This is a tough topic for me, because I feel like I've talked about the meaningful people in my life multiple times on the blog, and I hate for you all to get bored reading about them! You can read about the first round of the blog challenge here. You can read a little bit more here. Finally, you can read even more about them here.
You'll probably notice a common thread. Each of the posts refers to the same two people in some way, shape, or form. And you can probably guess that I'm going to write about those same two people now. That's how meaningful they are to me.
(I apologize if I repeat any information!)
E and MJ. Amazing women that I have walking the path of life with me. I used to see MJ every week, then every other week, and now, usually, our visits are only once a month. That doesn't mean we don't email as needed between visits as she makes sure I'm working toward nutritional balance. Cause we do. Sometimes, well...... sometimes I email a lot. But MJ is ok with that. She knows what I need to hear. She knows when I need reassurance, or just a little reminder. She knows when I need an extra hug, and when a high five will do. She's six feet of awesomeness and she is one of the two people in this world who knows some of my darkest secrets, yet, still thinks I'm an ok person.
E. How can I describe E? I don't know. Role model wouldn't cut it. She's more than that. Mentor? Guide? All of the above? I don't know. This woman listens to me endlessly banter on, and somehow, finds a way to make sense of it all. That's when my work begins, cause while E might be able to make sense of the messiness in my world, I'm the one that has to clean it up. E will hold the flashlight for me, to make the task a little less painful, but I have to walk through the mess, where a life that is a little more peaceful waits, and so does E. Always.
Even a week ago, my accomplishment list would have been sorta short, and very mundane - graduating high school, graduating college, getting a job, buying a home, etc, etc, etc.
But this week? This week brought about a very powerful accomplishment.
I had my first "real" job interview. And I think it went pretty ok, too.
You might be wondering what I mean, since you likely know that I have an awesome teaching job that I love, which is true. I do have a fantastic job that I absolutely love, working with children at an age I enjoy. So didn't I interview for that job? Sorta. See, I was in the school for two years before I was hired, so my interview was more like sitting down with an old friends and chatting, and less like a job interview with a stranger.
This interview was for a job that would be pretty spectacular. I'd still get to work with kids, but in a drastically different environment. I'd still be doing what I love, even more of it, actually, but the environment...... can't explain how different it would be.
I don't intend to leave my current job. I love it too much. I wanted to go on the interview to see if I could do it, if I could keep it together, stay presentable, and survive an interview with strangers instead of colleagues I knew.
One of my favorite stories is that of the Starfish. It was introduced to me during my first year teaching, and while I didn't heed the message for the first few years..... I finally, over the past two years or so, realized that while I might not be able to "save" all my students, each one that I do connect with, that I do help see their own spark...... every little bit counts.......
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A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
--Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
I'm in the biggest challenge of my teaching career.
I'm feeling helpless.
I'm feeling ineffective.
I'm in survival mode.
I'm trying to think outside the box.
I'm wishing things were different.
I'm trying to be patient.
I'm trying my best.
I'm trying to hold on to their smiles.
I'm trying to be kind to me.
I'm relying on my therapist's words.....
I'm trying to believe my therapist's words.....