I am packing.
More like getting ready to pack. I am packing to go somewhere. Where? I don’t yet know. A year from now I will be settled into some other classroom in some other school somewhere in this city. At least that’s the plan. Job postings aren’t out yet. So I have no idea on most of this.
I have two feet firmly planted in the day to day intensity of what I do. But I also have a few feet walking in circles in the land of unknown possibility. Pacing. Circling. Wondering. I have a toe reaching out to imagine other places. A younger grade? An older class? I have restless feet that don’t know how to be still.
Clearly, I don’t have enough feet.
My head is full of a soundtrack that I need subtitles to understand. Or a “how to think about it all” manual. Like swirling clouds on a fast wind, all of this speeds by while I stand in a frozen sort of limbo. I am no longer tethered to this place that has been such a part of my life. But as I don’t belong anywhere else yet, I am still so very, very home in this classroom, in this school, where I have worked for more than two decades. This is who I am. But soon, very soon, it won’t be. I still belong but I almost don’t.
I am walking quickly on an unclear path.
I am standing sideways where I have always been.
I am twirling slowly looking for a new center.
I am all kinds of lost.
I go through the motions of beginning to pack. It is more about pretending to be productive. Attempting to find a movement train and jumping aboard.
Packing right now is not yet about boxes. It is about sorting. About shifting – piles and energy. I stop often and just stand in the middle of my classroom and take it all in. Maybe somehow if I look at everything just the right way, I will find clarity.
I need to know which way I am turning.
It needs to be more than just away.
Those unreal goodbyes need to begin.
I will hold them tight and then let them go.
We can’t really capture where we’ve been until we are pointed in a new direction.
Just being in it is too murky. Too much of not yet.
I feel dizzy standing still.
Stepping into tomorrow is becoming more about the unknown than the known. One foot in front of the other. Moving away while still here. Looking at nothing through cloudy glass.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.
My heart aches for you Carrie. You have brought me into this limbo you are inhabiting. It’s difficult enough to move at the best of times. Not knowing adds its own level of disturbance. It’s true, “We can’t really capture where we’ve been until we are pointed in a new direction.” I wish you good luck with all my heart!
Thank you, thank you Cheriee. Means so much to know that you are in my corner.
Well, I am feeling so many emotions for you, my friend. On one hand, I feel your hesitation and fear of the unknown – a large gaping hole in the solid ground you have walked on for so many years. However, knowing the little I know about your situation, I believe that this is the best decision you could have made for yourself and your family. Change is hard, but change is good. You will get through this, and come out the other side stronger and more positive. The goodness of you has been worn down. Your light has been temporarily dimmed by the difficulties you have faced. But your light is bright and you will shine stronger than ever when the negative energy is no longer casting a shadow. If I can help you in any way when the postings come out, let me know. Thinking of you and sending you hugs and my hope for a skip in your step as your feet walk through the door of new chapter.
I might very well contact you when postings come out. Such a process. Thank you for this very caring comment Adrienne.
I can only imagine the reason for your change but I know this is the right thing. Taking us through the angst of your unknown knowing you must go towards it. The waiting is the hardest. You are a person of action and that makes it painful. I completely understand the ” shifting – piles and energy.” My heart is with you on your journey, knowing you will land in a place that will nurture your teacher soul.
Thank you Julieanne. I appreciate your kind words.
I hope you know soon so you can take time to plant yourself in your new teaching space… Ugh what a tough place to be… I so feel for you Carrie.
I appreciate your kindness.
Oof, that in between time is soooo hard! It is especially hard to say goodbye when you do not know what is next, so you do have an unsettled heart and mind. Sending you strength as you make this hard transition- knowing that wherever you land will be so lucky to have you!
Many thanks Erika! Much appreciated.
Such honest feelings shared here beautifully. This is so cliche but change is good. I do wonder why you are moving and hope it’s on happy terms of sorts because this next journey could be harder if it’s not. Find peace, look for opportunities, and bless you for having patience.
