Today Jake and I went on the hunt for a desk. No luck so far on the desk hunt, but we did find a fabulous, and surprisingly comfortable, chair. I love it so much. It may seem odd, but it means a lot to me. It feels like a concrete step in my new direction. I remember how meaningful it felt when I was moving in, and I told Jake that I simply could not be an English major without a desk. I would be writing way too much to write sitting on the bed or the couch (as I do now). Other than this blog, the chair is the only other physical step I have taken on this novel life path. (pun intended) There have been plenty of other emotional and psychological obstacles that I’ve tackled. For example, telling my mother was no easy task. I believe the word she used was “blindsided.” Several times actually. If my memory serves me. Anyway, after such a drastic change happens in your life, you find yourself looking for the “blackbox.” Something to tell you were it all went wrong. How did I follow the wrong path for this long? The answer is complex, because if it wasn’t you wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. The short version is I tried to plan out my life at seventeen. I had an exact timeline and a step by step plan to make it happen. I told myself that as long as I followed the plan to the letter, I would be happy. However, along the way I was actually becoming more and more unhappy. I made excuses. I told myself I only felt this way, because classes weren’t the same as actual teaching, or I just didn’t agree with that teacher’s educational philosophy, or the kids in this after school program just all have needs that I was not quite experienced enough to meet. But, it got to the point that I would cry every Sunday about the dread I had for the upcoming week. I would sob about how I didn’t want to go to class, I didn’t want to go to my field experience classroom, I didn’t want to tutor, and I didn’t want to go back to work at the after school program. The thing about being a teacher though: you get really good at smiling when you really just want to crawl up in the corner and cry. I wanted to run away from my life every single day. I thought about dropping out of college on a daily (if not hourly) basis. I would daydream about just walking out the door and driving away during work. And I prayed for a snow day each and every day I had field experience. The difference this semester was that I couldn’t blame it on the kids or the teacher. The students were amazing and the teacher was both experienced and modern in her methods. I should have had no complaints. Yet, I still woke up every morning with dread so strong it would make me nauseous or give me a headache. Eventually, it got to the point that when I looked ahead into the future, all I saw was misery. I knew I had to make a change. So I did. I graduated without my teaching certifications, I moved to Madison, and I’m starting fresh again. Finally, I feel free enough to chase my dreams and I could not be happier. And most importantly, when I look into the future now, all I see is opportunity and possibility.