As a result of this, if Ella Grace ever had a sibling, I wouldn’t want her to be so much older that she was like a second mother. So I know that as I continue to wait and mull over the possibilities, the age gap only continues to grow. I think about this and begin to feel more persuaded that if Ella Grace is going to have a sibling at all, I can’t keep waiting for years and years. I wonder if this will come down to the issue I discussed in a previous post: in life, we might just have to make decisions whether we’re ready or not. No, I’d never be ready for discomforts of pregnancy again, the sheer pain and agony of a C-section recovery, fumbling through an effort at breastfeeding that ultimately failed last time, sleepless nights, ravaged hormones and emotions, and everything else that comes with a new baby before things start to get easier and more manageable again. And while some would say it’d all be easier because I’ve done it before, I say no, not necessarily because now I’d be doing it with a new baby AND the other child I already have. But despite the fear and worry, I feel more that becoming a mother for a second time is what I’m meant to do. The persuasion I’m feeling from within myself doesn’t make it a definite in the near future. I don’t even have a time frame mapped out for that kind of life decision, and as a matter of fact, Andrew and I will continue to plan to NOT have a baby until we feel a stronger confidence that the time is right. But again, I’m always thinking about the age gap in potential children and how this decision will ultimately affect Ella Grace, too.

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And lastly, in thinking about a family expansion, I think about our home. Would our home be the best fit if another child came along? Could it hold us all anymore? Andrew and I have talked about this and feel that if we have another child, our current house would be overrun, having fulfilled everything it could for us. It’d be time to move on. We don’t take this kind of life decision lightly. Some people may bounce from house to house and love the chronic experience of moving, fixing up, and decorating, but not us. We bought our current house in November of 2006, so next year will be the full decade anniversary of our occupancy in it. We were young when we bought it – only 23 years old – and it was the first major purchase either of us had made in life. It fit our wishes and wants at the time, but as we’ve continued to grow and change, our wants have evolved as well. Our sweet and beautiful little house doesn’t fulfill all of those wants and doesn’t allow for alteration to create the changes we want, so that leaves us to consider moving. I’ve always enjoyed looking at real estate and home design, so the idea of finding a house to meet the desires of the family is fun for me. Right after we bought our current house, and for several years after, I was so content that I totally dropped my hobby of browsing realty websites and listings. In the past year, I’ve picked up the hobby/habit again, and I dream about a house out there that will hold us as we continue to grow and change. When we do move (whenever that happens), I’ll miss our current house terribly. It has contained so many moments and memories, and I’ll always remember it as the house where my marriage to Andrew grew and strengthened and where Ella Grace came home after birth and experienced so many firsts in her life. I pray that our next house will hold just as many, if not more, blessings and beautiful experiences that our current house has.

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So what does all of this mean? I suppose that in the cycles of life’s events and progression, we’re approaching a cycle of change. Thinking about these potentials means that I’m not done growing and improving myself – I know that my blessings and happiness can be even more if I have the faith and persistence it will take to achieve bigger and better things.

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