I am processing the change of leaving one place for someplace new. Still. Here I am writing about it. Again. How long is this going to be necessary?
Until I find more clarity.
Until I no longer feel that this is not that.
Until it seems like I have nestled into a settled sort of feeling.
I am not even close.
Nowhere near. I have hidden from writing because it forces the most honesty. When the words start to come, the truth arrives. Steps out from around the corner. It stares me down, reminding me that it is always there and won’t be ignored. It insists on being told. It stands firm and strong. There is no going around. I need to walk right up to it and embrace what it shows me. Nothing is a surprise. It is my truth after all.
It is forceful. Unrelenting. It dares me to tell.
Truth recognizes its own power to move us through. It doesn’t protect or fuss. It doesn’t hold hands, soothe us with comfort words or do half the work.
It holds up the mirror, makes us stand up straight and look carefully.
“Talk,” it says. “There is no hiding or easing in. Just begin.”
There is a lot I miss. Relationships. Deep connections. Knowing what is next.
I miss feeling home. I miss being needed. Even the desperately needed that left little for me. Somehow, at the end of the day, I could always breathe again. I always found the energy to come back and do it all over.
I miss never doubting that what I did mattered. I didn’t need to fix it all. I just had to be willing to try. That counted in big ways.
“Imagine if I could just teach,” I used to think. But it’s always been the who and not the what in what we do that has meant anything to me. It’s still early days and I haven’t completely figured out who needs me how and if I know how to give that thing instead of another.
It used to be mostly about love and attention and care. Those things first. Never judging the crying or the upset or the wild and the wooly. Being consistent. Being there. Showing up. Being strong.
The things I need to do now, I needed to do then but it’s different. Plan. Teach. Organize. Somedays, there has been a lot of teaching. A lot of learning. Amazing learning. Exciting engagement. But I feel alone when I turn around to share it. I love to celebrate at the end of each day. I miss having the adult in the room who has weathered the storm with me and who agrees the smooth stone we hold up is completely beautiful even though we stepped through a lot of muck to find it. The muck made the beautiful parts all the more special. That we saw the beauty and not the muck made us all the more human.
These days, there are not always storms. Sometimes though I am distracted by rocky edges. Sand that itches. Wind that turns me around.
Sometimes, I kind of need a fix. I find myself drawn to any available chaos. The child not managing in the hall. The melt downs. It’s not trauma I seek. Or wish on anyone. It’s the formula of the challenge of deep inner city schools.
Upset + making it through = reminders of how human we all are. Vulnerable, not perfect but trying our best for each other.
(Calm + care ) x multiple occurrences = immeasurable rewards
Those rewards nourished me for years and years.
It’s not about wanting to go back. I am truly gone. It is about recognizing what I miss. About trying to find new ways to give. It’s the giving that counted.
I feel richest when I give deeply and celebrate often. Lately, I have been feeling a little empty.
Truth sets a high bar. It reflects but it doesn’t tell. It shines but it doesn’t explain. It waits until we muddle about collecting the words, setting them down syllable by syllable willing them to tell the story of what we see. It won’t even nod its approval because we know when it’s right. When we can barely bare to say it without pulling it back or rushing to cover it up, then we know. We’ve laid it out. We’ve been brave.
I am still tracking truth.
Word by word, I find myself more on the road.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.