Last week was kind of stressful. The kids started school. I started school. I had always thought that when both of my boys were in school full time I would take a class at UNH. Something interesting. Something just for fun. So, as my kids got on the bus to tackle the first and fourth grades, I also headed out to begin my own first day. Rusty and anxious but excited.I say ‘excited’ because that was not the case a month ago. Nope, a month ago I was anything but excited. I was anxious and stressed for sure but not really looking forward to the class I was taking. See, I was actually signed up to take Statistics. You know, the class that everyone dreads and avoids like the plague until they absolutely have to take it. Yeah, that one. You are probably wondering why on earth I would be taking a class like this when I initially wanted to take something interesting and fun. Good question. You see, I am the kind of person who tends to get ahead of herself. In this particular situation, it went something like this in my head:
Looking at the UNH course catalog: Hummm, these sociology classes look really interesting. This one about Family would be really cool. What if I like sociology? What if one class leads to another and another? What would it take to get a Masters in Sociology? Am I smart enough to do that? Maybe. How much are classes these days anyway? Holy crap! That’s a lot of money. I should meet with someone in the graduate program and find out what prerequisites I would need because I don’t want to be taking classes willy-nilly at THOSE prices.
After meeting with Graduate Department: okay, so I need to take Statistics, a Methods class and a Theory class. Hummm, it makes most sense to start out taking Statistics because it is the foundation of how Sociologists do their research. Okay then, Statistics it is!
And that my friends, is how Kathy Harter went from “taking a fun class” to “getting her Masters” in a field she has yet to decide if she even likes. Thankfully, after a conversation with my therapist, I was able to take a step back and reevaluate. To ask myself how I ended up being where I didn’t want to be. And how do I get back to where I actually want to be?When I get ahead of myself I think it partly has to do with fear. Fear of getting to the end of my life and having missed my purpose. Never getting to where I was supposed to be. Where I was meant to be. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase, “ I don’t want to miss God’s will for my life” or “ God has a plan for your life and you don’t want to miss it”. Knowing God’s will is big in my subculture. So, I try to figure out how God might be leading me and then come up with a plan. But sometimes the plan takes on a life of its own and I get stuck in the very thing I have created (and sign up for a very ‘un-fun’ class).
I wonder if God’s will is different than I have made it out to be? That it has more to do with becoming than arriving. More about a journey than a destination. I wonder if it is less complicated…..simpler? . That He loves me and wants to heal me. To make me whole and slowly transform me into the person I was meant to be. What if His will just sort of unfolds as I go along? My experiences being like stepping stones; each one leading to the next. I could worry less about getting to where I think I should be and focus on who I am becoming.I think there is some wisdom in that. When I get ahead of myself and try to force things in my life, it often produces a great deal of anxiety and stress. But when I take each day and allow life to happen, I tend to enjoy life more. And honestly, when I look back on my life, there have been a lot of twists and turns that I never would have anticipated. I would have NEVER been able to map out the path that has brought me to the place I am today.
So, I dropped the Statistics class and signed up for the Family class. And I am going to try and let go. To embrace the unknown of the future. To step on one stone at a time and leave the bigger picture to God. Trusting He will get me wherever it is a need to be, when I need to be there.