Preface: I write this reluctantly, but if I wait for beautiful phrases and rhythms, I’ll be waiting until Spring. Or Summer. I write with no words, but still I write. (I totally stole that from a kid. not gonna lie.)
Being in community lifts us, whether it is a fellow colleague (who resembles a best friend more each day) who sends notes and 9 year old hugs across the hall on a busy day or a friend who simply says “I miss your writing.” They lift us. Pick us out from where we are and remind us of ourselves.
This morning, I got an email. “I miss your voice,” it said. I miss your voice. (Annie, thank you just doesn’t cut it. I’ve been lost. Not in a bad way, but lost just the same.)
I haven’t written lately. I keep saying this to myself as if the saying it will make me write. (It doesn’t.) Behind those words I really wonder if it matters. Wonder what I have to say that anyone would want to listen.
I’m transitioning. New school. New students to love. New people who don’t know me. My heart is simply exhausted. I’m teaching ok. Not great. But ok. And I’m heartbroken over ok. I’m just too tired to turn it into great. I’m not teaching great AND I’m not seeing friends AND I’m not resting. So where is it all going? Where am I?
Somewhere between school and home I realized what it is. I’m overwhelmed and a bit of a mess. The kind of mess that one finds under my bed or in my junk drawer. That’s just how I roll. But being hidden doesn’t decrease the mess. In fact, it probably prolongs it. Anyway, that’s what it is.
No hormonal influence involved- it’s just me. Today was a little cooky. Not bad, but cooky. I left right after school (more hours NOT making the charts and lessons I need) to get downtown in time to pay a fat fine to the NYC County Clerk for not filling out a 10 question questionnaire. It took me all of 13.5 seconds to cry when the receptionist was less than kind to me. My tears continued through my appointment with the clerk, except he gave me candy and gentle understanding, which I appreciated. But that made me cry more.
Several years ago I wrote about tears being the result of too much- too much joy, sorrow… too much of something. Today I realized I’m overwhelmed because of too much. Could it be newness? Is that the too much? Has it finally caught up with me?(Hmm- the tears that came with those words I just typed say yes.)
I’ll figure it out. I’ll figure out how to teach with no free time in my room. I’ll figure out how to make my nimble mind plan with new faces and ways. I’ll figure out how to work out of enough rest. And see the friends I miss. It will come. Life is just full right now.
It’s 5pm on the train and I end my day much how it began- with Andrew Bird in my ears and dear Katherine Bomer’s words in my hands. Not a bad way to end a tough day.
In the mean time, I am grateful for the people who pick me out of this for a brief second and remind me of what matters. And Annie, thank you. Hopefully we’ll both be turning corners soon. And the next time I teach on the power of community, I’m telling this story.