When that mind-blowing (or spirit-altering) job transfer (of the previous post) occurred, I was knocked for the proverbial loop. It seemed like such an awful situation, something that I surely hadn't planned on. If it had just been a transfer, I might have coped better, but everything seemed to go wrong at once: the insane department head, the apparently unfriendly staff, not having a corner to call my own, being in a different kind of school, and teaching out of my subject area. It was a lot to deal with at the time, or it seemed to be, but I was young and still growing up … as opposed to now, when I am old and still growing up.
As I said, it seemed bad, not what I had planned at all. And yet … and yet … it turned out to be the best career thing and one of the best personal things that ever happened to me. Once that first dreadful year was in the history books, as they say, I remained in that school for five more years, but everything changed, including me, I guess.
By year two, I had my own room and was fully removed from the insane department head and fully welcomed into the warm and friendly embrace of the English department. Frankly, I thrived! It turned out that I loved teaching English, and the students seemed to love me. Not that they really said that to me, but word would get back to me in odd and circuitous ways. It was all rather strange because I had only a few university English courses and hadn't received any training in how to properly teach the subject, but it all seemed to work so very well.
It seems somehow profound to me that what I deemed to be so very bad at the time I now deem to be the best thing. I still get all warm and fuzzy over those five subsequent years when I taught out of my subject area in that rural school to which I had to commute in all manner of weather. There's a lesson there, but I can't find the right words to nail it.
Sometimes, it's like that for me – when there seems to be some deep truth to convey, I can't find the proper words; the punch line, as it were, eludes me. But I really think that you understand anyway. It's got something to do with keeping an open mind and spirit because we can't always see around corners, and we don't always know what's best for us.
I later went back into my subject area, received a promotion, and got transferred back to where I had thought I always wanted to be. I had supposedly set my course right again, but times were never as glorious for me as they were back then, teaching English in the rural school. However, when I am tempted to think that I did the wrong thing by proactively seeking a transfer and promotion rather than remain in that most happy situation, I also catch myself, for without living out both scenarios, it's simply impossible to say which path was the better one. Neither happy nor unhappy situations are guaranteed to endure forever, after all. You just never know.