I am so thankful for my school and students. Every day, I wake up and I am more than delighted to be going to work. I can’t wait to get there to see them and start the day. I can’t wait to get them excited about books and reading, and to make sure if nothing else, they go home knowing that I will always love them.
There have been years I had to drag myself out of bed, or I snoozed so many times I had only a few minutes to get ready. I didn’t love my students any less in those years, but I truly didn’t give a shit about myself for so long.
This school year I find that I am a such different person that it has permeated everything. It’s subtle, and not probably not really obvious to anyone but me. I’m not magically better at being a teacher. I am thoroughly better at being a human, but especially at being the person I always was hidden under all kind of layers of-whateveryouwanttocallit. I fell in love with myself. And then all the “stuff” just kind of went away. The stuff that kept me from living.
I would do anything for this classroom of humans, I am so in love with them. I have been in love with every single group of students I’ve ever been randomly selected to teach. But being here with this group is so touching and tender, because I can feel my let go of holding on to all the ego crap, perfectionism, overwork, and self loathing. Yes, self-loathing. I used to see my failures as a teacher as a massive character flaw, instead of the real human truth of we are all human and we all mess up. I’ve always told my students that mistakes are expected. That in order to learn, we must make mistakes. I’ve said for years that I make a whole bunch of mistakes before I even make it to school in the morning. Now I actually have internalized what I have always taught my students.
They say that transformation occurs when you have some major wake up. I think I had multiple wake ups, because I thought I was all healed up and ready to go when I got to Montana in June. (INSERT MANIACAL LAUGHTER)
So yeah, life is a process. And I’m pretty happy that it is, I have finally accepted that.
One of the things that my students do, that is just the most adorable thing, is that when I take them out for their morning recess they circle around my bluetooth speaker and request songs. Sometimes I DJ their songs, sometimes I play my own mix. They are completely in LOVE with the Wiz Khalifa song “See You Again,” and they will surround the speaker and BELT the song. When we go out to recess and I put the speaker down on the concrete they yell, “CIRCLE UP!!”
I mean, seriously. It is just too much. They were out there singing their hearts out this week, and it was 37 degrees and they were telling me they were hot. And the Montana-ness of kids wearing snow boots and bare sleeves and saying it was hot with snow on the ground made me a little weepy. I know how ridiculous it is.
In reality, it’s just a gift to love anything. It’s a gift to love my classroom. It’s a gift to love where I live, to love my family and to have people that love me back. I’m just fine.
It’s also a gift to love my ridiculous animals that have been putting my heart through the ringer lately. Scully ran away from Tuesday to Wednesday night, and while I was out putting up signs I locked myself out of my house. I had to break into a window. It was so ridiculous, but I had my kind neighbor Dan and my lovely friend Clem here to give me support.
It’s in those 100% chaos life moments that you just need to laugh and realize how much you really have. It’s so obvious I need to just pause. My love will be home soon. And tomorrow I get to spend my day with young people and with co-workers that light me up inside.
None of the shit is really shit. From Korra rolling in cow patties to shitting all over my house…none of that really matters. This moment matters, and how I choose to take it in.
I hope anything I’m saying resonates with anyone, because it’s a pretty big deal. We get to choose in every moment how we are going to interpret an experience. It’s completely up to us how to let it in, how we let it teach us.
Love your story Jen and I’m so glad I came by to check out where you’ve been this past year since Hoco 2018 and following the first pieces!! (& glad Molly shared the link!) 💪🏻 ❤️ 🥰 Super inspiring
Linda thank you so much for the kind words. HOCO has changed my life. It has helped me out a mirror up to places I was avoiding. ❤️🙏🏻