Feeling Bittersweet- Where Is Home?

I have made the decision to move on from the school that I have worked at for 11 of the last 12 years. This is the school that I left forever once before, 8 years ago. The next year I was separating from my husband and found out that I could not stay at my new school, so I had to find a new job- fast. It was already late April at this point. My new head and principal were super supportive, as were my new colleagues and I soon was offered a few positions. I thought I had decided on a great new opportunity when my soon to be ex-husband protested that he did not want me to take the kids so far away. He would have preferred me to go back to the US with my sons.

After some discussion things were still up in the air and at the very last minute (May) a position opened up at my previous school. We returned there and I have never really looked back. It was great to be welcomed back and we all felt like we were returning “home”. Fast forward 7 years and both of my sons have graduated from high school here and are in the US (one in university, the other already finished). I thought about leaving last year, but could not get up the courage. This year I just felt the time was right. I did not want to retire here and I worried I might age myself out of competition for new jobs. I made a short list of schools I was interested in and started applying, and waited.

Ironically the school that I am going on to is the one I almost moved to 7 years ago, so there seems to be a “rightness” about the decision. I am feeling so torn though. I am moving somewhere new- I know nobody, I will be thousands of miles further away from my family, so far away from my good friends, and I will have no community at the start. I chose “brave” as my one little word for the year and I am certain that the change will be good for me in so many ways.

Right now I am feeling a bit melancholy. I am determined to enjoy my remaining time here and soak up all that I can from this great place. I know that knowing that I am leaving allows me to appreciate all that I have here even more than usual. I am sad that kids I have seen growing up will never be in my class, but I know they will love whoever they do have and that life will go on. I am sad that the kids that I have taught will not be able to continue telling me what they are reading, but I know that new teachers will listen to them. I am sad that I know I will not feel at home in the new place for awhile. None of my sadness diminishes my excitement about the new school. The interviews I had convinced me that it will be an exciting place to teach and will stretch me in new ways. People I have talked to have really emphasized the community feel there, so I know I will find friends.

I know I am also a first class procrastinator and I need to get going on making my arrangements for moving. I can not allow myself to wallow in the sad, but instead should push myself to revel in the  gift of time and choice. I got to make this decision on my own and I have the time to say a proper goodbye to the people and places I have called home for so long. I am a different person than the one who joined the school so long ago and I know I will always take a piece of it with me wherever I go.  I am so glad that I live in this age of technology so that I can try to keep in touch with friends and know that it will be great fun to catch up when we can.

I think all of this reflection is due to my birthday in a few weeks. I will pass the half century mark and life is interesting! My next home awaits.

Have a great week! Happy reading!

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