Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Not a Moment of Regret

It's so surreal.  In fifteen days, I will be done with my two summer classes and will be officially done with graduate school.  I will have successfully earned my master's degree in teaching and will be certified to teach 4th - 8th grade.  

I'm afraid the significance of this event is going to get lost in the baby shuffle, especially since I won't attend a ceremony or wear a cap and gown.  Of course, the baby is so much on our minds now and I don't regret that for an instant.  And it's not that I want some cheering section to sing my praises.  I just don't want to forget to appreciate it myself, that's all.  Our lives have changed so drastically in the four semesters it has taken me to earn this degree.  

I have changed, too.

Over two years ago, I made the decision, along with endless advice and support from Tony, to quit my job and do a radical (or so it seemed to me!) career change.  It would require some major sacrifices, like significantly reducing our spending and forgoing saving for the future for a while so we could live on one income.  It was scary.  It also meant a whole new direction in terms of energy and time commitments.  It pretty much meant rethinking our outlooks on life and turning in an entirely new direction.

I have absolutely not regretted the decision for one moment.  I didn't regret it when we started living more frugally and found out the beauty of living more simply.

I didn't regret it when we had to skip splurge purchases or pass on vacations.

I didn't regret it when I drove my last hour and a half commute home on the maddeningly congested freeways of Atlanta.

I didn't regret it when I donned my backpack once again, heart aflutter with back-to-school jitters.

I didn't regret it during the hours and hours and hours spent doing homework, often at night or on weekends, despite the fact that it cut into "play" time that I had usually taken for granted.

I didn't regret it when Tony and I took a long walk together every evening last summer with the dogs, something that would have been impossible when I was working late nights routinely.

I didn't regret it when I felt like I couldn't read another stinking textbook - or buy another, for that matter.

I didn't regret it when I was placed in some pretty challenging schools for my student teaching, forcing me to be strong and confident and all too aware of some of the biggest challenges in education.

I really didn't regret it when we took that pregnancy test last November and I knew this new life would allow me to spend more time with our baby than I ever would have been able to before.

And most significantly, I absolutely did not regret it when I knew, really knew, from the bottom of my heart, that teaching is what I am meant to do.  When I saw the light bulb go off, or saw a smile creep in to a middle schooler's tough exterior, or when I made connections to learning while standing in front of thirty kids that I didn't even know I was capable of making.  When I felt how fulfilling a job can be.  How tough, but how rewarding.  When I see my students around town and they give me a big hug.  When I anticipate, both with fear and anxiety, but also with uncontrollable excitement, the time when I will have my own classroom and students.  

When I realize it's all been worth it.


  1. A BIG congrats for all you've accomplished, I know that it can't have been easy, especially during the home stretch of pregnancy. Hope you've planned in a little relaxing time before that sweet little girl arrives! You've earned it!

  2. Claire,
    I teared up a little while reading this post -- maybe it was the pregnancy hormones? Thank goodness only 3 more weeks of that :) Congrats on your accomplishment - that takes a lot of guts to make such a huge life change, and I'm so glad it's working out.

  3. i absolutely loved reading this... and am honored to have followed your journey thus far. (and am very excited to continue following :)) xoxo

  4. Congratulations, Claire!!! I'm so proud of your follow-through, your positive attitude, and I'm so glad that you're excited about this new stage in your life! You're going to be AWESOME! :)

  5. Claire -- what a great wrap-up to the past couple of years! You did it! With Tony's support and your family's, YOU accomplished a huge goal.

    You have such a great future ahead of you no matter what comes your way. Are you planning on teaching once Harper arrives?


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