underailing [un-dee-railing]: the process of situating yourself (not without some kicking and screaming) back onto the course most fitting and least stupid for your life
Last week was a one of half-formed thoughts and questions, of lies and betrayal and emotional breakdowns in public bathrooms, of not sleeping, of always wanting to sleep, of shampooing twice and shaving only one leg. Somehow, in the fuzzy sleepless fog, I happened upon the plot of my life, long-lost and stuffed beneath rational decisons.
Not the whole point, but just enough to know what to do next, even if it makes no sense.
And, as my husband and I concurred, the clearest-cut and most obviously common sense decisions in our lives are the ones that wind up horribly wrong. That’s the way our life goes – the way, apparently, that it wants to go. You may add one (1) stupid silly decision to the list.
I quit my job.
I’ve been fighting this resignation for months. In my subconscious – and through my friends, sweet voices of reason in my life – I knew that it was the right thing to do, but I couldn’t walk from one regular paycheck straight into another, so it must not have been right yet – right?
Since I have a helper-rescuer-guilt complex, walking away from something for good reasons, if it involves walking away from people I’ve grown to love, still feels like I’ve committed the ultimate sin of abandonment. I didn’t want to do that to my kids and my coworkers.
I’ve enjoyed wearing the role of teacher for a season (eleven months, to be exact). I’ve enjoyed being part of a team – becoming a microwaving, storytelling, diaper changing machine.
I’ll miss my kids so much, and it hurts inside already. It saddens me to hear a cry in the next room and know whose it was and correctly guess why it happened. I’ll miss holding hands and drawing circles and learning to stand on one foot. When I’m grabbed around the knees and told through spaghetti-covered lips, “I love you too, Miss Emmm-a-leee.” When I rock a crying toddler back to sleep, feeling privileged just to be there for these kids in their precious, miniature moments of need — because we all need to be held close in spite of our Cheerio breath and told that we’ll be all right.
In rediscovering the general point of my life, though – not the whole point, but part of the thread that makes it all make sense and makes the little things mean something – I discovered that this role in this place didn’t fit anymore, not ultimately. And waiting to do what I love to do might just be wasting time. And I see a door, and I’m going for it.
And I am happy. I told a friend yesterday, giddily, that I’m becoming an advocate for irresponsibility.
Here’s to no plans. Here’s to starting over.