the balance between sticking around and letting go

I have officially stepped down from my position as a writing program assistant. My position will end in December when classes end. The decision was a difficult one for me but for my sanity, I felt it necessary to relieve myself of stress where I could. I no longer have the energy it takes, emotionally or otherwise, to do the job. To be honest, I think there should be a term limit for the position. The decision would have been made for me, in that case as I am nearing the 2 year mark. I think 2 years is all a graduate student can really give an administrative position. It's interesting the spirit of change I feel as I attempt to think of myself as someone's colleague and not just a grad student. So much of my identity as a graduate student is/was connected to the PA position that it very much feels like I'm letting that go. I know it is the right thing and the best thing but it is still a process of giving something up that I mostly enjoyed, that I worked hard for and that I closely identified with. I am waiting for the exhilaration to set in.

There are quite a few jobs in the state of Illinois for which I am applying and the more I think about it, the more I realize I'd be pretty happy with sticking around the area. Not simply because it's comfortable but because I feel very connected to Michelle's family and appreciate them more and more. Sticking around them would be welcome. Besides, there is something I appreciate about the mentality and the landscape of the Midwest. I'm not sure my time here is finished yet. And that is a feeling I never thought I'd experience.

So, yeah, things are changing. When I first started teaching at ISU I assigned a project to my students which used the metaphor of changing skins, adapting, having and being different selves. I feel that in letting go in some areas and sticking in others I'm getting closer to bringing those selves of me together; something I've been working on for some time and know will be a lifelong struggle for me. I don't think change is only about adaptation. Instead, I think it's about letting things affect you, things like love, landscape, geography, friendship, writing; it all makes a difference if you allow it to. I'm beginning to understand where the balance can reside in my life.