Some days are easier than others. I mean that kinda goes without saying. You have days where you jump out of bed ready to dance and do and live big. And others where the comforter’s embrace and your heavy eyelids would just rather stay shut.
And I mean it when I say there are days I just have to convince myself that it’s going to be a good day. If that means I have to dress up for an occasion with nowhere to go or stay in my favorite too big to stay up pants for the day, well it’s a compromise I’m willing to make.
Yet, I have never felt more like the steps I’m taking are directed at SOMETHING. It may not be immediate. It may look like a mess to some, but my life,to me, has never been so honest.
I took a pretty big leap last year. I started graduate school part-time while teaching middle school full-time and contributing to 3 sisters. It was a lot. It felt like a lot. And there came a time where I knew one thing had to move. I knew it was time. But it didn’t make it any less terrifying. And I weighed options. A lot. Before bed. In my dreaming and journaling. I imagined living the life of each hat with dignity and grace. But I knew. I knew I was not in alignment long-term and being honest is the greatest gift there is.
So, I took a step back from my full-time title and job of being a teacher. It was an identity I had learned to live and it had become, almost, habit. In some instances, I could predict the outcome of a story we read or when the laughter of the class would rise because the familiarity of my days. I take partial responsibility for this, too. I would like to add, I love kids and being a teacher is an honor. To stand and shape students day in and day out and have them shape you, it’s a really powerful and beautiful thing. The district was supportive and proactive. But there are sides of teaching that didn’t work for me. Teaching the same thing 5 times… 5 hours. Each hour the same lesson with a sprinkle of change more or less. Over 120 papers to grade and endless standards to reach.
While there’s liberation in letting go, there’s certainly grief, too. The faces of beaming kiddos, your favorite teachers to catch up with, the daily greatness of that which is middle school… it was sad. But I knew. And once you know, you must.
I began my classes studying Counseling full-time. I took the reigns more at 3 sisters. I uprooted my life’s everyday’s and re-sculpted them to better guide me towards my purpose.
I have never felt so invested in the shaping of my own life. I go to class eager to know more. I meet internship with curiosity. I am diving into the path that asks me to show up and be honest with me. I am reading books about trauma to genuinely better understand.
And are there days where it still is hard to get out and exercise? Absolutely. Are there moments where I wonder how the hell I’m going to manage student loan debt? You betcha.
But the steps of a new way?. They actually feel familiar, like I’m walking up my best grade school friend’s driveway. The dark pavement and uprooted pieces of cement are predictable because conversations with colleagues are deeply inquisitive, deepening, and enriching, self-reflection is a tool I’m honored to use daily, and self-care made the cut. All of these items I dreamed of incorporating and feel like home, they have arrived.
Don’t get me wrong, my path, some days looks more like a tricky circle with no beginning and no end. But, those days, where I feel just plain tired and lost, I still, am reminded in a way that I wasn’t before, that my choosing, my risks, my having to let go and grieve, brought me a little closer to the life I have been dreaming.