Synchronicity: The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous. Or as I personally prefer – the Gods smacking you over the head with a sledgehammer when you are not paying attention to what you should.
Over the past two-plus weeks, I have had numerous conversations with students, fellow faculty, friends, strangers, and family (not the blood-related type – as I do not associate with them on anything resembling a regular pattern) – all of which have finished with my pointing out that they are unique and need only change if they want wish to do so. All of it came from a variety of directions too. And…at one point, I was having this same conversation with myself (yes, I do frequently have conversations with myself – get the butterfly nets and the sweaters that tie in the back).
At first, I did not really think much about all of these seemingly odd coincidences. That is, until I read a blog post from Damh the Bard entitled “Thinking About: What to Do If We Lose Our Connection With Our Path” and it all just suddenly clicked in my head. All of this has been about THAT moment.
Which moment Tommy? What the fsck are you talking about? You really need to stop talking to yourself and get out more on a social basis.
Its the moment where we hit that crisis of faith. And yes, I do know I need to get out more socially, thank you. ::grins:: But we all hit that wall in our lives. Spiritually, mentally, physically, career-related…there’s plenty of places to second-guess our plethora of decisions.
Am I on the right Spiritual Path? Is Paganism the right place for me to be? What if it really is Satanism? Why did I not choose to do this or that – I could have been on a completely different career Path?? Why did I choose to stay with him/her – my life would be so different if I had dumped that person back in the day??
…and the questions roll on and on. Its only natural to take a moment, and look back on the series of choices that led us to where we are – no matter what the subject. That typically leads to what I call the “What If…” game. Its not bad to do this, until you start regretting the choices you make. Then, depending on how hard/difficult that realization is – we can start into a death-spiral of lament and regret that feeds back on itself and gains strength.
I cannot – and will not – attempt to speak on how to address an issue like this for anyone else but myself. Let me be open and honest here. I have been in that death spiral – just two days back (this past Monday).
For those that are not aware – I teach at a local junior college. Most of my students are a mix of people. Very young adults with no idea where they are wanting to go with their careers. Current students at a local four-year university that are looking to pick up their lower credit hours at a much cheaper rate. Older students that are looking to do something different with their lives or careers or have realized that college credit can help ramp up their skillset in the eyes of their employers. Its exciting to get to know those folks and see the world through their perspective. Some of them are in their own death-spirals of self-doubt, and I enjoy the chance of helping them open their eyes to a new perspective on life. In a lot of ways, I feel like a lifeguard in the collegiate pool of students. But who insures that the lifeguard does not drown?
My moment of self-doubt about my career path came on Monday. With the start of this coming semester, I will have been an adjunct professor for my junior college for three years. That is three years of pure shit pay, long hours (which I thoroughly enjoy), and constant changes to my teaching style as I try to find new ways to connect to my students. In the past twenty years, this is the most personally fulfilling position I have ever had. Its also the lowest paying. Like anyone else, I have bills. And sometimes, its a real challenge to meet those bills with the pay I make. There is a lot of “down-time” between the semesters, which leaves me with a lot of time to think, reflect, and explore the avenues afforded through the “What If…” game. It can be quite a depressing moment from time to time. If I had stayed full-time in the Information Technology environment – I would likely have a much better wage in my pocket. There’s also a higher potential that I would not have been happy with what I was doing. Two different career Paths with completely polar opposite results. Monday was my moment of wondering “why the fsck did I choose to do this?” It took a few moments of a coincidental run-in with a former student to bring me out of that funk. My student saw me in the hallway, approached me, and told me how much I had helped her approach to her classes. She went from being a “B” and “C” student to being a straight “A” student – and all because she applied some of the basic techniques that I explain to students – outlining your class assignments on the first day, get 8-10 hours of sleep the night before an exam, study 1-2 hours each night on testable material, and always turn your assignments in early. I made a difference. THAT is why I am in the classroom…
Some of you might be reading this and thinking about your moments in the “What If…” game. Perhaps, you are currently in a job that you are not happy with. Perhaps, you are wondering why you even attempted to come down the Spiritual Path you are on. I cannot explain to you why you are where you are – or why you are choosing to go the direction you are headed. Only you have the keys to that ferrari. But I will put this out there – I firmly believe that the Paths presented to us are doorways specifically opened by the Gods. Each choice we make affects us further into the future and helps to shape our own perception of the world around us, as well as how we interact with it. Sometimes the road gets littered with rocks, sometimes its littered with glass, other times its some kind of surface that’s easy to walk. In the end, its a matter of choosing where to go and how to get there. After that – its all about being patient, and working through your inner demons of self-doubt. The immediate result is personal resolve…the long-term payout is being who you are destined to be…even though I do not like to invoke the word of “destiny”… 🙂