When first I abandoned this site, it was but a wee baby blog with a few scratch the surface posts and a handful of views. Shortly after the world went crazy in March, I put the whole thing (and most everything else in life that wasn’t essential for pure survival) aside and went on full autopilot. In preparation to move forward with this whole writing adventure, let’s take a brief look back at what would be called a highlight reel of the last few months if only most of the events didn’t suck.
The Coronavirus pandemic. Obviously. I know I’m not alone in my reaction to have completely shut down shortly after everything else did. I have said before I am a 9 on the enneagram, and shutting down in stress is what we do best – do not even try to compete. I did what I had to do from one day to the next and not one thing more. The end of the school year came and went with no real sense of closure, so for all I know, we’re still in the 2019-2020 school year.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. It really is a shame that it took something as vile as racism with a side of police brutality to pull me out of a pandemic induced mental haze, but these events did it. I felt myself in a constant state of anger the likes of which I have never felt before. Injustice has always been a button of mine, but this, man. This was rage like I had never felt. I attempted to go full keyboard warrior more than once, and each time deleted my post because it just didn’t feel like a productive use of my voice. Instead, I took to education. I have spent the last few months reading books by black authors, learning about different policies specifically designed to oppress black people, following various BIPOC on social media, listening to podcasts, and doing as much as I can to call out racism and be an ally.
I resigned from my teaching position. This had nothing to do with the pandemic or politics or any of the various other reasons that you typically hear teachers leaving the profession over. This was completely a decision made by listening to my heart telling me that as much as I love working with kids, and I know that teaching impacts lives and makes a difference, that it was not the impact that I was looking to make. And while I’m still not 100% sure what that is, it made sense to me to step away for a year to explore it.
So where are we going from here? Well, while I don’t have anything that resembles a roadmap or a timeline, there are a few things I’m working on in terms of my own personal journey (which I’m hopeful will lead me to some clarity on that whole making an impact thing). I’m working to reconstruct my faith, which I touched on in an earlier post. This doesn’t simply mean I’m going to put myself back into a church setting. This means a deeper dive into the specific values and beliefs of different denominations/churches. I’d love to get involved with a faith community, but I need to find one that aligns with my own values, and with as muddled as my spiritual background is, I’m not sure what that looks like. I’m also continuing to educate myself on how to be an ally to groups that I feel are oppressed or underrepresented – BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, etc. by reading and researching different agencies that help these communities and how to get involved with them. And finally, I’m writing. In addition to committing to regular posts here, I have started writing a book. Right now it’s not much more than a collection of personal stories, but the plan is to put it all together eventually and try to get it published. While I don’t know that my story is all that fascinating or inspiring, I figure putting it out there will be a form of therapy for me; and if by chance some teenaged mom, or single mom, or married mom who knows she’s living the dream, but isn’t sure who’s dream it is she’s living can find some thread of connection then I’ll call it a success.
So there it is. The last 5 months in a nutshell and a vague look ahead. Hopefully along the way I’ll catch an eye or two – it’s a lot harder to quit when people are watching.