Coming to grips with reality- a tall order at the moment

My intention for applying to a doctoral program in education hinged on one important point- that I am not running away. There is way too much at stake, way too many pieces of my heart left behind, and far too many untenable practicalities in the profession that need to be remedied. My declaration stems from the fear, not that no one can’t teach my class as well or even better than I, but that they might not. And, how would I live with that? I would be sure to bring these loose ends with me, be sure to create a culture of learning that necessitates the impact of real classroom situations, thus allowing me to keep affecting my classroom, my students and colleagues for the better.

I have been successful in my efforts to become a doctoral student (not, a doctoral candidate- a recently learned distinction for me, and one of many distinctions sure to follow). I’ve been awarded funding and I am moving into what could be called a whole new chapter of life. Things are happening. Changes are here.

I’ve been stewing in this information for the last several weeks, attempting a grasp on my situation, because it seems not to have mattered how much time and effort I spent towards preparing before I found out that I could, and them committed to go. Thoughts of the future have been mighty sureal for me, as I’ve moved from the realm of possibility to the realm of certainty. And, I’m  finally moving out of denial and into the phase where I am allowed to see things as they are.

And behind it all is this amazing feeling that this change, this big teaching transition, is the only way forward for me, like a logical next step. This feeling alone is very jarring to me. Working in public education, any “next step” has, for many years now, felt far too far away to even consider.

So now, here I am, fearful yet riveted, compelled to act and longing for more time to hold on to what I have. I felt this way once before. Standing on top of a dam trying to muster the courage to jump off and into the water below. Except it wasn’t courage that I was trying to muster. I was ready, and very willing to feel the rush of the wind on my face, to lose the position of the world for a while, to drop into the pool and feel the weight all around. I was just having trouble letting go of what I had, the righted world, the weight on my feet. I didn’t jump from the dam that day, but I would later on, and with much less hesitation. I think that I realized that I didn’t need to completely let go of one feeling for the other. I could have both, and in fact each feeling was essential for the enjoyment of the other.

So, I’m not running away nor am I running to, but running with. I’m gonna run with it, bring my experiences with me, let them inform my purpose and my direction, while I feel the rush of the wind and dive right in.

photo credit: <a href=”″>A kid in summer</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


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