Ode to dead ends

From Unsplash

It is time to hail the dead end
the closed doors and lack of opportunities
It is time to accept that a dead end often points to another path
sometimes more scenic and fulfilling than
the one you had set your heart on

detours; forced or voluntary
open windows into the unknown
it may  or may not happen serendipitously
but there is no accompanying drama
of thunderstorm, lightning or celestial prophecy
it happens unobtrusively,  quite quietly

pushed willy-nilly into teaching high schoolers
was like being thrown into the cage of a hungry lion
except that they were a bunch of forty antsy teenagers
and I, the object of their curiosity
I became the lion in the enclosure
to be watched and poked at

after those initial days of hiccups
we did grow together; the teacher and the taught
learning as I began teaching
being enriched while enriching lives
and the job that I never wanted
changed my life forever
and continues to define me even after I quit
enfolding me in a warm embrace of fuzziness

dead ends are not full stops; they are but semi colons
not glaring red but flickering  soft green
which you may miss if you blink
next time you are up against a wall
pause, don’t give up and look around
believe me you will find a chink.

Written for Sadje’s wdys, David’s W3 to Deepthy’s prompt and Eugi’s moonwashed weekly challenge.

Also sharing at dVerse OLN.

86 thoughts on “Ode to dead ends

  1. Love your story and specially the positive attitude in life: dead ends are not full stops; they are but semi colons. We make the best of what we are given, smiles.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Nice one, Punam! “the job that I never wanted/changed my life forever”: how often it happens that what we think will be grueling becomes a blessing, the lion becoming a lamb.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh boy….Thank heavens for that dead end for that is how we met.
        The influence you have had on those antsy teenagers (yours truly being one of them) has changed their lives …so much for the better.
        (Hugs hugs and more hugs)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s wonderful that you loved it! My husband did, too. (He still teaches math part-time.) And our daughter took a year off, but she just returned to teaching, 6th grade English.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Teaching is very fulfilling and rewarding. I left my job when I got married and shifted to Delhi. Then the lure of sailing with my husband, kids and so on kept me away from it. It’s wonderful your husband still teaches part-time and your daughter teaches too. Sadly, we don’t have that kind of work culture here… it’s either full time or not.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. He was full-time in public high school, but the part-time is as an adjunct at a community college. I don’t think there are many part-time positions at high schools, but colleges often have adjunct professors.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a lovely read, Punam โค I love this whole stanza, it's so wise and beautiful:

    "detours; forced or voluntary
    open windows into the unknown
    it may or may not happen serendipitously
    but there is no accompanying drama
    of thunderstorm, lightning or celestial prophecy
    it happens unobtrusively, quite quietly"

    As a fellow teacher, I found this so relatable ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ooh we do think alike, and I bet those students will never forget you!

    I learnt very young that when doors close, often slammed in my face, that something much better awaits me. I have numerous examples but the most recent one was the trip I just did … as 3 doors closed on modes of transport I was left with no choice but to drive my own little car 11,000 km. Best experience I could ever have ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Sadly, can’t return. It is a miracle if young deserving people get unemployment, there is no room for older people. Ironically, we as a country don’t know how to tap into unused resources. Schools won’t hire me for even part time voluntary services. ๐Ÿ˜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. but an ex-teacher would be so valuable, so many skills … sadly I’ve been confronted with similar waste of professional skills … appalling really!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A dead-end is not the end, the door maybe locked, but we have the key in our pocket and upon opening allows a new light to shine in โ€ฆ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒ

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh boy….Thank heavens for that dead end for that is how we met.
    The influence you have had on those antsy teenagers (yours truly being one of them) has changed their lives …so much for the better.
    (Hugs hugs and more hugs)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Another way of interpreting the, dead-ends is that, you need to find something else that will work, and, it activates our brains, when we hit a, dead end, that way, our mind stays, active, and, we won’t develop dementia when we’re, elderly.

    Liked by 2 people

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