This past week has seen a few things that have been floating around in my brain and life come to a head. Instead of focusing on my usual things – work, the gym, etc – I was stymied by an eye infection that left a lot of open space in my week as I healed.
Oregon celebrated the overturning of a ban against gay marriage on Monday. Personally, I’ve been rather bitter about the whole concept of gay marriage, and I’ve put up a lot of defensive walls to explain my stance against it being such a focus in our community. This, for me, arose out of my own personal experience with gay marriage. More to the point, my failed marriage with Nathaniel seemed to leave a pretty deep scar and lasting angst against the idea of ever trusting anyone again with those kinds of personal promises. Well, on Monday, as the ruling came down, and with Ray here at the house enjoying a relaxing sleep-in in my comfy bed, we both listened to the news. I began to break down. That turned into full-on weeping, as it became clear to me that with this change in the rules here in Oregon, I might be able to finally file for an official divorce from Nathaniel while I live here, rather than having to travel back to Massachusetts to face a judge to make our split official. If the marriage is recognized here, my logic says that it can be dissolved here. I’ve been after Nathaniel to file papers for ages now, but he won’t seem to take my requests seriously for one reason or another. What I’ve come to realize is that if I want that part of me back, if I want to be in a really un-tethered standing in my life, I need to take this on myself. Now, it seems I can do this here, and as I stood there in my room, with this realization washing over me, not only did I cry, but I could feel that weight of anger and resentment, that wall of defense and misery, finally starting to crumble. Ray saw me, and rushed to hold me, unsure as to why I was crying, but he held me all the same.
No, I’m not rushing to get married again. Yes, Ray would make a lovely husband for someone, and yes, I’d like to hope that maybe it could be me, but it’s way, WAY too soon for that kind of stuff in our relationship. Still – I’d like it to be an option. I’d like to have that part of me back, to not have Nathaniel holding all the cards in this mess, and to move on. I want to simply move on. And, it seems, I want to be able to enjoy the celebration of two people joined by law and promises. Apparently, it still matters to me.
This week also saw another realization in my life, and one that I’m going to have to find a way to reckon for myself. I had applied to a teaching post that had come into my inbox on Wednesday. The recruiter wanted to see a copy of my resume, which I sent, and which garnered this reply:
“You have been outside of the classroom since 2008. Unfortunately, we are unable to go further with your application at this time. If you have proof that you’ve been in the classroom since 2008, please send it along to us for further consideration.”
What this means, essentially, is that my decision to step out of teaching in 2008 while I was living in the UK, and the inability I’ve had to find a replacement post, along with my time spent focusing on graduate work and earning my MFA, now counts against me in the hunt for a teaching post. I am having a very hard time realizing that my education, training, and energy put into developing my skills as an educator, with all that money spent on student loans and time in the classroom as a student, is all for nought. There has to be another way back into the fold, and one that doesn’t require me to throw myself to the wolves (aka: substitute teaching for sporadic pay and no promise of steady work). I haven’t given up the hunt, but the fact is, my bus driving gig could turn out to be a better choice for me. In the downtime I have, since it’s a part-time job, I could find a way to put my other abilities to use. I want to teach, but it doesn’t mean it has to be in a formal, public or private school situation. I just need to find a different path.
If anything, I’ve come to understand that my life-path was never meant to be a long, smooth, straight highway. When I run up against roadblocks such as this, I need to remember that there’s a reason for it, and that perhaps the path I do end up taking will be far more fulfilling than I had anticipated or planned for.