Cruise Control

The decision to quit my teaching job and stay home was one of the most thought out and analyzed decisions I have ever made in my 35 years of life. With one week left until I begin working at home part-time and being a stay-at-home mother, I reflect on leaving a career I love and a job I am good at, while still reaffirming that this is what is best for me.

I have trouble with uncertainty. I am one of those people who always seems to have a plan. But teaching has taught me that sometimes plans can go awry, and there are many times you have to just go with your gut. In many ways, teaching has made me a better person and enriched my life. My students have taught me more than many adults ever could.

One day, I may indeed return to this incredible yet intense career, but for now, I have to take a leap. I am excited to say that this leap has already resulted in some amazing writing opportunities for me, and we are going to be just fine.

But this poem occurred before all of this. This poem is about the personal epiphany that I needed to make a change. It was when I realized that I just was not a person who could strike a healthy balance with what I currently had on my plate.

It is about a moment that was flooded with emotions: recognition, fear, uncertainty…But it was also a freeing moment, in which I had an immense amount of faith. Deep in my gut, I knew it would work out. Deep in my gut, I knew I could create options.

It was a scary, yet freeing moment when I had to push aside the thoughts and views of others and put my personal well-being first, and it all occurred on a drive home.

I was, indeed, coasting along in cruise control. This poem is about figuring out that if I didn’t start paying attention soon, I was going to keep on missing the miles.

I hope you enjoy the poem and please share and comment below.

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Cruise Control

There are spans of time when we are on cruise control.

We weave around corners; we follow the line.
We rarely gaze out the window at the mountainous edges below.

We wander the speed zones;
we relish the mode.

Sometimes–
we even forget we are driving.

Then, one morning, the pattern transpires:
a silhouette across the road, a bellowing horn, a flickering headlight.

We are immediately jerked into a wakeful oblivion.

We slam on the brakes and begin questioning everything.

We contemplate the loss of time, like trickling sand through clenched fists.

And the epiphany becomes very real, although we have been harboring it all along.

Suddenly, we notice more:
the streaks of sunset in the rearview mirror,
the ocean-
on our way home.

More suggested readings:

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

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