Goodbyes as well as hellos

I’m on my second listen of the audible version of Oprah’s new book The Path Made Clear. It’s full of the good stuff, constantly sending me scrambling to the notes app on my phone to jot down a little nugget of wisdom.

Of all those nuggets, one seems entirely fitting for this, my last week at STJ. Barbara Brown Taylor said, so perfectly, that:

“There are goodbyes as well as hellos in our callings.”

Like Oprah, my calling is to teach. It’s the root of everything I love, whether formally inside the classroom or not, which is why I feel the need to share the things I’m passionate about (aha! moment for why I feel the need to blog and post regularly about reading, writing, running, stroller miles, podcasts, the outdoors, lifelong learning, family . . .) It’s all encompassing, and joins together the two biggest parts of my life: being in the classroom, and being a mom.

A central theme in The Path Made Clear is that, “Your life is always speaking to you,” and the collection stresses the importance of paying attention to the “whispers” that are quiet nudges to pay attention: that something isn’t quite right, that a change needs to occur, that it’s time to move on.

I’ve listened to the whispers for a while now, and it’s time for a goodbye in my calling. It’s a bittersweet experience that’s prompted me to reflect on my time at STJ.

The good times have been filled with genuine laughter, learning, and love. I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished over the last four years. Conversely, the bad times have been filled with a combination of isolation, frustration, and stress. I’m so proud I survived them. Reality also hits hard and makes my heart ache when I think about the current grade 11s; I won’t have the privilege of guiding them through English 30, or of preparing them for post-secondary. I love those kids. Packing up my desk and binders makes it all seem so final, but it’s time.

I’m not sure where the next hello in my calling will be just yet, so for now, I’ll keep listening to the whispers about my next right direction.

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