Twenty minutes before my alarm went off this morning, I stopped struggling...I was awake for the day. I did not sleep well. I suppose I have a lot on my mind.
In a few days, I will leave the Four Corners area of New Mexico, and move to Jacksonville, Florida.
A strange twist of fate, though not so strange if I really think about it, inspired the school district I am working for to hire someone directly and end my contract through the staffing agency I work for...at the end of February.
Although the timing is quite odd, I don't question too closely the motivations of school administrators. My wish was for continuity of the program I developed so the kids on my caseload would continue to receive service...I got that. I also have the opportunity to familiarize my successor with the district, the caseload and the challenges I have run in to...a rare opportunity indeed. As a bonus, I will be moving to a place where the low temps are currently similar to the high temps in this part of New Mexico. I was concerned that I was getting "old" because I am looking forward to the warmer weather. I grew up in Iowa...we're used to a wide range of weather. Then I realized that here in New Mexico, I have been living in a place with unreliable and inadequate hot water, and no central heat. The thought of not needing a space heater, multiple layers of blankets, including an electric blanket (thanks Sis!) and multiple layers of clothes, including a hoodie, with the hood up, just to survive the nights, sounds pretty good.
So I leave behind mesas and canyons and streets without names that confuse my GPS, and I will embrace the ocean, and palm trees and gated communities.
I am painfully aware of some of the "lasts" I am experiencing.
I mindfully engaged in my last Friday night ritual of visiting the natural grocery store after my chiropractic appointment, and lingered one last time near the essential oils and soaps. I went to pray at the base of Shiprock Peak one last time to give thanks for the many lessons I have learned while in New Mexico, and to ask for more lessons and a safe journey to Florida. I have a last meal at my favorite restaurants and try one here or there that I may never see again. I am figuring out when I can bid my friends at Starbucks farewell, as I rush to pack and prepare to leave in a few days...and did I mention I am still working of my masters through this transition?
I have three days left. Three days working I this place that I have hated, and I have loved. A place I couldn't wait to get out of, yet now I feel slight resistance to leave.
Next week, I begin three short months to do whatever I can to serve the kids on my new caseload. This week, I cram my New Mexican life into my Outback, and hope I can make it all fit...without the benefit of my wife's keen spatial abilities.
I know my life here won't fit in the hatchback. It can't be lashed to the roof rack either. I've grown too much since I came here.
People are surprised that I seem so calm about this change mid school year. I tell them, "I believe I was led to New Mexico as part of my spiritual journey. It seems I have learned what I was supposed to learn here...now it's time to learn somewhere else."
I embrace that I am meant to leave this place and begin again in another place.
I just hope I get some good sleep before driving across the country...I'm really tired.