I have never considered myself a lover of adventure. I’m not risk-taker, by nature. In fact, I find great comfort and joy in the routine aspects of life.
Still, there is a sense of restless ambition that seems to show up in my life from time to time. Twelve years ago that restless ambition caused me to resign from a job I had loved for 15 years, sell my house, leave my church, and move to the big city to pursue a new life. That new job—that new life—came with a rough transition, but it has resulted in a decade of growing satisfaction in my progress as a teacher (and as a musician, worship leader, runner, and writer).
Of late, I have been surprised to find that sense of restless ambition returning. Loving my job as I do, I have imagined that I would retire from Timberline High School (something I could do in just seven more years). But six weeks ago I felt compelled to pursue another job opportunity—one that would have kept me in the Boise School District but taken me out of the classroom. I made the decision to apply with great hesitation and anxiety, knowing that I might not actually be ready to leave the job I love and that I might not like the new job at all.
I won’t keep you suspense: I found out on Thursday that I did not get the job. I expected to feel mostly relieved by this result. I thought I would see this as a confirmation that I am right where I should be. Much to my surprise, though, that feeling of restless ambition has not ebbed in the last 48 hours.
However, at this moment, that restless ambition does not seem to be saying “go” so much as “step it up.” I do not feel disappointed to be staying in the classroom. On the contrary, as I face the waning days of year 26 of this career of mine, I find myself consumed with ideas of how year 27 could and should be the best year yet.
Perhaps this restless ambition will ultimately give me the courage and direction to try out some other avenues in the field of education (or maybe even some unforeseen circuitous paths), but right now, it is pushing me—compelling me to become better. Better at this job.
Year 27? Bring it on.