Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why two roads diverged, and long I stood

It's beyond strange to think that if I had just managed to stick it out, I would now be finishing up my first year of teaching. The summer would be unrolling before me just like it did when I was a child--seemingly limitless and full of possibility. I would be going to the pool and to yoga and buying plane tickets to visit old friends. I would drink iced tea and live on pasta salad and fruit--peaches and cherries and melon, cold from the fridge. I would write blog posts and read books, and no one could ever call me lazy, because I would have earned it. But I'm not doing any of that, and my newly purchased Nook languishes on the table where it's been for the last two weeks--still in its box. 

Instead I am a week and a half away from starting my new job, the job I thought I might never get. I thought it might be my punishment, to be doomed forever to this job I took at a desperate time and for myriad reasons have hated ever since. But the worst abuse I took there was still nothing compared to that of eighty urban teenagers, and so I stayed for eight and a half months--almost a school year, but not quite--and am just now finding my way out. 

And so it's on to the next one--not necessarily bigger or better but newer and at least different (until inevitably the newness wears off and it turns out it's just more of the same). Still, it's strange to think about parallel lives, and when I'm sitting in my new/old desk chair in a room with no windows, I'll know there is another Rachel in a hammock somewhere, staring up at the confetti of sky through the trees, an unread book fanned out on her stomach, smiling.

14 comments:

  1. Life is so unpredictable. Good luck with the new job.

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  2. I was just talking with someone last week about how the "what ifs" would have altered the course of our lives. Had my father gone with that business opportunity, when I was a little kid, that would have moved us from Montreal to San Francisco. My God, how different my life would be now. And had my mother not died when I was just four years old. And had I not bailed on university after my first year because "I was just really tired of school already."

    But, y'know, that's life.

    I hope the new job works out great for you.

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  3. I forgot to finish my thought in that last comment. :-\

    So, if the paths had gone that way instead of this way, our lives would have been different. Not necessarily better. Not necessarily worse. Just different.

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  4. Good luck with the new job! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

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  5. I echo the sentiments of everyone here. What if schmut if! You didn't go down that road! Your life will be different now and with any number of coming twists and turns it could be amazing! Do regale us with the details. :) Courage ma belle!

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  6. Wasn't the movie, Sliding Doors, about parallel lives? I think each decision we make can create a new path. As Dawn said, not necessarily better or worse. Just a different path.

    All the best to you in your new job.

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  7. Oh I love this post Rachel, so philosophically poetic; I've missed you!

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  8. Ooh! I want to find out what the new job is!!

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  9. Good luck at your new job! And (as someone who works at a school and is unhappy) summer is nice, but a job you like more is even better.

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  10. Good luck with the new job! Like the others, I'm curious as to what it is. Can you give us some more details?

    I'm often plagued by the "what ifs" of my life. What if I had never moved to France...What if I had never met Max...

    But you can't live like that, and I'm slowly starting to learn that life passes you by if you constantly wonder what could have been. And I've also learned that with time, things might not necessarily get better, but they will get different. And sometimes change is good :)

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  11. OK. I missed some stuff....must go back and read now.

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