Finding the End of the Circle

This last weekend, I had to take a break from just about everything.  I couldn’t really function after a really bad day on Friday.  I wrote one of the most difficult emails I have had to write in my career.

I had to recognize that someone I love was struggling.  Badly.

It’s not that I try to live in this vacuum of happy-blindness; I think I have been far too confident with what I understand and what I know.  It’s been very humbling.

Saturday, I finally had to release some of the burdens.  And two beloved and unsuspecting friends became the camels who took on the edges of my pain and helped me carry things for a little while.  I am so grateful for them.

I kind of went into hiding.  Closed the door on my life and numbly stared at the computer screen, played hours of Text Twist while trying to debate my next course of action.  Please, don’t read anything into what I am writing and not writing.  Things are fine in my marriage.  I am happy in my career.

But as much as I am desperate to go back to school and take classes, I am going to wait one more year.

This year has been wearying.  I have had great students and am not complaining about them.  Maybe I haven’t adjusted as to well to my son being in ninth grade like I expected of myself.

I know that my transition into my new position was both incredibly smooth and exhaustingly bumpy.

I am sleeping eight hours a day and waking up miserably tired.  I walk the halls feeling hollow at times.  I am worn.  Just worn.  I have let go of senior class.  I am letting go of other commitments outside of school.  I am at the point where I think that I have spun in so many circles that I forgot to keep my toes on the ground.

I haven’t fallen.  I’m standing quite well.

But today, I don’t know….I just reflected a lot.  Today, we had a celebration of the year for the specialty center and the students had asked me to speak.  I wrote a horrible speech ten days ago.  And I really do mean that it was horrible.  It stuttered and sputtered and I couldn’t find the right words and my voice was superficial.

And then, today, I just sat down and found the right words and I let them pour out of me.  I married what I loved in the old speech to the new points I was trying to say and, somehow, the speech worked.  And standing in front of the students, reading the speech, I finally found myself having fun again.

The theme for today’s celebration was superheroes, and I wrote about how my childhood superhero was Flipper the dolphin.  I wrote about how superheroes will defy traditional definitions which means that any person can be heroic.  Especially my students.

I am going to start attending some poetry workshops in the area.  I am going to hit writers’ conferences.  I am going to write and edit and send my novel this summer.  I am going to live my life.

I am going to hike a hundred miles on the Appalachian Trail.

I am going to take a train to New York City and spend a week exploring.

I am going to find a way to stop allowing the month of May to be such a difficult time in my life because this is when I am supposed to be glowing with resilience and joy, not staring at black semi-circles under my eyes.

I am blessed to have such an understanding principal who continues to stand beside me and support me regardless of how stupid I can be.  I am blessed to work with a fabulous group of men and women who enrich one another’s lives through supportive and compassionate words and actions.

Today, I started seeing the end of the circle.  This long and beautiful and wonderful and difficult year is coming to a close.  I have sixteen school days until graduation.  I have twenty-two school days until I get to shut off my alarm clock and bury my head in my pillows and not emerge for a couple of days.

I have a summer ahead of me that I am not going to squander but am going to take my son to local colleges and universities.  I am going to key into my incredible son who is fifteen going on thirty and is looking towards a brilliant future so long as he can pass math (he has inherited his mother’s cursed brain).

I have a world ahead of me and a couple of plans are on hold and others have been thrust to the front burner and I am going to dig my hands into my bucket and rip up the list.

No more dreaming.

Time to start living.

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