I quit my CERT class tonight.
I hadn’t planned to, not when I left the house, but as I drove over, all the things of the week rolled through my head, and by the time I arrived at the Law Enforcement Center I knew. That isn’t where I am supposed to be.
Then when I told my instructor, I felt my voice cracking. When another instructor asked if everything was okay and looked me in the eyes, I am sure he saw puddles starting to form. I simply said, “Life changes. I need to be home.”
Then a third instructor asked me if there was anything they could do, and I choked out, “I just need to be home.”
By the time I got to the truck, I was in tears.
I hadn’t expected that.
Honestly, I really didn’t know why I was crying. I loved the class the first time I took it, but this time it really was just a means to the end of becoming an instructor. I wasn’t enjoying it at all, and I was counting weeks until it was finished.
Still, I cried.
So I sat in my truck, cried, and asked God what was up with that.
And somewhere in the jumble of words and tears I understood.
With the first class, I had felt so excited, so alive. I wanted to feel that again. Actually, I just wanted to feel something that didn’t feel like pain. And, this didn’t hurt. But, it didn’t feel good either.
I wasn’t crying because I was giving up a class. I was crying because I was giving up something that had been important, that had been a happy place, and there was nothing to replace it. Once again, I was staring at what used to be a place where I felt connected and joyful and now was just an empty spot.
And empty spots are hard things.
They are scary things.
Because I don’t know just how deep they are going to go…
Or how long they are going to last…
Or what will fill them.
All I really know is
I refuse to let the fear of Nothing
compel me to hold on to a useless Something.
So I wiped the tears from my face and started the truck. I didn’t look back because I knew it my break my resolve. Instead, I looked forward and put the truck in drive, not really knowing where I was going or what I was going to do.
But I knew I was headed in the right direction, and that was something.
And that something felt good.