Three years and no postings here at all. To be fair, though, I have posted elsewhere….in places I’d just as soon forget. So maybe a revisiting to this blog? My life has changed in some inexplicable ways, and I should document some of that. Here. Again. I start over.
But my life has changed. In many ways, the changes don’t matter, as everyone’s life changes. These changes have mattered to me however. How I define myself has changed.
Who I am now:
- Substitute High School teacher
Who I was then:
- Nonprofit director
In South Texas, leaves fall in December. In January, they are piled up high, smelling earthy and soft. As a child, I loved playing in the leaves, kicking them high in the air as I walked to and from school. I loved the leaves’ fragility, their texture, the sound they made scraping across the concrete. I loved knowing that I could kick the leaves only for a short time easy year. Kicking leaves felt special. As a child, it never occurred to me if anyone noticed me kicking leaves. I simply didn’t care.
Like most people, as an adult, I have thought too much about what others think, how they’ll judge, that they’ll judge, and I have limited what I do because of that fear. With students, I strive to demonstrate to them a person who does not shy away from controversy, difficulty, or a challenge, someone who will stand up and do what’s right … no matter the cost. I’m not always successful at this. I do wrong things often. I don’t stand up when I know I should. Sometimes I find myself going along just because it’s easy, because I fear, because I fear the consequences of standing up and challenging. I hate that I fear. But these are choices I make. I can make other choices, too.
Today, I still love kicking in the leaves– without shoes, even– and without a care of what others might think.
Sometimes life is a challenge. If we believe the platitudes (and if we are trying to maintain sanity and light, why not?), we know that the challenges make us stronger people. I want to believe that. These days, I have my doubts. So, I look for those things that remind me that there is good. Good things. The thought that I need to write these down remains with me. Maybe there’s something about these recurring lists. Maybe there’s something about just writing it all down. Maybe there’s something.
- Seeing a former grad student today who thanked me for teaching her pedagogy class last summer– now that she’s teaching for the first time, she feels confident and prepared. “You did that,” she said.
- Reading a very insightful blog post, “Merit is Everything” (in higher education) that puts so much of the harshness of what we do in higher ed in perspective (check out the Escape the Ivory Tower . . . the post I read is a part of the “Myths and Mismatches” eCourse, which is completely worth the price [free]).
- Taking photographs … and finding beauty and interest in the mundane of the everyday
- Knowing so many smart and accomplished people who support and care about me
- Believing that there are people who aren’t uncomfortable or ashamed to be seen with me (long story…..)
- Understanding that I have unique talents and abilities– talents and abilities that many people do not understand
The mundane of the day that’s good?
- Diet Coke
- A free box lunch (ham sandwich, cookies, and potato chips)
- A fireplace (with a fire)
- Christmas pajamas
- Law & Order (comfort TV)
- Cujo Cat (my daughter’s cat….she’s mean, but funny)
- A clean kitchen
- Verizon getting the iPhone (in a few months)
Yes, I’ll write a book. A book of mundane good things.