S: This weekend we retreated in Galveston for what was supposed to be an annual retreat. We had missed last year, so it’d been two years. Driving to the hotel, my beloved Galvez, was a trip. Look how far we’d come in two years. Wow.
A: I tried to reflect. I was on my third of four bosses at that point (now I’m back under the second boss, does that mean I’ve had four, or five, bosses?). I had an entirely different life then. I still take care of my Grandma as I did then, but under entirely different circumstances. I still work hard in my career, but with a much different focus than in that very intense time. I am still blessed with youth but wiser to the traps and opportunities of this world. Was it better then, or is it better now?
F: It turns out there is no answer to that question.
A: I love my work. I love coaching my peers. I love conducting work on site (there is nothing better than updating a teacher component in the middle of the night knowing it will be better for thousands of teachers the next morning). I love designing curriculum. I love managing large groups of people. At that time, that was all I did. Literally. I had a loving relationship and my grandmother to take care of, but all I did was work. I defined myself through that. I thought that was an improvement from the insanity I’d gone through before THAT. I thought my life was best two years ago.
R: But it wasn’t. Sure, I still love my work, my peers, my online projects and coordinating. And I still have Grandma. But I have so much more than I did then. I have more freedom, more experience, more passion for self-improvement and growth. I’m in grad school. I have plans. I have a vision, and just enough gumption, I hope, to carry me through the next big hurdle. I pray.
I: For better or for worse, I see a much different future than the past I have overcome these last few (two? five?) years. Wow.
© 2015 Jess Rowell firstname.lastname@example.org