On The Far Side Of The Sea

In late February one afternoon, I found myself quite suddenly and quite literally, in the principal’s office with my daughter. It’s just this thing we like to do together, except not.

No, actually, she was not in trouble, nor was I, thankfully. On my honor, I had been running errands one minute, and the next minute I was summoned for what turned out to be a rather lovely chat. What was the outcome of that meeting?

After almost eight years out of the classroom as an educator, I will be returning this fall on a part-time basis as an English teacher. This is not something I was actively looking for, but it found me. And when something finds me, I’m apt to believe there’s a reason for it.

In late February, the night before I was approached about this teaching position, I was updating my resume and planning to apply for some writing jobs soon. Baby-girl will start kindergarten in the fall, so with all the small people preoccupied with this thing called education, I was hoping to start expanding the scope of my writing on a professional level. Yet, that next afternoon, there I was, sitting in an office, discussing the details of a teaching position that had just become available.

My head was spinning as I walked out of that office. Over the years, because of our family situation and because of LCB’s business obligations, I’ve learned to go with the flow, to adjust plans quickly, and frankly, to stop planning much of anything because even our best-laid plans have a habit of changing. It’s just the point in life we are at right now. But I realized, in that moment, that I had subconsciously placed myself on a set trajectory, not stopping to imagine anything other than the path at hand.

I called LCB after the meeting and asked him for his take on things, as this would require an adjustment to some of our family plans for next year. In typical nonchalant LCB fashion, he suggested taking the next step and seeing what doors opened up. In these cases, the theory goes, the doors you are meant to walk through are typically the ones that clearly swing open.

Naturally, I felt the decision was a tad more emotional and complex than He Who Is Succinct In Thought Only When I Am Not did, but conceptually, I agreed.

So I sent out two resumes, one to the school and one for writing to a publication I greatly admire, a publication that caught my attention when I first moved to Carolina many years ago, and I sat back to wait for my answer. Ultimately, the school offered me the job, and I accepted.

At the risk of having some of you misunderstand what I’m about to attempt to say, I’m going to be honest about something. Make no doubt, we believe we are incredibly blessed to be able to live on an island, surrounding by, among other things, palm trees and the vast expanse of the Atlantic. But, the move to our new island has been drastically more difficult than our move to our first island, laced with challenges we didn’t anticipate. This year has, in many ways, been a struggle.

The details are complicated, and I don’t know the reason behind all of it. But years have taught me this: Grace is often found in the unlikeliest of places, in the last place where you think to look for it. I cannot tell the future, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is grace to be found in this, even if I, in this recent move to another island, as a king long ago once put it, find myself settled “on the far side of the sea.”

And let me just tell you, I realized that this deviation from The Plan, once I wrapped my brain around it, is a gift. Because I get recharged being around high school students, I love teaching and I love my subject matter. There’s no other way to explain it. Moreover, one thing I know from teaching is that educators are never at a loss for opportunities to try to improve the lot of others. Purpose is there for the asking.

Oh, and one other thing.

I just got the other job, too.

7 Replies to “On The Far Side Of The Sea”

  1. Sometimes, the doors that swing wide open are double porch doors letting in the breeze. Congrats on your sudden and delightful rainstorm of blessings!!! I am so excited for you.

    1. Thanks so much! We are very blessed. My head is still spinning a little, but in a good way. And, I’m definitely ready to let in the breeze.:)

  2. Sounds wonderful ~ enjoy this special time of anticipation! It can be almost as much fun as the gift itself!

    1. It is indeed, a special time of anticipation. Thank you.

  3. Congrats on getting offered both jobs!! It sounds to me like you have made a good decision. Hope it all goes really well for you.

  4. Wow! Congratulations on *both* of your new jobs! I can’t wait to hear about the second one…

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