“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light, which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”
- Woodrow T. Wilson
I worked, studied, and taught at Teeny Tiny University of the Boonies for eight years. Life circumstances brought me there, and I stayed much longer than I intended to (and perhaps longer than I should have). But I was determined to make the best of it, to “bloom where I was planted,” and for the most part, it worked. I made some friends, found ways to be happy. But I ultimately left, because I wanted more.
Now I’m standing on the brink of a new chapter in life, finishing my Ph.D. and looking for a faculty job. I sometimes worry about whether I’ll be happy in the next place I land; no matter how much I plan or research ahead of time, there’s just no way to know if a particular school or a particular city will feel like “home.” When I mentioned this to one of our grad profs, she told me, “but it’s not forever. Wherever you end up, you’ll try to make a go of it, but if it’s ultimately the wrong place for you, you can go elsewhere. But you won’t know until you try it.”
Once again, I’m reminded that this is a journey, and there are no guarantees. I’m scared sometimes; there are so many unknowns. I tell myself that I’ve been here before, at a crossroads in life, and things have always worked out for the best.
Life doesn’t begin tomorrow, or after I graduate, or after I relocate. This - the uncertainty, the mess of it all - is my life. So once again, I’ll take a deep breath, and look for the peace in the chaos.