Changing Leaves, Changing Lives

1383090_781596847083_644478672_nI’ve finally been settling into the colorful New England fall, certain that the bright yellow leaves on the tree in my backyard somehow give me the Vitamin D I lack on cloudy days.  I’m glad it’s the season where people articulate what they’re thankful for, and where daylight savings time means cozy evenings and productive mornings.  It’s times like these that I can’t imagine living in a place that doesn’t witness season changes!  Somehow, even though I’ve experienced the rotation from summer to fall 20-something times, it feels new and beautiful beyond words each year.

One of the songs I grew to love in middle/highschool is called More Faithful by Skillet.  It was on a Christian mix CD that I won playing some game in youth group.  It was really the only Christian music I ever got into (other than camp songs).  The chorus, talking about God, says, “You have been more faithful than the morning sun.  You have been more faithful than knowing night will come.  You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons.”  It seems like a bit of a paradox to me that something that changes constantly (seasons) has an element of stability because we know how the change functions (fall, winter, spring, summer).  I’m beginning to see the changes in my own life a bit like this.  Every time I land in a job or school, I feel relieved that my search is over.  It isn’t too much longer before I realize I still have to think about what happens next.  I’ve always seen this process as stressful, though perhaps I can take comfort in the consistency of change.  Vocation, it turns out, is a bit like the changing of seasons.

While the season of my life that has just passed was school, the current one is teaching.  It’s bizarre to be on this side of homework-not-finished, quizzes-not-studied-for, and classes-too-tired-to-care-about.  Now I get to be the frustrated one, not understanding why my students don’t prioritize my class above all else!  I find myself saying things my teachers once said to me, and I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief at this new season in my life.  Teaching is…well… it’s a lot of things.  It’s hard.  It’s energizing.  It’s also exhausting.  It’s forced extroversion, it’s babysitting, it’s mentoring.  It’s biting my tongue and wearing heels and feeling strangely old.  And in my experience, when it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, it’s really bad.

Me and Joshua, Oct 13, 2013

Me and Joshua, Oct 13, 2013

I’m sure I will share many more posts about the specifics of my teaching job over the year.  For now, I’ll simply say that I have been enjoying this new season of my life and learning a LOT.  I teach 6 classes (though my job is supposedly only 20 hrs/week): Theory 2, Chorale, Vocal Technique, First Year Seminar, Academy Singers, and A Cappella.

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Me and Kaia, 2010

The other most notable change in my life is that I have a new nephew!!  His name is Joshua Paul (middle name chosen after my dad), and he is about half the size of my niece Kaia when she was a newborn!  Joshua lives just 45 minutes from my place in Middletown, so I have gotten to visit a few times in the last few weeks.  Being an aunt is the greatest.  No one else in my family has gotten to meet him yet, but my folks are coming up for Thanksgiving, which we will all spend together.  I will have a whole list of things to say when we name what we’re thankful for.

As I’m writing this post, I’m seeing the first snowflakes of the year – a sign that fall isn’t here to stay.  Those white, glistening flakes which would usually excite the child within me instead harken back to a canceled recital and many tear-filled nights.  I’m glad that particular winter was fleeting!  And I’m ready for more changes: let the old be made new!

recital 2

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