Photo: Emily Long
When did the calendar turn to April? It’s difficult to believe that this time last year I faced a mountain of coursework as I prepped for graduation. I recall sitting in a waiting room with a notebook, mapping out the impossible task of completing everything still on my to-do list. Back then it seemed unattainable. I had told myself that there was a light at the end of the tunnel… and there was. Yet, had I gotten to the other side completely?
I finally graduated, put my books on the shelf, and danced in the summer rain. When autumn approached, I nervously sought work in the school system. Each day I searched the job boards, but they remained stagnant.
My friends and I complained about the lack of prospects over walks in the park. The park was a frequent go-to because when you’re unemployed walking is free, after all. Career was a concept turned to a myth. Opportunity appeared cracked by the economic drought of our generation.
In the end, a long-term substitute position found me right as Fall started. The job spans the school year and I have been amazed at the challenges I have faced, what I have learned, and how I have changed. Through it all I was able to find comfort in the sense of building experience.
Yet, as the summer creeps right around the corner, I can’t help but find myself feeling restless. This past year has become a teaser trailer to an unclear future. Am I a stronger person this April? Am I ready to face another round of resumes?
The answer is yes, because deep in my being I know it is. I had found a light at the end of the tunnel, but have since entered another tunnel of sorts. I am reminded that life can at times feel like a continuous obstacle course where each maneuver tests you in some way. However, it can just as easily be viewed as a playground where each experience exposes you to the wonder of the unknown.
A year later, I can confidently say that although I might not be in the place I expected, I am not in the same place as before. Whether it was through the obstacle course or the playground of life, I have come out on the other side, and into the light of spring.