Wednesday, August 17, 2011

even if you miss....

"'ll land among the stars."

I don't remember exactly whose quote that was, but I'm pretty sure it was Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Most everyone I've spoken to, with my family members and Alex being exempt, have told me that I'm nuts for quitting my job at Walmart. I guess from their points of view, quitting a long-term, regular job seems crazy to go to a temporary, low-paying job, with no guarantee of any kind of regular income.

I've been worrying about money almost constantly since I quit. It's difficult to keep my eyes on the moon, or the stars, or any celestial body for that matter, when there are bills and things to pay for down here on Earth.
I know I shouldn't worry so much. I have more than a lot of people, and with two paychecks coming in over the next seven days, and my student loans dropping in before school, I shouldn't struggle too much for the next few months, but the nagging worry that I don't have a steady income waiting for me at the end of this marching season is always there.

I know why I took this job. The experiences I'm getting right now will be phenomenal later on, both on a resume and in my "teaching arsenal." I'm learning skills in discipline, leadership, and so much more during these weeks, more than I would ever learn from an hourly position anywhere, and I'm working with the age group I will be certified to teach, in a school setting.
I'm shooting for the moon; looking ahead; equipping myself. Teacher certification, student teaching, and graduation seem so far away, but in reality, I only have three semesters left on campus.

Being aware of how close the "future" is doesn't help the here and now worries, however. As happy as I am for this opportunity, and ever-grateful for the gifts I've been given this summer from Mr. Coull, Mr. Stary, the band members, and my family and friends, it's still hard to shake the anxiety and fear of the unknown.

I've always been scared to take risks like this. I've been terrified to go out of my comfort zone and take chances. It's why I didn't take the opportunity to go to Ireland with my peers this summer - something I will always regret. I was worried about money, thinking I needed to work those three if that made a difference at all. I spend my time constantly looking backwards, scrutinizing my choices, and lamenting that I made the wrong ones....often erring on the side of caution.

I know that money will be tight, now. I know that finding another job will be difficult, and may not happen. However, I also know that when I look back on this season six months from now, a year from now, or five years from now, I will not regret my choice. I know that this experience is giving me so much more than a paycheck. After is much more than a paycheck. I'm not teaching because of the glamor, or because it will get me lots of money and fame.
I'm teaching because it's what I am meant to do, and it's what I want to do. I'm much happier now that I ever would have been working at the store, money worries and all. My restlessness is completely gone, and I finally feel like I'm doing something meaningful.

I think that's worth ten thousand paychecks.

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