Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Next Incarnation

Now that I am done with school (finally, I know!), people keep asking me, "What are you going to do now?" Apparently, I was supposed to have a plan. 

Well, surprisingly enough, I do not have a plan. 

Which is not to say that I don't have things to do, or things I want to do.  I have a job that I enjoy, and that keeps getting better every day.  I have more courses to teach and will hopefully be leading a faculty / student research group in the fall.  I also have lots of running plans!  And I am looking forward to spending time with my friends and family, because I know I have not done enough of that over the past year.

Despite all these "plans" though, I also feel that there is a change coming.  Possibly a significant change.  I don't know what it is, but this is the year for it.  There is a little numerology behind this assertion. 

My lucky number is 6.  I was born on the 6th day of the 6th month, and each year that my age has totaled 6 has been a year that has brought significant change into my life.  For example, the year I turned 6 we moved from NJ to NY; if I had grown up in Jersey I would be a completely different person.  The year I turned 15, I left home and went to a boarding school in Lake Placid, which again significantly impacted the trajectory of my life.  When I turned 24, I went off to get my MA in Somerville, which led me to UNH and the life that I have now.

So this year, once again, I hit an age that totals 6, so I anticipate change.  And I am ready for change, whatever it might be.  I doubt that it will be a move across the country, or even across MA since I have a job that I love and live in a place that I love.  I think that this time the change will be more internal than external.  Each of my past Year-6's have coincided with a change in physical location that led to a new path.  This time, I am thinking the path will develop from personal change and growth.

Usually, I am a very anxious person, and change worries me.  For some reason, I am excited about this change.  I can feel it coming already in my workplace, as I am handed new responsibilities every day and am given plenty of supportive opportunities to test myself.  I am also anticipating change in my personal life.  In three days I will be running a marathon for the first time.  I plan to do a lot more of that, and to hopefully become strong enough to start running ultra-marathons as well.  I am also looking for new, fun things to try out.  I am going to start rock-climbing this summer, for example--even though I am terrified of heights.

But I know this isn't all of the change that is coming my way.  There will be new adventures and new friends that I can't anticipate.  I know that some of the years between now and the next Year-6 (OMG, I will be 42!!) will not be all fun and adventure; there will be loses and rough times and all the things that the past 9 years have had, and all the years before that.  But each of those things are important way-stations along the path; they make it more like a hike through the mountains (ups and downs, beautiful views--I trust you to follow the metaphor from here) rather than a straight drive across Kansas (which I understand is very flat and not particularly exciting unless you really, really like fields).  And hiking more mountains is also one of the things I intend to do with myself in this new incarnation!

So... I probably should end this with a witty remark about making sure I have a compass so I don't get lost on my new path.  But, I'm not going to.  Because I think that getting a little lost will make it more exciting.  And that is what you--my lovely friends--are here for, so that I am not out hiking by myself the whole way, and so that if we get a little lost together, you can help me back onto the path.   

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