Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aha Moment: Grief

I have to confess that on occasion I watch Oprah.  If you are a fellow viewer than you know that she often has amazing gems of knowledge to share.  And she frequently talks about Aha Moments.  Moments when someone says something and a switch is flipped.  A lesson is understood.

Recently I had a work meeting with the Pastor at my church.  She was going to brainstorm with me to plan our youth group meeting because I was supposed to have done it.  But I didn't.  Before we got started we chatted for a few minutes.  It had been awhile since we had just talked.  Then she asked it.  That question that we often ask, but for some reason we don't always want the real answer to.  Nor do we always want to give the real answer.  "How are you?  How are you doing?"

Instead of my standard: "I'm fine," or "things are pretty good."  I stopped and thought if I can't talk to this person about what's really going on, than who can I talk to?  So I told her the truth.  I've been feeling overwhelmed, depressed, sad, tired, withdrawn etc.  Not stuff anyone likes to feel.  We got to talking about it and I said that I think a major part of it is the fact that I honestly believed that I would have a full time teaching job for this school year.  My own classroom.  Something I have wanted since I was a little girl.

I knew there was a possibility it wouldn't happen.  But people told me to have faith because schools hire all the way up to when school starts.  So.  I.  Waited.  And nothing came.  Had I spent the last few weeks of summer gearing myself up for not getting a job it would have hit a little better than it did.  I thought that after over ninety (yes, you read that right) job applications from December through August something would hit.  But it didn't.  So, the pastor and I talked.

Then it came.  My AHA Moment.  She said, "tell me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you are grieving."  And I thought, 'well yes, yes I am.'  I was grieving the lost opportunity.  The 'temporary' loss of a dream.  The loss of a job I was hoping, praying, wishing, thinking I would have.  So that's when it hit me.  You don't just grieve losing people.  Losing a pet.  But grief can strike anytime.  It's a sorrow.

Now is it shallow to grieve this loss?  Maybe.  But then again maybe not.  Maybe it just shows how strongly I want to teach.  How excited I am to start my career.  How sure I was that this was the path for me.  Maybe it shows a certain strength?  A strength in the belief that I chose the right career.  A strength in my passion for teaching.

Now it's realizing that maybe this is how it's meant to be.  Looking around at what I have to be thankful for.  To find the lesson in the loss.  To pick myself up out of the hole I've been digging and fill that sucker back up.  Then maybe I'll plant some pretty flowers there instead and watch them blossom.

Have you ever had the experience of grieving something other than the loss of a life?  What did you do?

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