I broke my normal morning routine and decided to play music while I was in the shower. This is the first song I heard from the day: Migration by Bonobo on his album, Migration.
I often feel the universe gives us signs of direction and affirmation. Sometimes those signs are loud and blaring in our faces, yet other times are simple and discrete. We do not need to seek out these signs or make them happen—the signs will come to us. This song, Migration, is special to me, because of I have been applying for jobs across the country as of late. I care about the area, which I live, but opportunities are seemingly sparse, particularly in the field of education. We are going through a hideous transformation in our public-school system here and throughout the country as well. It can be disparaging to invest myself deeper and deeper into something I know can’t hold water much longer. Yet we can try our best to get ourselves out of the mire if we are willing to work together, somehow, someday to avoid drowning.
This ugly situation seems parallel to my own life: I am trying to take care of student loans, other bills, and attempting to be a bit more independent as I seek out some job that will enrich my life or simply help me live. I get the impression that education has become survival instead of a way of living. For my one job, I substitute teach as I mentioned in my previous article. I came to class today to find papers on the desk for the students, which in bold letters read, “MIGRATION.” As you can guess, it was a Social Studies class, which the article discussed how and why people migrate across the country. After you read the same article about migration five times to classes and questioned it, the idea of migrating truly sticks with you in some way.
After over 100 job applications, a couple of dead-end interviews, and a slew of incoming rejections, I started to wonder if this is the right move? I aspire to apply for my doctorate, but I have to study for the GREs. I have two masters degrees in two different, yet somewhat overlapping fields and years of experience in both. Consequently, does this make me under-qualified? Overqualified? Are employers confused about my intentions? I apply for jobs I think I would invest myself in (because you never know), but I pulled in many directions. Then, I thought, does migration have to mean “literally moving” instead of figuratively?
Then, I thought, do I even know where I want to go, literally or figuratively? I have some idea.
For the past month, I have been on what I call a “Headspace Journey.” I subscribed to the app, Headspace, which is an app that teaches you meditation and guides you through meditation exercises. There are exercises for different themes, such as “self-esteem,” “productivity,” and “depression.” Andy Puddicombe, who is one of the founders of Headspace and the narrator, says in the lessons that we may feel frustrated that our meditation is not going anywhere. In so many words, he says that we may feel a sense of unease that we are not making progress fast enough, that we want to make something happen. Perhaps, this is, in a sense is relatable to an urge to run away, to “migrate” to some place in the world or our minds that simply is not ready for us to catch up.
In the meantime, as Andy says, “to be aware in the moment,” gives us the ability to be present in our universe. Otherwise, we may miss out on the small details, like the feeling when a student tells me I am/my class his or her favorite part of the day or when a college student asks me, of all people, to write a letter of recommendation for graduate school. I can be present and see those moments I positively impact people. Though most days we can be blind to those moments, because we are inundated with our responsibilities and thoughts which carry us elsewhere. . If I were not “present,” I would have missed out on these signs that the universe is telling me to stay put, in some sense, literally or figuratively.
Until, I figure out where it is I am supposed to be, I will stay right here. And even if and when I do physically leave, a piece of me will always be here…and in the headspace where I imagine myself sitting in a field with a lone fox peacefully watching me find my place.
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