I first notice the subtle sting in mid August of 2009. Although I did not recognize what it was, I felt the bitter gnawing regardless.
It started off innocently enough, merely an awkward feeling of discontentment that was easily brushed off. I had a great life, good friends, an awesome family. I had a 9-5 job that was gift wrapped and given to me when other recent grads were settling for jobs at Starbucks and Albertson's. Life was good.
But it was different. It was...lusterless. Not quite boring, but it had lost it's shine.
I tried to throw some excitement back in, tried to fill that nagging hole that seemed to be progressively making itself more known. I bought a brand new car! Considered taking more vacations. Dated ALOT. And they all worked to keep me pre-occupied for a time, but no epiphany came from it. No "ah ha! So that's what I was missing!" moment. Growing up in a religious home, people tend to attribute a feeling of emptiness to a yearning for God: a hole only a relationship with Jesus can fill. So I tried this too. I read my Bible more, prayed more, tithed more consistently, theologized with friends - but, apparently, this wasn't that kind of hole either.
For a while, the restlessness in my heart was just uncomfortable. I was happy, but something wasn't right. For a while, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. But when I was touring the U of O campus with my soon to be a freshman sister, I realized what "it" was.
I realized, I miss you, Education.
I know I said I needed some time off. I needed a little freedom. Some time to do what I wanted, when I wanted and not have to worry about spending time with you: working on that paper due first thing Monday morning, memorizing important names and dates, scheduling studying sessions and reading groups.
But the truth is, you motivated me. You gave me something to work for, and once it was achieved, you gave me something to be proud of.
The truth is, I miss those late nights in the library fueled by coffee and the adrenaline of an approaching deadline. I miss the camaraderie felt between students analyzing stories and their accompanying cultures. I miss the confidence I gained from discussions with brilliant professors and pats on the back given for a theme well presented.
I know I have responsibilities: school loans, car payments, a job ect. But I can no longer ignore that once subtle feeling of unrightness; now named, it has turned into a vexing madness. I spend hours agonizing over how I can win you back, Education: expensive GRE classes? An exotic Institution location? A challenging, fascinating concentration? Name your conditions and I will comply!
I know it will cost a lot emotionally, financially; and I know I'll have to try to make it work, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I made a huge mistake when we broke up. Education, Higher Learning, will you please take me back?