In cleaning up a today I found an old notebook from a job quite a few years ago. Scribbled in the back, doodles when I was supposed to be paying attention at a meeting, where lots of numbers while I tried to figure out my life.
At that time I was doing a very stressful job that gave me little joy. My math represented how many more years I would have to work, how much money I would have, how well I could manage if I found a less demanding job for less money. I was trying to find an escape route and trying to make the numbers work. At that time they just didn't.
It made me feel really funny to read this today because I could read in all the rows of calculations just how trapped I felt.
The thing is a few years later, completely out of the blue I got an offer to teach and this job suits me perfectly. I laugh every day and although the students sometimes wear me right out, I love them, I care about them, and so often I hear back from them that something I said (usually an off hand comment I hardly remember making) got them through a tricky professional situation.
I wish that person who wrote down all those numbers could have known that it was all going to turn out just fine.
There are times in every life when it's hard to keep your spirits up. I was at a benefit over the weekend for a student who is really going through some very tough health challenges. There are time when a person is sick and can't imagine feeling better again. There are times when you need a break and that break just refuses to come. There are times when your particular story just isn't turning out the way you thought it was going to.
But you never know, you just never know.
I tore those pages out of that old notebook and threw them away and went on my day. Times change, I'll remember that.