May 10, 2012

Taking a Deep Breath

You remember how it felt when you jumped into that cold lake or first dip into an early summer pool? You stood at the edge, bracing yourself for the shock of the cold water. You wanted to jump in, but something held you back. You weren't afraid necessarily, it was more of knowing that you would be jolted by the coldness of the water, and that you would come up shivering! Moreover, you knew that as you jumped in, you would silently pass from normal to extreme, and that change was something you were not used to because it was so abrupt.

This is how I feel right now. I feel as though I am standing on the edge of the pool, wanting to wade in, or stand on the first step. I don't want to experience that jolt, that sudden change. I would rather have the change come on me slowly, even though I know that in a cold pool or lake, the change doesn't come that way. You still feel the cold creep up to your stomach, your shoulders and then finally to your head. No matter how you put it off, the cold will get to you. It is better to jump in with both feet than to try and straddle that fence and wait.

I have waited now for quite a while. I have stood on the step, wading in and around, but never really immersed myself in the pool. I have known that I needed to jump in, but I was afraid. I was afraid of the change, and what that change would do to me personally. I have had enough change in my life recently -- separation -- living in my own home, new job, etc. It is too much for me, and I don't think I can handle any more change.

The Lord knows me well. He understands how I refuse to accept change into my life, how I hold on to things so tightly, even when I know and believe it is best to let them go. He also knows how I feel when I do let them go, how the freedom swims over me like a warm bubble bath, how I relax and how I sink deeply into a state of blissful rest. Oh, how I resist change. Oh, how I love things to stay the same, even when they are not in my favor nor are they the best for me.

Can I -- no -- will I ever learn to let go of those things that are not in the best interest of my life, and embrace the coldness of change?

Change:  to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.

I am being asked to change courses, to change the way I think about my life, and to change the way I see things. It is too much change for me right now. I want to stay put, to remain on the path I am on -- even if this path is not a good one. I don't want to give up my job, my income, my benefits -- unless the next job will provide more for me. But even then, I don't want to have to start over, to learn new tasks, to figure out how to get to a new job, where to eat, what to do. I just don't want to change my life right now.

This is why I cannot finish my school work assignments. This is why I keep putting them off. I know that when I graduate I will have no excuse for not pursuing a teaching job. I have told everyone in my family, all my friends and co-workers, that I would teach once I had my Masters. I am afraid of teaching. I am afraid of not knowing what to do, how to plan a lesson, how to answer student questions. I am afraid of what it means to my life -- to finally have a career -- after so many years of doing odd jobs and whatever came my way.

I am a grown up now. I have my own life, my own place, my own car. My child is grown, and will be a Junior in college. I am, for all intents and purposes, no longer a SAHM. I am a single-Mom, a working woman, and someone who is twice graduated from college. More so, I am going to be a College Instructor, a Professor (Lord willing) who will someday have a third degree -- a PhD.

Why can I not grow up? Why I am so afraid of moving forward? Of going?

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