I have a job guaranteed for next year! And a house! And I have decided that Billings is HOME. I suppose things are okay. This time last year I came here for the first time. It’s a lot of good.
Except all the good things feel… tentative…because I’m not used to things clicking. Things are clicking, and my old self likes to come out and play when I’m stressed. The Covid Crap makes everything different.
So, current soundtrack: Rage Against the Machine, “Killing in the Name Of.” I mean, the lyrics say “f**k you, I won’t do what you tell me.” Take that, life.
I live 100% myself at all times. And right now I’m very triggered by all of the things happening in the world. In addition, it’s the Scorpio Super Moon. I mean, listen. My astrological moon is the also Scorpio Moon. The moon influences our emotions, and my personal moon just happens to be most intense emotional moon. So. We can just step back and take that in.
I have a lot of stuff I’m managing at the moment. It helps me to have things to rationalize it with. It’s not just Covid_19, it’s also the moon. This helps me to feel less scared, even if it’s not as healthy as just noticing the emotions, and forging a path one moment at a time.
I worked at school taking my classroom apart today. I hated every minute of it. I listened to loud music, killing my eardrums, in my headphones the whole time. I had to focus on something that wasn’t what I was doing. I don’t want to say goodbye to these students.
If I’m completely honest with myself, here’s what’s up:
I wanted this year to be perfect. I wanted it to be the year that my personal life and professional life melded together as “whole.” I felt whole in myself. I still do. But the school year blew up 7 weeks ago. And that changed everything. I also wanted to have this whole school year to process what I did in 2019. It was hard. I needed time to work through it. It’s hard to admit that teaching and learning alongside my students helps me process things. Our morning meetings were crucial to my own personal mental health. Being in a group, talking about one good thing and one bad thing, or just saying “what your thoughts are” was a helpful practice for me.
We had a meeting the last day of school, at the end of the day. We were going to have to cancel a field trip, and we were going to have to start doing social distancing at school. It as super hard on them, and there were tears. We had a meeting, and I assured them that everything was going to be ok. I promised a super fun art activity the next Monday…and Monday didn’t come.
I remember telling them that they have to be their own best friend, because they are the only person in the world that has their experiences and thoughts. They are the only one they will know their whole life. That they are the person they need to love and take care of, because it all starts from that source.
That was our last talk. I hope some of it stayed with them.
I was thinking about this as I was packing up their things and it made me feel tight and sad. I also am overwhelmed in my new relationship with another human, even though it is a very loving one. I had a lot to process.
All I could think to do was to just drive. I left school and went home to let the dog out. Then I got in the truck and started driving east toward Hardin. When I got to Hardin I drove through the town and just kept going. I ended up driving up the Big Horn mountains and seeing Yellowtail Lake/Dam. I drove for four hours. I could have driven for four more. I considered at one point just driving all night, listening to music and just thinking.
Last May, over Mother’s Day Weekend, I drove to Billings for the first time in my life. I had a job, here in Billings, and I didn’t want to be a renter. I knew I needed to find a house.
So this weekend last year is the first time I set foot in what would become my new life. It was the first time I’d been this far east in Montana.
I drove by Lucy on that Friday night and was like “NOPE.” We saw many houses that Saturday and NONE were acceptable. I saw my neighbor’s plastic bag window at Lucy and didn’t want to even consider it. Then I reconsidered.
We came back over to Lucy. And Lucy was perfect. And a total mess. Like me.
I mean, I thought I was totally together, and had no more healing to do, because I was a hopeful idiot. I thought I had all the inner resources I needed to pull this off. I didn’t. But I pulled it off, anyway. And grew.
The mess was the miracle.
I met Lucy. We got to know each other and held each other. And then we were saved.