Going back to school when you’re thirty three years old is an absolute adventure filled with a never ending basket of variables. There’s stresses with money, loans and books. There’s the fear of not being good enough or that you’ll fail to measure up against the younger versions you’re competing against in the classroom. You also worry about getting into the game far too late or that you’ll lack the modern cultural understanding that permeates the halls. Especially as a future teacher. But none of that matters today because I’m on vacation.
Something I’ve learned is that taking a sabbath is paramount. To take a day (or several) and let the worries of the world, the future, school and all that weighs you down just take a flying leap far far away from your mind. When my last semester came to a close I threw myself into full time work at my job so that I could get some money into savings. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked in food service or something similar to a Starbucks but working forty hours in that environment can lead you to start questioning your life choices. Some folks are built to thrive in that world over the long term. I’m sad to report, I am not. It is a good job to bridge the gap of health insurance and loans but it’s not my future.
Taking a break from it all is important. I discovered that this week as I started seven days away from it all in the lovely state of Utah. We’re just down the road from Ogden on Powder Mountain. Let me tell you. It’s beautiful up here. And I’ve lived in Colorado since 1992 – I know beauty. The sky is proper blue, the sun is properly bright and the world is just a few more steps away. Cell phone don’t work well up here. We had to get a hotspot in case of emergencies but it’s been a calming experience to know that with a flick of a switch we can shut it all down and plop down on the deck far away from it all. And that’s a startling thing because you can do the same thing back in civilization albeit with more ambient nose reminding you that there’s millions of people swirling around like mad rats.
I did spend some time updating my loans versus expenses. I did some class searching to ensure I had all the classes I needed. I vetted the extra ones verify they’ll contribute to my degree. It was comforting to see it all coming together even if there’s still 60 some credits to go.
So, if you’re reading this remember – walk away for a bit. Take a breath in silence. Drive down the road to that little park with a bench and slip on some bright sunglasses. Soak up the sun. Take in a mountain pass or two. Doff those shoes and socks. Run through those blades of grass that are calling your name. There’s a world outside of this dirty, dusty and dingy rat race. And it’s deserving of your eyes.
Take some time to find your own Valley of Peace. Trust me. It’s worth it.