“Quo Vadis, Timoteus?”
These days I search the papers for possible job opportunities. It’s not that I hate my job or anything of that kind. Neither am I tiring of the kids I teach. It’s just that I’ve reached a plateau in my life where I find it hard to motivate myself. I feel that I have done all I have ever wished to do in teaching. I have taught all the subjects and levels of same that I have ever wished. Every day seems to be more of the same, and I appear to be just going through the motions. It has taken me some eight weeks in therapy to realise this. I suppose having always really wanted to be a teacher – in fact since I was seven years of age – and really never having questioned this vocation for any real length of time meant that I had not realised how much my deeper spirit was restless. Listening to my dreams also has helped. I discussed one such dream with my therapist last week.
The dream went thus: I was a passenger in a car driven by a former teacher and professor who was retired when I knew him at school. He was our school librarian and I was a prefect in that library. He was a classical scholar and had edited and written many books. He had always inspired me as he was the very first person I knew who had a doctorate. His name was James J. Carey, and in my dream he was my taxi driver. We were heading towards Fairview (from Ballybough where I grew up) where my present school is located. Suddenly James J. swung the steering wheel to the left and forced the car across the traffic and up onto the footpath and from there onto Clonliffe Road where I had gone to college many years previously. What does that dream say to me?
Quite obviously it shows that my direction in life, especially my academic life, is changing. I want to follow the path of James J. I have long wanted to return to academia, and this dream has certainly reinforced it. Over the next many sessions I need to explore where I want to go with both my professional and personal life. I suppose at 48 I have reached the classic midlife crisis. They say the word “crisis” comes from a root word meaning “opportunity” as well as “suffering”. There is a lot of truth in that contention. I need to gather whatever remnants of courage I possess, take risks and strike out on a new path. At least now I realise that I do need to find a new path. “Quo vadis, Timoteus?” Over the next posts hopefully I’ll explore this question.
The picture I have inserted centre top is one of wheel tracks I took on Donabate beach some weeks back.