Over the past few weeks, I haven’t felt much like writing and it was really bothering me. Writing has always been my security blanket, my comfort zone. It’s also been the thing I turn to in times of trouble and sadness and confusion.
And then it hit me. I haven’t been in trouble or sad or all that confused lately. Things have been pretty good and consequently, I haven’t sought the blank page for any answers.
It is so easy for me to slip into self pity and self centeredness that I could quickly generate a list of worries and stressors that creep into my daily life. Davis still hates school, I am still adrift with my career goals and life vision, my fat clothes are getting tight again, and money is, well, it’s as tight as my jeans lately.
But rather than let any or all of those consume me, I am struck by how great life actually is. And the gratitude I feel has been enough to keep those fears and worries at bay.
In the past month I have been on an adventure of a lifetime with my best friends, spent real and amazing moments with my loved ones, and started a new job that has changed me immensely.
Last week, I traveled to Denver, Colorado with two of my best friends to see Duran Duran play at Red Rocks Amphitheater. For years I’ve wanted to see a concert at this outdoor venue and finally the dream came true! I spent two days with two women who I love dearly. We laughed and cried and laughed even more. And then we stood, front row center, watching our favorite band in the world perform under a blanket of stars. The memories we take away from that weekend will last forever and I am a blessed and happy girl to have been able to live this experience.
Even though having kids is oftentimes hard, I can’t complain. Mine spend every other week away from me now because of the divorce and I am fully aware that my time with them is all the more precious. My new job has me gone in the evenings, so I am relishing the little things more…dropping off and picking up at school, cooking new recipes for them from scratch, watching movies and talking about what books they are reading or new video games they have played. I am practicing mindful listening and not being the first to let go of the hug. Weekends have become a sacred and special time for us and while I’m not perfect, I’m not as checked out as I used to be.
My new job is so interesting. I teach ESL to adults. My specific assignment is Reading and Writing/Level 2. For the first week, I suffered panic attacks every day as the time neared for class to begin. I would get sick and sweaty and couldn’t breath. I’m not sure what I was so afraid of, but even now, a month into it, I get nervous as 6 pm gets closer. Here’s a truth though. I think many of my students are just as or more scared than me. And I have grown to realize how brave and amazing they are just for showing up each night.
Teaching this class has helped me rediscover myself as a teacher. Actually, I’ve rediscovered myself as a human being. Each night, when I’m in my classroom, I stand before people who I would have never interacted with in other circumstances. Not necessarily because I thought I was better than them, but perhaps because our paths might not have ever crossed. Or, when they did, our language barriers would have kept us silent.
But that’s the thing. They don’t want to be silent. Nor should they have to be. I have met some of the most interesting and caring and hardworking people I’ve ever known. They are smart and funny and full of stories and experiences that make them far more interesting and worldly than anything I’ve ever done or known. The realization that I have been blessed with the job of helping them grow and make a true and genuine difference in their lives is staggering. I want to help them and I think about ways to truly make an impact all the time. I think I am and that is a wonderful feeling.
While this job doesn’t do much to improve my finances and at the moment takes me away from my family, I feel it’s worth it. My students are worth it. And the changes I am seeing in myself are worth it.
Last week, while sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, a fellow patient exclaimed “Life is really fun, if you just let it be” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s fun, even when it’s hard. And it’s good, even during those times when it’s not.
So while I haven’t lately filled the white pages of my blog with words, I have filled my heart with new experiences and new outlooks and perspectives. Life is fun, indeed.