Today I write...even if it's long...

It has been a long gap in my blogging life...probably the longest since I started writing a few years ago. For those who check up on me...thank you...

I started teaching at the high school this fall. It has been good. This is the first time in my teaching career that I have had the opportunity to have students for a second time. There are many that I had in 8th grade and now have again in 10th grade. They are different...I am different. This group...the group of 10th graders was a special one...some groups are. It fills my cup to have them again. I feel strong and inspired...for the first time in a few years.

It has been a strange beginning...good times and bad. My cousin, who I grew up with but have only kept in touch with through Facebook and occasional family gatherings, had startling tragedy this fall with the sudden loss of her 22 year old son. Seemingly healthy, he was jogging and had a massive heart attack. When I went to his service, I had a strange response...this young man was clearly amazing..He was on his way. A filmmaker who had already received numerous awards in college, he was expanding and laying down his future. He had an opportunity in college to go to New Zealand and visit with the director of The Hobbit. Pictures of his long and lanky body draped over Hobbit furniture exuded joy. He was experiencing something that so many of us search for...true peace and love over his passion...his chosen career. He was well on his way. What I also learned is that he was incredibly kind, gregarious, and loyal. He was the kind of son we all hope for. Watching my cousin in pain was heart-wrenching.

For twelve years, I have prepared in many ways to be that mother...the one who has lost her son. I have watched so many others suffer the loss, their heart breaking every day. Pictures of these sweet angel boys come over my Facebook feed every day...my heart breaking for them, breaking for those who wonder when their own time may come. No one is ever prepared for this type of loss...no one should have to be. Their child, wrenched from them...a piece so intimate that the hole can never be filled...the edges may get softer, the sharpness dulls, but it is there..the hole in their heart that can never be filled.

This fall has been a time of change. Relationships in my life, relationships in my work...the ebb and flow is always there. As an adult, I think that we forget that these things will happen. The closeness we feel with others can always change. How a relationship is built, the foundation, is crucial. The outside may change, but the core is what is important. I am looking at these. Most would say that I am outgoing...that I have many friends, but the reality is that is not true. Well, the outgoing part is, but true deep friendships? There are only a few. My time is precious and since I have very little of it to spend with others, I am finding myself choosing where I want to direct my attention. We all do it...choosing where to put our effort. I think the thing that I am realizing (I mean, really...I am not fifteen...why has it taken me so long) is that I can still have important people in my life, even if our time is limited. I have known this intrinsically, but am really seeing it come to light. For so many years I have just moved on...when the relationship wasn't close, I drifted away. Working on doing things differently takes effort...one that I am not sure I have been willing (or able) to do in the past. Learning new methods of doing things is difficult...especially when the way you've been doing something works, even if, ultimately, you haven't been satisfied with the results.

So...the year has begun...I am encouraged and full...busy, crazy, sometimes feeling like I am moments ahead of the students, but feeling like I have much to offer. I was given the opportunity to teach more than just Freshman...I have sophomores, juniors, even some seniors. I feel like I am well liked, but more than that, I feel like I am making connections with kids. I am telling them stories of their own success that they are starting to believe. I look into those shining faces and confidence is growing, even if that confidence is only to ask questions in search of understanding. I am building a safe space. I have some co-workers that value my opinion...have made me feel welcome. I am slowing organizing my space so that I can not only find things, but I also feel that the chaos has subsided. I am trying to teach from a place of joy, a place of learning, a place of support. I am teaching from a place where the love of math is overflowing.

Seven years ago I moved to my old school...the place where I felt my people were. I miss many of them...at times feel lost as to where I am supposed to turn for information. Just like the brain using the growth mindset, I am making new connections...I am expanding my brain and growing. This move, although a challenge, has made me feel alive again..my love of teaching is overflowing.

Today I write...there have been so many things that I have not been able to gather my thoughts enough to write. I have sat down at the computer more than once...starting a draft (that sit in my list of unposted posts), but have been in a cloud of words, too overwhelming to write. I haven't known where to start...haven't known where to begin. It feels like nothing has happened and yet everything is happening...

Today I write to purge my thoughts, feeling like this is a bit of verbal vomit. I have sliced open my head and revealed the whirling brain inside. I am excavating my brain, looking for knowledge from my past that will help me build this new future. A tornado inside, a whirlwind of thoughts being thrown out into the blogosphere for all to read.

Today I write because it is time...it is time to open my head and heart again, looking for the good in the world.

It's long and (possibly) torturous to read, but for those who are still with me...thank you for your patience...

I will continue to write...

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