Ever had the sense of belonging not quite where you thought you were supposed to belong? I’ve encountered such feelings before, and I don’t always pause to wonder why. Usually just because it’s too much of a headache to think about it or because I fear what the implication of those hunches might be. Lately it seems I’ve been encountering this sentiment more than usual.
I feel perpetually lodged between two worlds, at times travelling fluidly between them, at times uncomfortably wedged between them. Singapore vs. Toronto, OISE vs. non-OISE, philosophy vs. applied theory… never feeling like I fully belong in any one of them. Not quite anchored, not quite adrift.
It’s been a long while since I’ve been shaken out of my complacency, since I’ve had to question myself if I really know what I want to do with my life. Counterfactuals are a dangerous thing. Once a path is set, I hate to think ‘what if?’ Wishing something doesn’t mean it will happen that way though as I’ve lately been reminded. It’s humbling and unsettling how many important choices in my life can still be questioned and tested even after the fact.
My decision to choose the path of an academic in philosophy of education has lately been one such choice. More and more I find my mind coming ‘down from the clouds’ and my heart leaning more and more towards concrete educational practice. I can’t get myself excited about theories or theorists, which makes me feel rather like a lost sheep in my program of study. So unlike what any philosopher would say, I keep wanting to ask “yes, but how will that make a difference ?”
I wish to make a difference somehow. But how? Where? Have I chosen the path I ought to have chosen? Where will it lead? I’ve always hated uncertainty, as much as I’ve grown to accept it as a necessary part of living. Deep in my heart I know that I will always be asking these questions, as I should be. But as I walk further in the this journey we call life I find it takes more and more courage to ask those questions because more and more is at stake. For that reason, every decision needs to be renewed at times, every commitment affirmed or discarded lest I forget why I am where I am.
I need to return to the source of all my strength once again… and it does not lie in me.
“Let nothing trouble you,
Let nothing scare you,
All is fleeting,
God alone is unchanging.
Patience everything obtains.
Who possesses God nothing wants.
God alone suffices.” – St. Teresa of Avila