There's nothing like the passing of a loved one to make you take stock of your life, especially the things that are most important to you. It also makes the regrets that much sharper and clearer.
With all of that weighing down on me, I've taken careful inventory of the pantry of my life. There were a lot of dusty cans and boxes that I pushed to the back of the shelves like so much creamed corn. Some of them were labeled things like "Staying In Touch With Relatives" or "Sending Holiday Cards". I've dusted each one off and have promised myself not to let them be forgotten again.
One of the biggest, bulkiest boxes I've pulled out was "Career". This is one that that gets neglected the most often in the crush of needing to pay bills and take care of day to day duties. In the box are my dreams of being a teacher and a writer, resting next to my hard earned English Literature degree. It's this box that I have made the most demanding promise to tackle.
The one thing that is standing in the way of my dreams of teaching, is an official state issued teaching certification. While I was in college, I was all set up to earn this in conjunction with my English degree. Unfortunately, with the demands of being a single parent at that time, I just couldn't finish the educational portion of my degree. I told myself that would be fine, that I could just find a job teaching at a private high school that didn't require teaching certification.
Little did I know what a pipe dream that was. Out in the real world, even private schools want certifications, or experience equivalent to one. After an ambitious round of job applications, I put my teaching dreams in a box and shelved them. I pursued jobs in publishing, but in Maine, these are few and far between, and even with my degree and previous experience, I was denied time and again. With that, those ambitions were tossed into the same box, and shoved out of sight, out of mind, while I took the best job I could in order to pay the bills.
And here I am now, with I job that is frustrating, and out of my field. While it is rewarding, and does pay the bills, there is no future for me where I am now. It's not what I worked four long years to achieve. It's not my dream.
Now there is an opportunity staring me in the face. At a local college, they offer an intensive program for people who already have a four year degree to earn their teaching certification in just 9 months. It's a grueling dawn till dusk program, and I wouldn't be able to hold a job while I was in it. I contemplated applying last year, but chickened out and missed the deadline. I told myself that it was impossible.
But now, after staring at this box, dust covered, and brimming with faded, but powerful dreams, I tell myself it is possible. If GH can find a decent job, and I can pull off some serious student loans, it could happen. It would mean sacrifice for all of us, but in the end, it would pay off, I just know it.
The first application deadline is January 9th. There's little time to make it on that first list. I've emailed former professors who have promised me the required letters of recommendation. Today, I took the ultimate step and called to arrange to take the required Praxis exam on January 7th. It was a large chunk of money, and it's right at the deadline, so I have one shot to pass, to get it right.
So I'm doing it. No more giant dusty boxes. Life is to short to not be doing what I love, what I've always dreamed of. No more boxes, tins, or cans of regret.