1. (in some Christian beliefs) the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ’s coming.
2. a West Indian dance in which the dancer bends backward to pass under a horizontal bar that is progressively lowered to a position just above the ground.
3. an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition; a state of neglect or oblivion.
I wish I were talking about #2, at like a party or something. But I’m not.
Right now, I am in an uncertain period. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for my dreams to come true. Not even that. Just for something to change. I know I haven’t been waiting forever, but it feels that way. I am living in a house I don’t want to live in. It’s small–comfortable for right now, but not to live in long-term–with short ceilings, leftover paint from the previous owners that I just can’t seem to cover, dead grass, a broken fence in the backyard, a desk and bookcases in the dining room because a baby took over the office, and other little treats. We were given notice last year that our mortgage is being raised because of sinkhole coverage and we were told recently not to plan on leaving any time soon unless we have thousands of dollars to GIVE the potential buyers at the closing. Well, swell. I love hearing that my house isn’t even worth the measly amount of money we paid for it. I love knowing that I can’t move on with my life because of our beloved economy. Every day, more and more, I wish we had been smart and rented.
The thought of staying in this house 3-5 more years, in this neighborhood, in this town, makes me want to cry. I’m not saying I want to up and move to Hawaii. I just want to see something different. I want to live on a street where people take care of their lawns. I don’t want to hear stray cats mewing at night. I don’t want to walk my son in the stroller and see hubcaps on someone’s lawn with a misspelled FOR SALE sign. I want to own or rent a house I’m proud of. I want to have people over. I want a pool for Will to learn how to swim.
Now I that I re-read this, I feel like I sound like a jerk saying I want over and over again. But I shouldn’t be sorry, because it’s the truth.
I never saw myself teaching at a public high school in New Port Richey and raising my son here, so it’s hard to stomach. Which brings me to my next point: my job.
Let’s just go ahead and admit it: the school system isn’t what it should be. Understatement of the century. I love my students, I really do. I care about their physical, emotional and academic well-being. They are what can make my day go very right or very wrong. I can usually come into a class, hear a student say something funny or watch while a struggling student finally “gets it” and that’s enough for me to forget about the politics and the lack of pay, appreciation and benefits. But lately, it’s just not enough.
I want to get my Master’s degree. I miss being in school. Logistically and financially, I just don’t see it happening any time soon. Which means I’m stuck, a 25-year-old with an education degree. Who wants an education degree? A school.
Idon’twanttoworkataschoolanymore. I want to be free, to be with my son more often. I want time to write, to really seek an agent and finally get published (I promised myself I would be published before 30–even that dream is looking grim). I want time to see my son learn and explore, instead of teaching other people’s sons how to pass standardized tests.
Everyone has to make sacrifices in life. My husband and I decided that financially, it would be best if he got his Master’s first. But I’m jealous. I just get to sit around while he furthers his education and has the prospects of other jobs. I want to look forward to what I do each day. I want to love what I do. I want to be an example to my son.
There go the I wants again.
Thing is, what I want isn’t really top priority anymore. And I’m okay with that. And the only reason I’m okay with that is because of Will.
I am so thankful that God gave me that little boy on April 23, 2011. Even when I didn’t know if I wanted him. Even when I didn’t think I could handle him. He is what gets me through the day, because now I don’t have to find meaning in my position at a difficult job. I don’t have to find meaning in my short stories, and whether or not a publishing company enjoys reading them. I don’t have to find meaning in my education or ambitions.
That’s why I usually refer to him as the wish I never wished for, because even though I wished for so many other things, someone bigger than me knew he was everything I ever needed to come true.
And when I look in his beautiful brown eyes, see his long eyelashes flutter, and get a big open-mouthed kiss as he smiles, limbo doesn’t feel too bad.