Thursday, May 24, 2007

big news, a dream, and other musings

~ Auspicious: promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable; favored by fortune
~ Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident


Come, celebrate with me!

We're opening a bottle of the beloved rose, with good reason.

I left This High School a little early today, hoping for a phone call waiting at home. At least, this was my excuse. I didn't think I'd know so soon. I had been so confident for a good period of time, slipping when I talk about this job at Local High School as if I already had it, then I began to realize I might be jinxing myself, ruining my chances. I had thought I would certainly have had it until today, when a feeling in the pit of my stomach began to fester, thinking: You are too confident. You won't have it and then what will you tell everyone? This is your fault for announcing to the world you had an interview in the first place; you should have kept it a secret so you wouldn't have to reveal the bad news. But the interview team was "very impressed with [me]" and the principal said she doesn't usually do this over the phone, but she'd like to recommend me to the board for employment!!! (Ack, I almost never use more than one exclamation point: I tell my students, if it is exclaimed, your words should send forth that sense of excitement or urgency and not your overdone punctuation. But, I think, this is an occasion to YELL: I GOT THE JOB!!!!) I will be officially employed as a high school English teacher next year (and my commute will be six minutes) (and I won't have to do any drama if I don't want to). I shrieked when I got to the point in the message that said, "I would like to recommend you for employment" and had to stop the message because I wouldn't catch her cell number to call her back (her, I love the my principal is a her). And I haven't told some of the most important people (only my father and my fiance, my best friend and my beloved Chris know, and I want my mother and Emily (oh, if only I could just bring her with me!) to know before I post this--don't want them to find out because they happened to read my blog at the right/wrong time). I just want to do a little happy dance!! Actually, I just want to keep doing my happy dance. Wiggle, wiggle.

And I keep thinking, as I am going through this transformation: lucky life, oh lucky life. (I can't find the post to your ruminations, but here we are lucky indeed.)

And here is my refrain: I didn't leave This High School (instead I had to be budget cut) because I wasn't brave enough to make that choice, to chase after my dreams. Local High School has a one year opening. I can teach for a year, an occupation that is complicated but essentially is a good one, and have a chance at graduate school. Maybe there will be a chance again at my teaching at this school again, especially I've made a good impression and I've worked my way through an MFA in poetry. When I was told they could not renew my contract at This High School, I accepted it in those first few minutes, but cried like I have never cried before just after, our department head having to cover my creative writing class. I think babies cry this way--in a manner that does not allow breathing, that leads us to hiccuping and gasping. She was so good to me to cover my restless class of seniors who refuse to do anything given the opportunity, so good to me to root me on in finding a new job. I get bleary eyed when I think of my department who are a sympathetic bunch, who have hopes for me, whose hearts I carried with me into that interview room. My chin trembles as I write this: I will miss them. I made a best friend there, I put women and men up on a podium and looked up, up to them (Lisa, Derek, Janelle, Teri, Paula, Kathy, Jay, etc.), wanting to become a better teacher because of them. They will forever be my favorites, those that helped me up, helped me raise my head up after a rough first few weeks as a teacher without training wheels. (I can remember almost-crying to Derek and how he told me that I had to take those moments that made me feel brought down, how to take that frustration and turn it around, turn me into a better teacher. Lordy bagordy, as K would say, how that helped me. How his sitting across from me as I told him about how my juniors that first year were so foreign to me and how he told me his own mistakes and that made me feel better. Someone so good could have trouble too. We all do. And how that brightened me up as I faced another day.)

Oh, you will hear many dedicated ruminations on this school and my department in the days to come. The countdown has begun whipping by, there are days left now, not weeks. I am ready to say good-bye to this place, but I'm so bad at these departures.

Last night, a dream: I was at This High School, on a tour with a clump of people, but we were potential students, and it was a new beginning. I think it had a more university-feel to the coursework, and I knew these were my classmates. My mother waited in the office, a baby carrier at her feet. In that carrier was a little infant girl, and she was mine, and I was only eighteen. It was so joyous and I knew I was supposed to feel shameful because of my age, but I didn't. I was glowing and definitely proud; I brought her out, wanting people to glance over and ask, "Oh, is she yours?" My little dream-daughter, with soft dark hair, carried on my hip as I walked through the dean's office, then to the auditorium. (And, of course, because this is a dream and strange things happen, the baby became slippery and I nearly-dropped her on several occasions and at some point, she turned into my beloved cat Gatsby, sharp claws and all. Perhaps Gatsby was snuggling with me during this dream as he is wont to do.)

I woke up, all glowy-warm from the baby-dream. Then I felt a bit sad: I'd been anticipating our wedding so much, wanting this for a while, and here I am, looking to the next big step. Reminds you of the gloriousness of approaching events: I am getting married to the man I adore. We'll have kids after, but for now, look to that day with the big dress!

