Is a burning bush really too much to ask?

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

Is it possible to have more than one thing that makes you come alive?  Can you be passionate about the ice cream AND the cone?  Can it be both the macaroni AND the cheese that makes you dance?  I’ve been trying to answer this question, wrestling with myself…and I’m not getting anywhere.  I know most of you are thinking “Why doesn’t she wrestle with a question that there’s an answer to like ‘Why is this house always such a MESS'”?  THAT question I can answer–it’s because I’m so busy pondering the other question.

I’m in the classroom now.  From 8:00-3:00, I’m in charge of molding little minds.  I love their little faces, their laughter, their endless questions.  I love it when I’m taking them back to their classroom, and one of them breaks away from the others, and throws her arms around me in a bear hug.  I love my little classroom–it’s blue and quiet and the children love to come there…

I also love to write.  It pulls at me, like an insistent child.  “Pay attention to me!  Watch me do THIS!  Now watch me do THIS”!  I love watching life, and then putting it into words on paper.  I want to do this, this writing thing.  I want a quiet space with a squashy chair and a cozy blanket to spill the words onto the paper and just WRITE.  I envision a farmhouse, with a room that just mine, my personality in the walls and the furniture and the candles and the lights…

These two things don’t go together.  I live in the city.  It’s loud and congested, and there are people everywhere…it’s NEVER quiet.  And that squashy chair in a quiet room with a cozy blanket?  Nope.  We have two squashy chairs, that are in the TV room because the other furniture that we had fell apart.  Alas.

Moses got a burning bush and some pretty clear direction.  Where’s mine?  Where is my direction?  Can I do both?  And can I do it here?  And will it look like it does in my head?  And if not, can I let go of that part of the dream?  And are dreams a bad thing?

Too many questions.  Too few answers.  And yet I go on.

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Everything changes.

Tomorrow, at 8:15 in the morning…everything changes.  My first four students will walk through the door of my classroom…and I’m their teacher.  The room looks fabulous.  I painted it a medium blue, and one whole wall is painted with chalkboard paint.  A whole wall to practice math problems on, write vocabulary words, decorate with swirls and colors.  I’ve got cool bulletin boards, fun books and “Lorax” pencils.  It’s the kind of classroom that I would have loved as a child.

I’ve spent weeks pouring over lesson plans, IEP’s and schedules.  I’ve pictured their little faces (and I’m so lucky, because after five years in the library, I know all of their little faces!), tried to visualize what a typical day will look like…

Yesterday morning I woke up in tears.  My mind, which really shouldn’t be allowed to talk to me most of the time, started in on the same old same old.  “What if I can’t do this?”  “What if I’m a complete failure”?  “What if all I’m good for is decorating the room?”  What if, what if, what if.

WHAT IF…

WHAT IF I really care about these kids?  WHAT IF I want to see them succeed?  WHAT IF I’ve spent the last 6 years studying so that I can make a difference?  WHAT IF maybe, just maybe, I CAN do this?

Tomorrow morning, at 8:15…everything changes.  What if?