Over the long holiday weekend I spent a LOT of time in the car by myself driving all over the east coast to spend Memorial Day weekend with friends and family. Whenever I am in the car alone for hours upon hours, my mind darts in 100,000 different directions. Usually I call my whole phone book for my overdue catch up conversations, and no one answers but my mom (who I see everyday). So I go back to chugging ice coffee, blasting beats and mull over my next blog post in my head. I realized this weekend that I haven’t actually written those well-calculated road trip posts in far too long. I apologize for drifting away from my blog and I realize now as I write what clarity and satisfaction I glean from condensing my thoughts into words.
The mind is an incredible instrument and machine, but the mind of a woman who is a teacher, writer, Gemini, and suffers from extreme ADHD; it is almost unfathomable for most. I have hundreds of “tabs open” every waking second of the day. My release is when I can verbalize those into a medium I dearly love and understand: words. When I was traveling I was so excited to share about my adventures and so disconnected from my once known world that it was easy to stay inspired and motivated to consistently post. I was going through so much change and writing was the best way to reflect and understand how I truly felt about those eye-opening experiences. The pace of life and my career in Thailand also allowed me the most precious gift of all: time. I had time to write and read, rewrite, reflect, recharge, and release. Now I am lucky if I have time to charge my phone. But without the release of writing my mind hasn’t fully been synthesizing my life and my experiences.Despite the lesson plans, special ed paperwork, work for my coaching business, certification online workshop, laundry, and the 85 other things on my to do list, I am pressing pause and spending time to remember, reflect and release.
Memorial Day is a very important holiday for our country. We have so many important holidays and quite frankly I love every one of them. Despite slight annoyance due to the epidemic of “National Margarita Day”, “ National Sibling Day”, and “National Let’s make every day some sort of National Day” I still appreciate the sentiment. Holidays are an arbitrary way to make a country, a community, or a certain group of people, press pause and celebrate life. They take a break from the steady hum of life and remember their ancestors, spend time with family, take a break from work, eat delicious foods and honor a cause greater than themselves. In a way, my writing is a mini holiday from my day-to-day world. I pause and step back from my steady hum. I celebrate my triumphs and reflect upon my hardships. I remember what is important to me and who deserves my time, love and gratitude. Exercising is another incredible release for me and similar to writing, it is something that I can easily fall into the habit of doing or fall into the habit of not doing. I turn back to my most recent favorite book The Slight Edge, “Your habits operate at the unconscious level, which means you are not normally aware of them. It’s only by bringing a habit into your conscious awareness that you can observe what it’s doing, how it empowers and serves you… or doesn’t.” When I think about the passion I have for writing and the way it helps me understand myself and my current world I realize that it’s not just a hobby, it’s not simply something I am talented at, it is a passion and a tool that serves me as an outlet for expression, motivation, inspiration and communication. It makes me feel good and it makes others feel good. Just like if I skip a couple days working out on the weekend, my body craves that release come Monday morning. Lately my mind has been yearning for me to write, and my words feel like a release. My “endorphins” come from when I finish a piece, read it over, fix a few lines, craft it into what I want it to be and then set it free to the world. Your feedback is necessary and inspiring.
Time can’t be an excuse. I have a no excuse policy for my workouts, my business, and my students; my writing should be no different. So blog followers, friends, any creatures reading this in the blogisphere, I promise not to desert you again. Since you’ve heard from me last I have been on a rollercoaster navigating my way through by far the most difficult job I have ever had. I knew that adjusting back to American life and culture would be difficult but I truly feel as if I am teaching in a foreign country again. In some ways it feels more foreign than Thailand. But I am in fact teaching in the town I was born and raised in. On a daily basis, I laugh, want to cry, scream, adopt children, quit and write a letter to the President of the United States. The month of May contains both Teacher Appreciation Week and is Mental Health Awareness month; two causes which I am extremely passionate and invested in. The appreciation I felt as a teacher in Thailand astounded me while I was living and working there but now it down right BAFFLES my mind. I feel the exact opposite in America. I feel taken advantage of, blamed, expected to be working 5 full time jobs as a pseudo parent, social worker, babysitter, counselor and oh, don’t forget, teacher. I am amazed at the struggles that my students face at the sweet innocent age of 7. I am reluctant to share many details but let’s just say you never know the struggles another person faces below their surface. He didn’t bring his homework for two weeks because he didn’t have a pencil. Not one pencil in his home. Man, how quickly I regret my feelings of frustration. She’s tired because she spent all night feeding her baby brother a bottle because she wasn’t sure where her mom was. They are 7. It’s a harsh reality check and birds eye view of the struggles in the cycle of poverty. It’s a disconcerting taste of the American school system and what we deem as important, effective and realistic for our country’s future.
But the greatest lesson I have learned in the last few months is it is easy to forget the significance of self-reflection and the true beauty of the ability to have an educated mind and environment, to feel loved, supported and accepted. It is easy to forget what is important. All human beings crave love, acceptance, and approval. All human beings need someone to call us out when we are in the wrong and someone who inspires us to be better. It is easy to forget what gives you your release when you get so caught up in your job, your daily stressors and your weekend plans. But we all need a release. Those people who find their release, use it consistently and refuse to let themselves fall into the assembly line of life are the individuals who find success and happiness. I continue to ascertain insights into myself every single day and the more I discover about myself and the world around me; the more I realize how important it is for me to use my passion; my words: to understand myself, to inspire others, to speak UP and most importantly, to press pause and give myself that release.
Once I publish a piece, I can close all those tabs and rest peacefully with my thoughts for a bit. “The world is rife with hesitation, the cornerstone of mediocrity. When you talk with people who have achieved extraordinary things and ask them how it was that they accomplished whatever it is they’ve done, it is stunning how often they will tell you some version of this: I just decided to do it.” The world is an insanely beautiful and extremely terrifying place but the more we challenge ourselves to live, to teach, to learn, to reflect, to sacrifice, to grow, and to change, the easier it becomes to do those things. It’s not a one step process it’s an enduring existence. Read these words, press pause, reflect, be grateful for the abundance of opportunities you have and PASS.IT.ON. Find your release and be brave and perhaps naïve enough to let it take you where you want to go. It’s so easy to forget what’s important. Remember we all need love, acceptance, and approval to thrive. Give it away and watch it manifest in your own life. We all feel busy, but realistically we all have time.. Just decide to do it.