Tag Archives: having faith

Calving (the 2nd Definition)

AndreasTilleGlacierBreaking off.

I follow Christopher Jobson’s Colossal blog on Twitter. Colossal showcases beautiful and ingenuous handmade artworks that always cause my imagination to go into overdrive. His suggestions for visual candy never lead me astray, although when I go to his links, I can often disappear into the web for more time than I care to admit. One of his tweets this week led me to the winner of the “Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary, 2012,” Chasing Ice. As I watched the film trailer, both the verbal and written words reminded me of my own situation of the past week: “The story of a visionary,” “The landscape just changed before our eyes,” “All that obsession means nothing if it doesn’t work,”  “This is the memory of a landscape, because that landscape is gone,” and “I do not want to go any lower than this.”

As I suspected might happen after the letting go of last week, this week my calving started and the earth started shaking under my feet.

Within hours of my blog post last week, three additional friends extended an invitation to move in with them if my house sold. (2 other colleagues had already invited me.) There are amazing people inhabiting the earth.

My daughter got invited to her first career interview and we talked about how we are both in the same boat of applying and interviewing for jobs.

Within the first 48 hours of my house being listed on MLS, I had 6 showings. As of this morning, I’ve had 15, which is a lot for a downtrodden economic market. Yesterday I wasn’t able to be at my house all day because of so many showings!

Last Monday morning, I sent an email to my colleagues explaining my resignation and spent that day talking to each class about my decision to resign and why. I told my students that I was interested in other cultures and was curious about how other people lived their lives. I wanted to teach art to other children and discover how they are different and how they are the similar with kids here in the USA. I then showed them this video. After watching it, they applauded and cheered.

On Tuesday, I was surprised by how much weight I’d been carrying around trying to be secretive about the possibility of my leaving. Although my administrators had known about this for some time, I had been holding this dream of mine hostage in my heart for fear if the word got out too soon my students would be hurt and would not put their trust in me. I wanted to wait to tell them I was leaving until the time came that they understood that I loved them and would never forget them.

On Thursday, two amazing things happened.

For some time I haven’t been sleeping well because of having to set my alarm to get up early to Skype interview or because of wanting to check email that I may have received from people around the world who are up working while I’m asleep. At 4:00 a.m. I woke, checked my email and found I had one from a Principal in Istanbul with whom I’d interviewed with last week. I could tell that it sounded promising. My heart was so bruised, however, that I didn’t consider it carefully and fell back to sleep. When I woke to get ready for work, I checked my email again and had a note from the Head of that school offering me a position! After my search of many months, I’m thrilled to report that it appears I’ll be going to Istanbul to teach PYP art at an International Baccalaureate school! Although contracts aren’t yet signed, they will be in the mail this week. Istanbul was on the very top of my list of places to go! I traveled there in 2011 and hopelessly fell in love with Turkey. I couldn’t be more pleased. But the day wasn’t over.

I met some friends after work that I hadn’t seen in many months. We shared stories and they were thrilled at my exciting news! I got back at my home at 9:00 p.m. and before I even took my jacket off, I had a text message from my realtor telling me I had an offer on my house!!! Within an hour, I had sold my house. I told him that I was tempted to stay up all night to see what else might happen! What an exciting day!

Since then, my life has been full of paperwork. But I’m not complaining! My dream is coming true! From my heart I want to thank you, my readers, for pulling for me, praying for me, sending positive vibes my way. In closing, I want to challenge you to let go and reach for your dreams. Anything is possible.

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Transitions, or Leaping from the Lion’s Head

Lithograph by Calvert Litho Company, 1890

Transitions are sacred.

I’ve spent the summer preparing files, updating my resume, scanning copies of my teaching certificate, transcript and passport, refining my CV, crafting cover letters, reading forums, gathering recommendation letters and networking with international teachers. I am confident about moving, yet, on some days, I play tug-o-war with the temptation to just stay put in my comfort zone. Some days the transition seems more like climbing an insurmountable mountain rather than kicking over a molehill. On those days, butterflies of self-doubt quiver in my stomach. What am I doing? I already have a great job at the best school ever. I teach great students who come from great families and I work with a host of supportive colleagues; there’s no reason to leave.

Except . . . I want an overseas teaching adventure and I’ve been dreaming and longing for this for some years. Being witness to my Dad’s slow decline towards death this summer, I know there’s still more I want to do with my life. I want to give away what I know best: helping others find self-expression and joy through the visual arts. And why not? I’m single, my terrific daughter is going to graduate from college next May, I could care less about owning my home or continuing to collect material possessions and I want to see the world!

In my faith there is a common saying, “Let Go and Let God.” I know this is true, but letting go is scary. Remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indiana comes to an opening high above in the rocky cliffs?

His treasure book of clues says, “Only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.” Teetering on the edge, sweating bullets, he knows he has to step off the cliff into the void below! And what happens? As he steps off, a stone bridge magically appears. He steps off into unknown territory and he is saved from destruction by his faith. In the same way, I know I must go. It is difficult to provide answers to many who ask for specifics, like Where? When? And How? Yet, I know I must leave to prove my worth. There is nothing that scares me more and nothing that excites me more.

Many books and films resonate with this theme but nothing I have ever watched has affected me more than the words by Danaan Parry . I’m begging you to watch this short, 6-minute film called, “The Parable of the Trapeze.” Parry’s powerful words capture the double-edged sword of faith and fear. This film is a gift and I’m happy to share it with you. Do yourself a favor and watch. As Dianne Gray says, “Death is not optional, but living life fully is.”

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