Dear Diary,

Once again, I come to you. I must find a space to breathe just as I desperately needed last year at this time. The fear of the unknowns no longer exists after living through one of the most unpredictable times in my career. The worry of returning to school during a pandemic is not nearly as strong as it was a year ago, but a small amount of anxiety remains. Thoughts race through my mind now that surpass the pandemic, and land in my heart.

My summer break from school was spent differently than my traditional retreats. I have disciplined myself to make the most out of the summer months to continue to grow professionally, take graduate courses, reflect and revise my curriculum, and work in my classroom. Not this summer.

Instead, I maximized my time to reflect upon my personal and professional dreams. My ears were filled with the best motivational podcasts and audio books. I explored revised views of my professional goals. I revisited my values and considered how my life – both personally and professionally – aligns with or no longer connects with how I want to live and contribute to the world. I found mutual support in my sister-in-law and together, we ignited a fire within each other to transform our futures into a life living on purpose.

It may sound a little funny, but my sister-in-law is also named Jessica. Yes, two Jessica Madenford sisters. Thank goodness our husbands brought us together.

As much as I want to continue writing about learner-center education, right now, in this season of my life, I need my diary entries to process all that life is holding for me. I need my diary entries to relate to others traveling down similar roads. I need my diary entries to document the path that lies ahead.

What will my future look like? For months, I have battled a strong desire to transition into a position that better serves adults. I love teaching, mentoring, coaching others, learning, creating, and contributing to the growth of others. I have decided to explore options to fulfill my purpose and what that looks like for my future.

Although I have yet to discover that all-encompassing dreamy position, I celebrate accomplishments that reflect the stepping stones in my journey.