I miss school.
I know, I know, I know. It's ridiculous. I'm only out of school for a couple months and instead of reveling in the fact that I'm free of homework, don't have to read hundreds of pages, or trying to shuffle my schedule to take part in a group project, I'm kinda sorta sad that I don't have class.
This is what you call transition.
I was just getting used to the fact of being labeled "student" again, and now I'm not. There I was, constantly under the burden of learning and engaging and regurgitating information, formulating ways to apply it in personal and professional settings, looking for approval from peers, supervisors, and the daunting grades that would post on my student profile, and suddenly I'm back to the "real world" with no scale for knowing exactly how I'm doing. Whew.
I gotta confess: I loved it.
There's no grading system for motherhood or extra credit for laundry. There's no supervisor patting me on the back for staying up late with a kid who is throwing up or defrosting dinner on time. It was nice to have an area of my life that was so entirely structured.
I liked knowing what was expected of me (syllabus), I liked engaging in deep conversations over topics I'm passionate about (classmates), I liked receiving praise for hard work I poured into projects that took time and energy (grades), and I liked gaining the encouragement from those who are far more advanced in the field than I am (professors). Grad school was a wonderful little bubble for me to travel to and live in for a short time, and like most things in life - it passed by all too quickly.
What transitions are you experiencing lately?
Transitions have a way of making us appreciate the past. Every milestone I meet in life comes with both grief and celebration, leaving me with that pit in my stomach that both longs for an encore of what has been and the anticipation of what is to come.
Just because you want something to happen doesn't mean you're going to like it all the time.
That's the grand illusion of transition. We expect that if we have been waiting and wanting something to happen that when it does, we should only ever be grateful and thrilled that it did.
But, too often I forget that honest feelings don't void gratitude.
Maybe you're not just out of grad school and missing the camaraderie of the classroom...but, perhaps you can relate to one of these:
When you get married, you miss being single.
When you break up with someone, you miss being a couple.
When you have a baby, you miss life before children.
When you send your kid to school, you miss them needing you all day.
When you start a new job, you miss the freedom of familiarity.
When you move away from home, you miss your family.
You get it. Transitions in life aren't easy, even when you welcome them with open arms. As a new mother with a new degree and a husband with a new job, I know I'm feeling transition in multiple areas of my life right now. I'm so grateful we have an unchanging God who always knows which direction is up!
James 1:17 (NIV)Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.