Monday, September 26, 2016

I Don't Know.

It's almost October in my final year of college. By January, I'll be student teaching. By May, I'll be licensed with a diploma. And it's all so exciting to dream about what might come. I love to dream about it for hours. Until someone asks that ever dreaded question...

So Bethany... What are your plans after this? 

And I'm torn between several answers. The reality of what I want (which everyone thinks is crazy), the many probable and stable options (which everyone is quick to recommend), and the truth that I have absolutely no earthly idea (which no one allows themselves to accept). They offer advice. They tell stories of their personal experiences. All of which is fine and dandy until I bring up one important piece of information: I'm not them. 

God's plan for me might look different than His plan for them. Do they like that answer? Nope. Do they withhold any more of their opinions because of this new piece of knowledge? Nope. But has it ever really been their place to chime in? Hah... Nope.

So to answer those questions for any reader who's waiting to ask... What grade do I want to teach? I don't know. What city do I plan to teach in? I don't know. What school will I get a job in after this? I don't know. Will I go to grad school? I don't know. (Though I am currently applying, and am waiting for admission. Fingers crossed.)

So that opens up more questions. Will I work while I get my Master's? I don't know. Probably. Really? Where? Public school? Or something with less hours until I get the degree? Will I start gaining experience while in pursuit of another degree? A-hem. Didn't you hear me?

I don't know.

Oh. Well in a perfect world... What would you want? 

*Pauses to take a deep breath.* In a perfect world, I would fly to New York City to attend a job fair in April. I would land a job in a preschool classroom, and fly up again over the summer to secure an apartment close to said job. I would return home to pack up my apartment and move. I would use June to set up my new apartment. I would use July to set up my classroom. I would take the beginning of August to attend teacher trainings and get my teaching license transferred. I would start my job when school starts, spending my free weekends walking around the city and entering the Broadway lotteries. I suppose a few years after that I would meet an awesome man, get married, move out of the city into the suburbs so it would be safer to raise my own kiddos.

Wow! the questioners will respond, Why NYC? Do you really think you can live there? Do you think you'd make enough money to support yourself? How do you plan on moving? How do you plan on securing a job? How many interviews will consider you flying out for? Would you consider moving to transition cities to make the leap of faith easier? Why is this so important to you? Would you move with a few months' support in order to secure a job? Or would you attempt to battle finding a job before you moved into an apartment? What would grad school look like with you in New York? 

And I'll flash a big smile and bat my eyelashes. Can you guess my answer? Yep...

I don't know.

Does it give me an anxiety attack every day? Yep. Do your innocent questions help me out any with that? Nope.

I'm still trying to figure it all out while also enjoying my last year of college. That's what the last year is for. Do I have all the answers? No. I don't have any. And that's okay. Yes, I'm examining all my options. Yes, I'm listening to your advice (with no promises that I'll take it). Yes, I'm trying to make what I want happen because I would never forgive myself if I didn't at least try. But I'm letting go and letting God. Trust me. I want to know the answers just as much as you do, but unfortunately, sometimes He makes us wait a little while. When He reveals it to me, you'll be the first to know.

Just know that I don't have the luxury to sit around all day and think about my future. I'm trying to sort this out while pushing up to 20 credit hours when you count my student teaching practicums with my lectures. That doesn't count guard practice, which I get one credit hour for but spend at least ten hours a week rehearsing. I work. I babysit. I blog three times a week. I send out newsletters, market, promote, and update all social media sites for the blog on a weekly basis. My grad school application isn't done. Neither is my teacher certification tasks, prompts, or paperwork. I spend time in my bible and journal at least once a day. I pray every time I'm speeding somewhere in my car for the hope of a peaceful mind.

This post isn't me throwing myself a pity party. It's me attempting to do something about it all.

I'm too stressed. I'm too tired. It's too much. I like to pretend I'm superwoman, but man. I can't do it all. After all, I'm only human. I don't remember the last time I ate a meal without running somewhere. I don't remember the last time I watched a movie without also doing homework. I definitely don't remember the last time I went out for a dinner or a night with my friends.

One of the biggest aspects of self love is self care. One of the best ways to show yourself and the world that you love your soul and the body it lives in, is to take care of that soul and the body it lives in. Yes, you should feed it healthily. Yes, you should rest it often. But you should also eliminate unnecessary stressors that are taking a toll on it and you.

As much as I don't want to, I am cutting back to writing once a week again. I will also cut back my weekly newsletter to once a month. Three times a week is too much for posting, and once a week is too much to orchestrate an email when I've done nothing that week but run around like a madwoman and try to get everything done. Writing is my release. Writing is my therapy. So, the moment I begin to dread and stress drafting a post, I know it is time to cut back. I refuse to lose this awesome outlet.

One of the best aspects of blogging is having a diverse community that you built yourself, who is dedicated to supporting and encouraging your mission. One of the most difficult aspects of blogging is potentially hurting or losing a few of those readers when you begin to post less often. But, as a dear friend recently told me, you can't pour from an empty cup. 

Thank you so much for bearing with me as I get my crazy unknown life together. As a challenge, why don't you take a little break with me? Cut out a little something this week you can use to give yourself a little free time. And as a reward? You'll be the first to know the updates and answers to all those previously listed questions.

As soon as I have the answers, of course.

Catch ya next week, beautiful.

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