There is something, my dear reader, you should know about me.
I am not a risk taker.
There! I’ve admitted it. Despite my desire to be viewed as an adventurous, fearless, and cultured modern day heroine, I hardly fit this description. In fact, a more accurate portrayal of me is as a reprisal of a sheltered, 1950s era wallflower. Although I rather like the 1950s sense of style, I dislike this perceived image of myself as weak and inconsequential. I can not even claim any similarities to the famous Donna Reeds due to my lack of a sunny disposition, a screwed on smile, and a successful career built on taking chances. Instead, most of my life has been centered around making practical, low risk decisions and staying close to home. I rarely, if ever, make spur of the moment decisions that will greatly influence the course of my life. I like the simplicity, predictability, and rountine of an uncomplicated life. In other words, safe but dull.
There has always been this longing for more.
Ever since I was a little girl, and enthusiastically sang along with Bell, I experienced a desire for “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” In the deepest, and often ignored, recesses of my heart, “something Tookish” continues to yearn for distant lands and the unknown every single time the leaves herald in the seasonal changes. My inner child still longs to soar above Big Ben with the aid of pixie dust and travel across all of time and space. In all honesty, a part of me resents having to grow up into a mild-mannered and responsible adult.
“Nope, not adulting today.”
Eh, okay, so sometimes I still do not act like a full fledged adult.
The point is, there was a part of me, even when I was at my lowest point in this past year, that remained hopeful for a better life than the one I’ve been living. Even on those not infrequent days when getting out of bed seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, a part of me stubbornly refused to be defeated. Even when I experienced overwhelming anxiety, like a cornered animal shrinking in on itself, huddling in the fetal position, and willing itself to disappear from any and all potential predators, that small inextinguishable desire stubbornly persisted.
Which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing considering all I have been through since graduation. Plus all the horrifying, and paralyzing, truths I have learned about reality.
Despite my imaginary, and realistic, fears, as well as my uncertainty for success, I did something completely different. For once, I decided to indulge my inner, Tookish child and heed adventure’s siren call.
For once, I took a risk.
The risk began back in winter of 2014, escalated in March 2015, and climaxed only last week. There was a lot of pre-planning involved, many a pro-and-cons list, and plenty of repetitive discussions with friends, family, and complete strangers. All of which did little to help me overcome my insecurities and indecisiveness. Then, on a recent dreary Monday morning, while working as a substitute teacher and enjoying my limited free time away from the students, I was idly browsing the Internet for anything of interest. That is when I found it:
A one way plane ticket to Maui for $460!
It was tempting, it was affordable, and it was a risk.
I booked the flight.
In a matter of hours, I received a phone call from a school that I had interviewed with over two weeks ago. To my everlasting surprise, they offered me a full time teaching position. After weeks, no months, no YEARS of job hunting, (not counting my experiences as a part time substitute teacher, cashier, and sales representative) and no success, I was simply going through the motions of job hunting. Meanwhile, each application and the rejections, or worse the silence, that accompanied them were transforming me into a bitter pessimist – not unlike the cartoon below:
So when I received that fateful phone call, I could hardly believe what I heard:
“So, will you accept?”
When your life is about to change, and change for the better, sometimes things just fall into place.
Starting August 3rd will be teaching 10th grade American Literature and Expository Writing on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
Some things are simply meant to be.