My bags are too many, and probably too heavy. And yet, my heart is strangely neither heavy nor light, but neutral. I think that my conflicting emotions have canceled each other out. In the short term, I am glad to see my family tomorrow, but I feel no more glad than the normal emotions I feel when I see the family. I'm happy to celebrate Christmas with them, but I'm not bouncing off the walls. (I think I used to think that I was a really enthusiastic person, but I've realized more and more recently that I am not; that in fact, I’m somewhat serious a lot more of the time than I think. I have my moments of “hyperness,” but over the teaching years those moments were usually in the classroom. I seemed to save all my energy for the excitement of Shakespeare and Dickens.)
I have some anxiety about the big question of what is happening next. I don't know what is happening next. Life is a giant question mark after the middle of January. The middle of January is a completely arbitrary date; I simply need some time "off" before rushing into another job. I know I have deep sadness about leaving Dakar Academy. I also have some “daydream-y” expectations about what awaits me, whatever that is. All these emotions, however, have interacted with each other to foment a simply neutral temperament. Is it acceptance? Is it denial? It's not quite numbness. It's just calmness. A calmness that is paradoxically nerve-wracking, for a part of me wants to be melodramatically emotional about all of this. I want to be a bit unhinged, I guess, because that seems like the normal thing to do. Yet, I am not. I am just calm. I have cried, but earlier, long before all of this.
And so I sit in the dark, typing this feeble note. I don't even know what to say anymore, even to myself. I don't know how to answer the questions anymore. I'm tired in spirit, and I can't even seem to be able to express that well to even myself. It's the end of a good chapter in my life. And, like most good chapters in the best books, the Author has left a bit of a cliffhanger. I'll just have to stay tuned to the next installment in The Life of Danielle Bowers, and not forget that He does have a plan, even I don't. He knows what I'm doing in January, and February, in 2013 and 2014 and beyond, and He even knows--and wants--what's best for me. May He guide me in the paths of righteousness. May I ever look to Him for the answers, and not into my own numb, confused heart.