Ok. I have to do this. It is the final post and it must be written. Let me tell you, I’ve been overthinking this one. So I followed a tried-and-true strategy: I procrastinated. I’ve been an evening writer all month, but I decided that this would be a morning post. I mentally made notes on several fascinating ways to write this, but I conveniently rejected or forgot them all. And now here I sit, facing a blank page, and it’s the last day of SOLC18.
Should I say thank you? How on earth could I say thank you in a way that reveals what this month has meant to me? Do you know that I literally found this challenge randomly on Day 3? I don’t even remember how I found it. I have started to believe that something in the universe knew what I needed and placed it in front of my face. And why did I sign up? Naivete? I had no idea what this would entail. I remember thinking, “Well, I keep saying I want to start a reflective blog, how hard can this be?” I didn’t know that I would end up spending 2 hours a day on this challenge, that I would fall in love with commenting, that I would get to know other bloggers, that my heart would burst open with stories and thoughts and observations.
Should I tell you about my happiness? How can I explain what it feels like to read each comment? To read others’ stories? Do you know that my whole world has expanded? Even my 9-year-old has noticed my new demeanor. I feel supported, encouraged, surrounded by a group of like-minded colleagues who will help me grow and improve in my writing and my teaching practice. I have a whole list of books to read. My library hold list is a mile long & I’ve already discovered amazing books.
Should I write about my sadness? How I have realized that I desperately need to connect with like-minded colleagues in my own space & cultivate those relationships more than I have? I will miss the daily affirmations of this community but I can resign myself to weekly, I think. Do you know that I am embarrassed about how many books on teaching I haven’t read? I am so behind. Seriously. And here I thought I was pretty on top of things. So… I have resolved to start a PLN here rather than continuing to wait for it to magically develop. I can do that. And I can read – oh yes, I can read. And write.
Should I talk about how my writing has changed? How at the beginning I carefully curated what I wrote, mining old journals and notebooks for well-crafted moments? And how I was not going to share my personal life – only professional. As if they were not intertwined! Nevertheless, I was stern with myself. And then, I let go a little. And you kept reading and commenting. Even when I shared a *poem* which is terrifying to me. You all, you said nice things about my poetry. And then yesterday I wrote what was happening *in front of me*. THAT IS CRAZY. And still you commented. I am amazed.
Should I talk about my excitement for the future? This challenge has opened up new vistas for me. I know that I am changing, becoming, moving along a new path as a teacher and person as a result of this month. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, but I’m going to coddiwomple along with glee.
But no, it is a Slice of Life challenge. So for my last slice of this life-changing month, I will share this moment: I woke up with my son’s small warm body snuggled next to mine, his eyes staring intently at my face, his breath warming my nose. He does not sleep in our bed, but he often wakes me like this. How does he manage to sneak in there? “Are you awake?” he whispered, “I want to play Starbound without cheating.” Downstairs, he sat on my lap, reading the words on the screen – words that were meaningless to him the last time he played this game six months ago – leaning against me, stroking my face as I got him set up. He is 7 and 17 all at once, this child of mine. When the game finally loaded, I said, “Ok, you play, I’m going to write” and he responded, “Oh good, that makes you happy.”
And it does. It really really does.
Thank you. See you on Tuesdays.
Slice of Life Day 31, March 2018
Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful month of inspiration.