It goes without saying that I haven’t updated this blog recently, and when I was updating it wasn’t frequently.
All I can say is I’m not made to be full-time blogger, I suppose. I love the blogging community and I’ve dreamed of working from home and blogging full-time like every other blogger out there, or at least of having a blog that reaches many people and creates a mini-community itself. But my life isn’t fit for that. Blogging semi-regularly, in ways that enrich the activities I already engage in? That encourage me to be a better person? Yes. But full-time, scheduled, disciplined blogging? No, at least not right now.
I think a hard part of growing up, at least for me, is letting go of expectations. Specifically, expectations I have for myself. I was that kid in high school, and I guess in college, who wanted to do everything, be everything, and do it super well. Not be a jack of all trades, master of none, but a master of all trades attempted. I still have been attempting to do that in life. Be the best daughter, fiancee, friend, coach, teacher, blogger. Be good at cooking, cleaning, working out, being on top of things. I can do it all and I can do it all well.
This is a stupid, obvious thing to say and I’ll probably come to this realization over and over again in my life: “I can’t do it all and do it well. I can do some well and I can do some others decently. Other things, I just don’t have time to do in a positive manner or plain just can’t do. I definitely can’t please everyone. I can’t achieve all I want. I will fail. I will let people down. Things I want will take time. Everything will be okay. Most things are not as big of a deal as everyone makes them out to be.”
My life is fit for a unique sort of rhythm, and I have to find ways to make it the strongest, most beautiful rhythm it can be – not alter it. Change the tempo, change the volume, sure. Change its basic make-up? No. And that means realizing what is most important to me in life, and not apologizing for it: my family (fiancé, his family, and our dog included) and our all-around health; my friends and my career; pretty much everything else. Unfortunately, highly time-consuming hobbies? Turns out they are not a great fit for what has become the natural rhythm of my life the past several months or what I currently anticipate my life will be like…and blogging is definitely a time-consuming hobby.
So the past few months, blogging was toward the bottom of my daily agenda. I was hired as a long-term substitute for at my alma mater, an urban high school in a suburb of Cleveland, where I taught and cotaught U.S. Government. Though it took up every ounce of my time that wasn’t reserved for eating, sleeping, family and friends, and then some, I was thankful just to have such an opportunity. Little did I know how much it would truly impact me.
It was stressful. I am highly knowledgeable in my content area, and due to my participation in a special program during my undergraduate studies, I do have more experience in the classroom than the average first year teacher. However, having control of your own classroom for the very first time is so much trial-and-error, especially when you work with students who are not always very motivated or organized. I learned so much every day. Was there ever a second where I didn’t feel like the stress was worth working through? Absolutely not.
If you have read this blog in the past, you probably know I have anxiety. When I get overwhelmed, I try to reason with myself if what I am worrying about actually matters. When I would worry about my job and ask myself that question, the answer was always YES. It did matter, because it would impact if a student understood something about the government of the nation in which they live. It did matter, because it would impact grades in a class required for graduation in the state of Ohio. It did matter, because it influenced young adults’ attitudes toward learning, responsibility, and themselves.
Instead of overwhelming me, it empowered me. I can’t let my students down, so I better suck it up. They are struggling, so I better show them what a product of this school can grow up to be. They may not remember me, but they are as sure as hell going to remember the lessons I teach them.
However, my long term sub position ended due to some reassigning of teachers within the district, and I was hired as a district substitute, meaning I work every day at various schools in the district as a sort of “teacher on call.” While this is a wonderful opportunity that does provide for more free time outside of the work day, I greatly missed my students, so I added this new cache of unused energy and time to my coaching efforts. So after time with my family and friends, and career efforts, I haven’t had time to blog. I’ve barely had time to plan my wedding, get a good night’s sleep, make it to the gym. Do I want to live every year of my life like that? No, of course not. You have to take care of yourself if you are going to effectively take care of others. But will I ever regret or resent sacrificing for students in my classroom or on my team? Never. Learning how to balance all aspects of life comes in time, especially once you have a firm grasp of what those most important aspects are.
Since graduating from college, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons, including about what is important in life – what’s worth worrying about, what you should cherish, how you should approach situations. But the past few months deepened these lessons. They filled in the details and hardened the roots. This year was pretty hard at times, but it was also pretty darn great. It taught me so much – how great the people in my life are, the power of staying positive and focused on moving forward, how to take better care of myself, how to take balancing life demands day by day, the importance of relaxing and enjoying life, and that working and waiting for a full-time classroom position is 150% worth it.
Hence the lack of posts. I still greatly enjoy blogging! and I hope you still enjoy reading my blog when there is new material, and that you will continue to do so. I just wanted to share why it hadn’t been updated much and why sometimes there might be lulls in my posting pattern. Because despite my best intentions and efforts, I can’t be a master of all trades attempted. And I’m okay with it : )
Here’s to a great 2013, full of all the things we love and cherish. I hope it’s even better than your 2012 was.