A Hermit Crab Spoke to Me
So the boys and I were getting ready for bed last night (or should I say they were laying in bed with me because it was so HOT and my room has AC) and they wanted a bedtime story. Easy enough. I went and picked out "A House for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle because of our recent trip to the beach. We had in fact found a few hermit crabs while we were combing the tidal pools and I figured the boys would enjoy the connection.
Now, before I go any further let me give you a basic outline of the book, especially for those of you without small children. This is taken from the back of the beautifully illustrated children's book: "Poor Hermit Crab! He's outgrown his snug little shell, so he finds himself a larger one - and many new friends to decorate and protect his new house. But what will happen when he outgrows this shell, and has to say goodbye to all the sea creatures who have made Hermit Crab's house a home? Children facing change in their own lives will relate to Hermit Crab's story - and learn a lot about the fascinating world of marine life along the way."
So, as I'm reading this book I find my mind wandering to my own situation - my desire for change and yet my fear of it. My fear of the unknown, of spending time and money headed toward one goal and then fearing that when I reach that goal I might not want it anymore. Forget "Children facing change . . . will relate," - At this point I've almost forgotten I'm reading to my children.
It was so simple (isn't simple usually best?) in its message - You can't fight change, all you can do is react to it and it's up to you how you react. And once you've reacted it doesn't mean your decisions are permanent - things are always changing and therefore we must continue to deal with what life throws at us.
In this case, Hermit Crab, who has made all kinds of friends with his shell from the sea anenomes, to the lanternfish, to the coral, to the snails . . . decides that he can't stay in his now too small shell no matter how much he would like to. After all, he spent the last year creating a home that he was protected by, happy with and surrounded himself with friends - who wants to leave that? Not me.
I've spent the last six years making some wonderful friends and acquaintances through work - I'm safe here. People appreciate my work, I make my own schedule - but something is most definitely missing. I don't enjoy what I do anymore. I have many more bad days than good, but what keeps me here are the people and that when I have a good day it's REALLY good. It feels like a home, but I think it's time to venture out and find something a little bigger . . .
I may pursue school and as Cheryl pointed out to me it wouldn't be a waste even if at the end of the day I decided to do something completely different. The pursuit of knowledge is never a waste of time. And there's something about school, or more accurately the area of study I'm looking into, that won't go away. I'm drawn to it, but afraid I won't like the reality of the job itself. (School will be a struggle no matter what. I just wonder if I'm cut out for disciplined study led by others.) But how will I know if I don't try? No more fear. Time for action.
I guess this is what Shannon meant by "Force, no Force" . . . or when Shani told me to "Go where your spirit dictates and there you will find happiness." (It's wonderful to have friends who care so much and who are so wise, as well!)
I've been overanalyzing this decision everyday when I go to work, but I found the answer that really spoke to me in a children's book. Isn't life wonderful?