When writing an end-of-the-year wrap-up, I’m thankful that I keep a journal. Not that I write down everything that happens to me, but it makes remembering all the events of this past year a lot easier.
It was just luck that I started a new journal on January 1st of this year. I wrote at the end of my first entry, “2010 is going to be a crazy year. Ready or not, here it comes.” Well, it lived up to the hype.
With all the changes that happened in 2010, crazy turned out to be an understatement.
I would describe 2010 as a transitional year for me. I started the year knowing change was going to come. I had my last “first day of school,” as I began my fourth and final semester of grad school. I passed my oral comprehensive exams, finished all my classes, and received my degree in May.
The most memorable moment of the year was when I was standing next to my chair after walking in from the graduation processional, waiting for all the other graduates to file in, I took a deep breath and looked around the room. I made a full circle of just breathing and taking it all in. The cheers. The excitement. The accomplishment. It was 180 degrees that I’ll never forget.
For the first time in nearly seven years, I wasn’t going to be a college student in the fall semester. Instead, I was going to be teaching college students.
Teaching wasn’t just a transition. Teaching was a cosmic shift.
I wouldn’t say my entire life has changed because of teaching. I’m still at the same college that I’ve always been and living on an academic schedule like I’ve always have. But transitioning from the role of a student to one of a teacher inspired a major shift in thinking for me. Though I was still in a college classroom, I went from being a reactive participant in the learning process to an proactive one.
Gone are the days where I can sit in the back row of a college classroom and do the work that was handed to me. Now, I’m not only standing in front of the classroom, but I plan the lessons and I give the lectures. My students follow my syllabus and do my assignments. I don’t just like teaching because I get to do what I want, but being able to take an active role in something as important as the education of others is exciting to me. It gives me a greater sense of purpose.
Now I want to apply that greater sense of purpose to my own life.
Looking back on this year, I realized I spent a lot reacting to events or circumstances. I could have been a lot more proactive in many areas of my life. While I don’t need to plan lessons and lectures for my personal life, I do need to take more control and make more of an effort with my work, health, and relationships. I don’t like to make resolutions (too much pressure), but I know I want to spend more of 2011 acting on things, not just reacting to them.
Cheers to the new year!