I often wonder how many hours of my life I've spent waiting.  From mundane tasks such as grocery store lines to those momentous occasions of waiting for the "will you marry me Jenni" line.  I imagine the hours spent waiting are enough to fill a lot of empty trash bags.  By nature I am a go-getter.  I go 100 miles an hour all day everyday.  I am focused, goal oriented and to a fault sometimes blinded by my ambition.  Something changed the course of my life 2 years ago though.  Brought my life as I knew it and was planning it to a screeching halt quite honestly.  Because although I thought I could do it all, I quickly found out I could not.
I know the exact moment in my life this drive to incredible occurred.  I was in the 8th grade, in a hot gym assembly watching all my friends get called up for Beta club induction.  Guess whose name wasn't called?  Yep.  I was a straight B student, never a C in my life.  To be in Beta though you have to have to maintain an overall A average.  Well, from that pivotal moment on I was changed.  I was driven beyond words.  I was focused.  I was going to be incredible at everything.  I wasn't going to wait for it to happen either.  I was going to have an inner drive to succeed no matter the cost.  I have zero regrets about this moment in my life.....it has shaped me into who I am today.  But it sometimes places blinders onto what I really need to be looking around at. 

So what am I rambling on and on about?  Well here it is.  2 years ago I came on board to be the art teacher here at Mailey's school.  We moved, this art job opened up, and I took it without hesitation to keep here her at this school.  A 2 year plan.  The 2 years is up.  In 13 days.  So the question is, do I stay with this life or do I get back on track for the life I was planning and driving towards?  The life as a full-time thriving artist.  I have so many goals as an artist I want to accomplish.  So the question is, do I wait for incredible or do I make it happen?  The school has no idea this was ever my intention.  And quite honestly I love the job.  I do.  The faculty, the kids the parents....it's dreamy.  I can not imagine life without this job.

And then today this happened.  Earlier in the year I spent serious time and energy writing up development hours so I could get my art education certificate renewed.  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an add on of Art Education k-12.  Unfortunately I'd let my certificate expire over the years not teaching full-time.   My principal signed off on it all, the county signed off and away my paper work went to the state board.  I was waiting for my shiny new certificate to come in the mail any day now.  And then a very formal letter came today.   These are the gut punching words in it:  "The documents submitted are not acceptable to renew your certificate."  Breath in....breath out....breath in...breath out.

Ironically enough I mentioned to Billy last night that I was really having second thoughts about teaching anymore.  I felt I was giving up on my being an artist.  I told him I thought my being sick was due to my always being in overdrive trying to "do it all, all the time".   Being the best teacher and still attempting to be an artist was literally making me sick.  You see, in my head if the certificate had come through, and miraculously I'd gotten a certified teaching position that paid full salary (I am paid $10 hour BTW for 30 hours a week....I know.) then my destiny would have been chosen for me.  I would have been where I was supposed to be.  I'd be happy.   Content.   The waiting would be over and incredible would start.  But this slap in the face is like again I have to wait on the incredible to happen.  And quite frankly.  I don't like waiting.  For anything.  Especially when I can control this.  Especially when I know what being a full-time thriving artist feels like.  Of course I'll always teach....afterschool, adults, retreats...but maybe this all day everyday teaching is not where I am meant to be right now.  Is this what I was waiting for?  Is this incredible?  Lots to think about.  Right now I am pretty angry.  And tired.  I just finished medicine for a 5th bladder infection since February 22nd.  Yes.  5 in 11 weeks.  That's enough to make a person shut down.  So some of what I am feeling right now could be the fighting off cooties battle, adjusting to a gluten-free diet (had celiac testing done in the middle of all this and am genetically built for celiac, but bloodwork says fine.  whatever.  urgh) And anxiously getting ready for a huge art show this weekend.  Which its supposed to storm on Saturday for.  Great. 

Thanks for reading and listening.  I want you to know I too struggle with my decisions in life daily.  That nothing goes by me without some sort of processing the end affects on my health, my family and my end goals.  Right now I just feel like some signs were given to me plain as day.  I have always been a firm believer that people enter our lives and circumstances happen not by happenstance, but rather by grace.   Now I must decide how to embrace this grace and which direction I shall move.   For now, I'm going to get my classroom ready for 18 sweet after school art students to arrive.  


Jaime Barks said...

Thank you for this post! I struggle so much with what to do next. I'm an overachiever too. I tend to push, push, push. Sometimes pushing way to hard and forcing things. I'm trying to slow down and let things come naturally. It is nice to know that I am not alone. Sometimes choices are clear and other times they aren't. I wish you the best of luck in finding your path. It will come to you (and with it health too I hope!).

nacherluver said...

Looks like you had questions and the universe answered. Hard decision. I hope the guidance you received makes the answer easier to process and embrace. Good luck!

Christine said...

Wow.....it's intresting how things happen! Jenni....seems like your body is telling you something...I know I wasn't listening to mine for a very long time. I truly admire your drive, I wish I had more of that.....seems since retiring it is harder to become by....... , tho in this first year of retirement I have made myself and my health a priority, answers seem to comeeasier. Peace and Blessings to you....christine

Beth HF said...

Okay...let's see.....I feel you in SO many ways with this post. Me, I am going back FT as an elementary art teacher this fall. I too have this, well, okay, that's all over. 8 years of being home and working part time and making art, new opportunities, new ventures. But then, I realized that my art is best in-between. I work great in the cracks, the little bits here and there, the many paintbrushes in many palettes. However, it can be overwhelming. I read this just the other day, about famous authors with day jobs.

Health wise,keep being a detective, keep at it and you find an answer. If you feel better gluten free, just keep at it. Go to as many doctors until they answer the question. be pushy. be demanding.

whatever you decide, will be the right choice. A wise woman once said to me (my mom), make a decision and if that doesn't work, make another one:)

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