It might be cliche but I know it is true, change is good. It’s the not quite there part that is so challenging.
This is raw and hard and honest and beautiful writing. You bring us right into your heart. I am sorry for the limbo, but hopeful that the change will be just what you need. Read Linda Baie’s post today- I think you will like the poem.
That poem was exactly what I needed! Thank you Lisa.
Sometimes, the best things come out of being all kinds of lost. Because, I have a feeling that you have a North Star, you know where you want to go and why. I’m staying tuned in to your journey, Carrie.
How I love this comment.
I wish you lived across town so I could come help in some way, have been thinking of you, sending good wishes for this tough time. One step, then the next as I’m sure you know. There is a class of children waiting for a caring teacher, and you will be that for them. Many hugs winging north to you, Carrie!
I happily catch them all Linda. Thank you.
I am at the other end of this road. I changed jobs 5 times in the last 5 years, always within the same building, until this year. I’m reflecting at the end of my first year in a new place and it is a good place to be.I hope your journey has as happy a result as mine.
I sure hope so too!
Leaving the comfort of the known is so difficult, but sometimes so necessary. You will find your way. Your heart is ready for the change. Best of luck, any school will be lucky to get you.
Thank you so much Elsie. I am ready. Mostly.
I’ve been meaning to check in with you. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts. Let us know if you need anything even if it’s just to listen!
How I love that I have so much support – thank you, thank you.
This resonates deeply with me today, although the circumstance is a bit different. I have a direction to go in, but am not sure if I am really ready to leave where I am. Your writing, as always, is lovely, and captures all the uncertainty of the between stages.
I wish you luck and big calming breaths!
Good luck with your new venture! Those first few steps are always scary.
Oh my goodness — your writing is incredible. The craft – creates tone, mood, and pace. I love how you focused on your feet – so often we think about needed more hands – feet was more powerful in this piece. I have no doubt you will made extraordinary things happen no matter where you go — I am wondering if maybe, in some ways, it is better you don’t know. Close in endings are always more powerful — not knowing is causing you to live a close in ending and you will bring it to life! Savor this moment– it will propel you into the next….
Clare – thank you for this. I keep reading it and thinking . . .
Your post reminds me of how I felt when I was getting ready to pack up my classroom in NYC to head to RI. Granted, I knew where I was going, but it was going to be so different than where I was. That said, I can still empathize with you. Change is good. It may not be easy, but I can tell you’re ready for this.
I think so. Most of the time. Thanks Stacey!
Change is always difficult and scary, but can also be exciting. New opportunities await, fresh new faces and new minds to mold. I’ve not known you long, and only through your blog, but I have a feeling that you’re going to be just fine. But that darn waiting….UGH!
Much appreciated Lauri. Thank you for your comments and care.
Even in your confused, unsettled state, you manage to produce writing that makes me impatient, to rush through to the end so I can know what happens, only to start again and reread so that I don’t miss anything. Fabulous reflection, raw emotion, confused-of course. But your soul knows where it should be and you will arrive.
I feel so lucky to have written something that has gifted me with such kindness and wisdom in the comments. Thank you!
You’re welcome. But, it is true. 🙂
Teacher packing is like no other packing imaginable. And the sorting – what to keep, what to give to someone else, what will no longer be used because technology has replaced it, what is so good that no matter if it is “too old” – it will be kept because it is so good, what things to label “unpack first” so you can find it when you need it right away when school starts . . . I have been tempted to leave my current job because it is just so hard. But I stay because the moving is even more difficult! Thank you for your writing this year. I admire your teaching and your ability to write about the wonders of children and literacy. I know you’ll do the same with any job that comes next.
Susan, thank you! Such a process this is, you are right!
So hard to stand still when your mind is zooming all about. Packing is such a commitment. Best of luck as your next steps become clearer.
Thank you Mary Ann.
Wherever you are going, there are students waiting. They will be lucky to have you as their teacher. 🙂
You are very kind Susan. Thank you!