Happy Birthday! The Start of a New Year

“What do you want for your birthday?”

A job? I had lamented the elusiveness of employment enough the past year. René believed that the right opportunity would come along when I least expected it. It was so cliché, but I found myself telling the same thing to Kari when she asked to have coffee. “I quit that job!” she blurted, and all of a sudden, the past year didn’t feel as wasted.

“Don’t worry. All the things I really want, I can get for myself.”

“No party?”

I shook my head no.

At thirty seven I would not be old, but I had lived many teacher lives. I was paralyzed by each and every one of my choices. “I just can’t believe how brave you and your brother are. I just couldn’t go that far,” my dad had repeated often. Although I traveled far for ten years, my heart never really went anywhere at all. Even now, unemployed again, I hadn’t quit being a teacher. I know things don’t always work out. People can be disappointed easily and often. As a teacher I was sent out like a missionary into a professional unknown without an understanding of the words to define who I was. It was an identity that I thought was not only supposed to feed me, but to fulfill me. I wrote a fairy tale I ripped apart and resewed. I fractured my character into prisms, more flexible in her role in my fairy tale. She was beyond black and white tendencies, hidden darkness and the simplistic dream of one happy ending.

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