In the past two months I have written approximately 76 blog posts in my head…or at least started them. They never came to fruition.
In the past two months I have considered writing a farewell post (not to the world, folks…hehe…just to the world of blogging) at least 47 times. I never found the courage.
In the past two months I have prepared, taught, graded, prepared, taught, graded, screamed, prepared, cried, taught, moped, and graded.
A few weeks ago I began a list of the things I have begun learning since I started teaching. I got to three:
- There is nothing more precious than boredom.
- My capacity for self-pity may know some bounds, but these are much further away than I had previously imagined.
- Young people present a phenomenon exactly the reverse of hair: Find one on their own and they are lovely. A big, huge group of them flowing from the same source, however, can be stomach turning.
Okay…that last one’s a bit harsh. And I am really, honestly, getting better at this as the days go by. I am also (hallelujah!) learning (slowly…very slowly. Don’t rush me!) not to take myself so flipping seriously. And with a little luck, my students are learning a little English along the way. Incidentally, I should clarify that the type of boredom to which I refer is not the deep-existential-no-meaning-to-life sort, but more the lazy-summer-afternoon-Mom-there’s-nothing-to-do sort.
Words are a huge part of my life. While I haven’t been writing too many of them, I’ve been dissecting lots of them to help non-native speakers make sense of them. And the words in the title of our blog have been rattling around in my head a lot. In some very dark moments, I’ve felt completely detached from any of the magical sense we felt when they came to us…more like What’s the Point and Who Gives a Rat’s Ass…and then, with a little (a lot. Like tons of it.) help from Chris, I remember it’s not just what if and why not, but also what now and how come.
I have some friends who are really into farming and agriculture. Chris is one of them. Usually it’s him writing about dirt and seeds and worms and all that gross stuff, but let me put on my straw hat for a second to build this metaphor: sometimes we gotta leave the land fallow. That is to say, sometimes there are these very unromantic lulls in life in which we have to do a little waiting. We have to let the weeds take over and we have to produce nothing of consequence for any number of reasons: regrouping, renewing, or laying a new foundation.
The hardest part of right now is that I am going through a bit of a ship-without-a-sail moment…I’m ready for a very big change in my career (teaching just ain’t it for this one…kinda knew that), but I have to find the time to figure out what I want to try to do next. This world is big, and I’m feeling a little lost in it right now.
But I’m figuring out a few things, including that I am desperate for a job that makes my heart sing, because I will force that sucker to sing for its dinner no matter what I do, and that can be soul destroying if it’s not what I’m meant to do. Everybody’s got a cake-and-eat-it situation, and mine is this: I want to travel the world and I want a big, codependent dog. Those are two massive simplifications for bigger desires, but that’s the gist of it. Not sure if I’ll resolve it, but resolving it is resolutely on my to-do list. Finally, I don’t think I’m ever going to stop learning that the hardest part of anything is figuring out how to start doing it…I’m at that point right now.
What if we could discover our calling more than once in life? I know so many people who have…why can’t I be one of them?
What if we could do a job we always put on the highest pedestal in our box of pedestals and find out that we kind of suck at it and still like ourselves? Not easy, but I’m getting there.
I also have to kick ass at this job, even if I kind of suck at it at the same time (somehow, in the world of teaching, that is actually possible) because teachers aren’t allowed to give up. We all know ones who did, and our lives were poorer for them. I’m not sticking around in this business, but I’ll do my damnedest while I’m in it. Promise.
And, in those precious moments in which I can create the space to get searching, I’ll be searching. And I hope I’ll somehow find the time to write all (or some) about it. This is WhatIfandWhyNot rebooted. Here I go.