Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Camping in your living room

My kids love when I let them get out their sleeping bags and "camp" in the family room. Almost always, they end up in their own beds before morning, but they can barely contain their joy when I tell them that, yes, they can have a campout in the family room.

In those moments, I am the best mom ever!

I remember the times when my mom let us sleep outside on the trampoline. We only did it once or twice, but we were so excited when we did. We were having an adventure. And it took place within the safe confines of our yard and a few dozen steps from a flushing toilet.

Since my last post, more than one person has pointed out to me that I am at the start of my own adventure. Amy, just this morning, reminded me that, just because I'm not moving or quitting my job, doesn't mean that I'm not on the verge of something new and exciting. And my MOM commented on my last post reminding me of that same adventure as I start at Vermont College in July.

That forced me to look at my life and really see my new adventure, my new "Once upon a time" as Nicole likes to call it. So, maybe I'm not camping in some awesome place like Yellowstone or, I don't know, Hawaii. But I am going to have an awesome time while I camp in my own backyard (or, actually, on my bed with the door shut and locked, a sign that says, "Mom at work. Do not disturb," taped to the door) and going on a couple of sleepovers (across the country).

Maybe I'll get myself an Indiana Jones-style hat to remind myself that I, too, am having an adventure.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Left Behind

Originally uploaded by lightpainter

So, the Rapture has come and gone and I'm still here.

Okay, so are the rest of you. I think...

This spring has been a season of changes. My BFF Amy and I have taught next door to one another for 8 years. The wall between our classroom has a hole so big in it that we can pass notes, and occassionally candy, back and forth. And we IM each other constantly during the school day. We go to writing conferences together. She's my crit partner, my beta reader, and my writing group.

And now she's quitting teaching to follow her lifelong dream and go to law school.

My cousin Nicole and I are soul sisters. When we were younger, her dad joked that God knew that we would drive each other crazy if we were real sisters, so He made us cousins instead. Nicole gets me, more than any other person. And we're both trying to break out of our cocoons and become the people we know we're meant to be. When I talk to Nicole (which is not frequent enough) about how I'm feeling, about my desire for something different, about my fear of change, she KNOWS.

And she's moving from around the corner and across the street to Arizona.

I'm uber-excited for both of them! I can't wait to see where their journeys lead them, to watch them live their dreams, to become the people they're meant to be.

But I'm feeling like I'm being left behind. Much like the Rapture, the people I love the most are going to someplace better, and I'm stuck here, taking care of their pets.

Am I green with envy? Maybe I am a pale shade of sage, because I want to be going as well. No, I don't want to go to law school and I don't want to move to Arizona, but I do want to be moving forward, making big (yet scary) changes. But I'm not. Come fall, I'll still be teaching in the same room I've been in for years. I'll be living in the same valley where I've spent most of my life.

Here's the thing: I have the feeling that I haven't learned when I'm meant to learn and that's why I'm not making big, sweeping changes in my life. I just wish the Universe would tell me what it is I'm meant to learn, so I can study really hard, pass the test, and move on.

More likely, I know, is that I'm on my adventure already, but that it's a slower, more meandering kind of adventure that requires lots of little steps instead of huge strides.

I'd just like a map, you know, so I can see where I'm going, and how far along the path I already am.