Today I went back to school.
I've done this nine times, and there's always the same complex, convoluted taste in my mouth. The bitterness of work-dread and the sourness of regret and the sweetness of new challenges anticipated, they all mingle and swirl, and I don't know which one is dominant. I can tell they're all there, because I've learned to recognize them. They muddy themselves into a new taste, something ambiguous and unnerving and dangerous.
But today there was a new flavor, a new taste element twining and blending with the others.
Today I sat in my office, answered student emails, read texts for class, battled (unsuccessfully) with the procrastination troll that lives on my desk and looks just like the Internet. Colleagues stopped by the office intermittently to distract me. I thawed a block of spaghetti for lunch and I ate it. I printed my lesson plan. I went off to teach with subtle butterflies fluttering in my intestines. And it felt normal.
I felt normal. I felt like things were back as they should be. The world had returned to its usual method of rotation. Life went on, as usual. And--here's the surprise--that was a relief.
Last night a friend claimed that I value uniqueness above all else. I agreed; so my realization, that The Usual is a good thing, confuses me.
Maybe it's because my current Usual is a good thing. I like my setting, professionally speaking.
Vocation. Calling. Career. These words are weighed down with connotation, and I shrink to use them lightly, because they imply some sense of certainty of the future. That certainty just don't exist, folks; but the niche into which I nestled again today, breathing a sigh of comfortable relief, is something else. It's something different from the coffee shop or mowing lawns or cashiering at Wal-Mart. It feels...tailored.
Long live the dawn!