These are good things in my life (to just begin, so much else):

- Meeting K. Falling in love just weeks after we've met. He said it first, too--that scary L-word. Just within a month or two of our first date. I readily said it back. We knew it then, I think. Nearly eight years later, I have a ring on my finger and so soon, I will be his wife. I think having a partner in life that you know you want to grow old with is the luckiest of all. That person wanting to grow old with you right back is incredible.
- My girl friends. (And the opportunity for a big ol' estrogenfest with my shower and bachelorette party this summer.) Kelly, Chelsea, Megan, Chris, Nikki, Emily, Angie. This, my lovely wedding party. And so many more: Mandy, Evonne, Kim, Jen, Beth, Kristin, Eireann, Karen, and on and on again. And these women have accomplished so much, making me so proud to be their friend. A book published, a fellowship earned, an exotic trip, a baby born, a marriage witnessed, a move captured, these intelligent, bright women, all so jubilantly a part of my life. I think every woman knows the importance of girl friends. I think every woman could curl up with them, write long letters, send them care packages, pick them spring blooms, bake them chocolate cake, and it would not be enough. Simply, my love and hope for them too. So many women buoying me up (my phrase du jour), so many women keeping me going, so many women who have hoped for the best.
- Speaking of which, family. Good Lord, am I lucky with my own and with the one I am marrying into. I think this is sinful, how lucky I am in this department. I know my own has their collection of trifles, but also their rooting has gotten me here. And I can't describe how happy I was to get K's mother's email just after finding out about the job, the immediate cheer coming from across the state, the way my heart rose at this support. Am amazing women, she is.

- I know this may seem silly to all you non-pet-owners, but seriously, the four furry companions we have bring me great amounts of happiness. I have Penelope at my feet, damp from a second day of drizzle, her head against my thigh, the cats in the corner. Gatsby, our Siamese, is like a third puppy. Libby curls up against me and pushes my books from my hands in want of affection (I know others don't see this side, but to me, Libby is a cuddler... you know, with me and sometimes K as well). Zephyr, well, he's cute. Um. :) And pretty good, even though I wish our coffee table didn't have those teeth marks and my interview shoes weren't chewed at the heel (thank goodness it was after my Local High School interview and thank goodness my interview outfit somehow still fit).
- Our home. I love this house. Built in 1890, this house has seen a lot of love (and a lot of other emotions, but I like love the most--love and passion and lust and care and compassion and us). This house belongs to us, our first house, with a garden and a front porch and a back patio and three plus bedrooms, two dens, and a basement that frightens me. Our house, with our paint on the wall and our pets' fur embedded in the carpet. Our house that we have replaced locks on, changed thermostats on, slapped paint onto, and broken in. Our house, with plants on the porch, with trees in the basement, with a squirrel we have nicknamed Carl outdoors. The blue trim and the lace curtains that have finally gone (not on the porch just yet, but this might be my big aesthetic change after the summer, the big job of replacing lace curtains with bamboo shades).

- My mind. For a few years there, I had forgotten its big passion: writing. For a few years, my main focus was surviving teaching, and I think, looking back, that was probably good, because I needed all that reserved energy to simply survive the pattern of high school instruction. Now, I've been taking classes at the Loft, I've been writing in my notebook, I've even been asked to join a writing group. Hope for further education: MFA, Ph.D.
- Good luck. The chance of the fibroadenoma reminding me to enjoy life, to not take things for granted. The chance of the local one-year position. The chance of working with all the students I've worked with thus far, the ones in the future. The chance of meeting K in the first place, which wasn't supposed to happen, not for either of us to be in town or in those circumstances that summer. Or rather, it was supposed to happen, but it wasn't in the plans.
- The wide world around us. This makes me want to spread my arms open and dance in circles. The green of spring, the anticipation of travel (specifically: camping, girl friend trip, honeymoon), the small details, the shape of daily life.

And a link that I have stumbled onto while reading other blogs: Above the Mark: rubber stamps

Currently, the blog I am exploring is: :luckyjuju:

Just added to the sidebar: supermaggie! and Lotta Jansdotter

5 comments:

Angie said...

I'm so happy for you. Welcome to the 'it takes 5 minutes to get to work' club. We'll have to celebrate while we're out camping.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the job! Good news all around! ^_^

K.R.

michelle said...

Congrats!!! I'm very happy for you! :)

(sorry....I meant to say Congrats! :))

eireann said...

congratulationnnnnns!

Liz said...

The happiness is just STREAMING out of you, it's getting all over EVERYTHING! :D Yay!