zondag 4 september 2016

Believe Own Way

Going back is never easy… it even feels a bit like cold turkey… my body and mind are then suddenly using all their resistance.  Surely, teachers are blessed with a very long Summer and that is so nice.  Still believe me that having to get back into the saddle can be sometimes rather painful.  Not that I could function optimal without a classroom but this year my mind had decided that it needed more time to get completely disconnected. 

The first weeks of July my mind was playing tricks on me and did I still woke up at the exact time that I had to wake up in order to get ready for work.  Plus Freud would have had a great field day with me on his coach and hearing all the insane dreams and nightmares that invaded my mind during my power nap.  Stallie was not close to a mental break what so ever by the 2nd week of July.  Why?  Well, last school year something was taken away from me that I just adore.   Something that surely makes me love my job even more so interesting and challenging.   It is now a thing of the past and chances are very unlikely that I will ever get such an opportunity but sometimes life serves you lemons. 

Now, I do know that you then need to make some lemonade and find the silver lining in all of this. Yes, I am very much aware of that but it just did not work.  Like mentioned in  a previous post I have been crying a lot, screaming internal, cursing at many, running out of patience and foremost I have been taking it very personal.  That is me, 200% and I know so well that I then can act like a drama queen.  Still it was a very deep cut and it did not stop bleeding as fast as I wished for.  

Now over the last 6 months I did talk with many and some people have been very clear about my options.  A few even have pointed out to me that this is a new opportunity, others have tried to calm me down and tried to make me look at the half empty class as being rather half full.  P has demonstrated a lot of understanding and was even able to tell me that it would take some time to feel back a bit like the ‘old’ Stallie.  The thing is that P is everything so much faster than I am.   Plus I feel amputated in a way.  That is what it feels like and it is hard to replace that one limb that has given you so much joy and has pushed you over the edge professional.  

So yes, when it happened I did something else that is so not me, I did then book that one trip to Japan.  Now this entry is not the one I wish to get further into that trip. I promise that I will post a Japan entry very soon because on that trip I was granted what I did need so desperately. It has happened before.  On Mount Nebo, while looking over the Gran Canyon, on the top of World Trade Center, waking up in Yosemite Park and many other placed but believe me this time it was so much more intense. Even mindblowing!  Nothing is the same anymore since. 

Yes, I have been granted a very intense moment in Japan and I will never ever forget that exact moment. It can still give me shivers down my spine because I knew that the power of mindfulness can do miracles but still I had never experienced at full power.  There is even a picture of the setting shortly before it took place. I faced the worst Stallie in Japan and the one I so much wish to be when I tackling life in these heck of the woods.  One look at that picture and I am back…. I hold on that picture dearly… can you blame me? Hopefully not!

I was told that going back to work would be harder this time and so I tried to face the music with a smile.  About 120 seconds I was able to keep up appearances.  I am told to be an open book although there is a part of me that only a select group of people is allowed access to because they will take me off guard.   Plus I listen also very carefully when these people talk to me and so I was warned what was about to happen.  So yes, Stallie was not a happy  bunny when she had to unpack for the third time boxes in one year.  

That I had to move from A to B and then quite quickly to C and then 6 months later to D created havoc and chaos in my mind that was already in overdrive.  The thing is in order to function optimal I need a quiet office space to retreat to once in a while.  Coffee and a biscuit won’t do the trick. It is the silence in the morning and the first 30 minutes after school when I am all by myself that I am able to reset my mind or that I try very hard to put things in a perspective.  Now I was facing a mind that I just could not reset at any point.  During lunch time I felt broken en disconnected.  Like I did not fit in anymore.  The rest of the day I spend in a bubble and even took a few serious blows right in my face. 

Best part of that day the chat I had with my head of department.  She sincerely asked me how my day went although she already had seen what it had been like.  In those 15 minutes we talked I spilled all the beans.  Her smile and her eyes communicated that force that made me calm down.  She then asked me a few questions.  Simple questions with very easy answers.  Next she told me to go home and have a gin and tonic.  What I had not seen before or had forgotten about was suddenly visible.  Still it did not take the feeling away that this day had been a waste for me. 

So I drove home with a splitting headache and all I longed for was my bed. Yes, all the demons were back and I still wondered if I was in the wrong profession.   A gin&tonic was very tempting but then my brain was communicating only five letters: S L E E P.  Yes, Stallie went to bed shortly after nine.  What is extremely early for my personal standards. P must have been relieved at that stage because it meant that he was freed from a very dark Stallie.  It took me about 1 hour to find my way to the land of the dreams.

Sleep can be powerful and yes I had hoped that it would work. Fortunately it did.  That the sun was out as well and that I did mange to get into our new parking lot without hitting anything or getting stuck between the automatic doors.  The whole day I did manage to keep up my more positive outlook on the situation.  All went smoother and I even got into that one state of mind that I need to perform optimal my profession.  The sparks were there and made me feel more adequate than the day before. 

Satisfied is Stallie not… Not that comes as a surprise.   This teacher is after fireworks when it comes down to her job. A job I take very seriously.  Perfection I still strive for and we all knew that that is something not easily to obtain.  But I still aim for it… knowing that I will never ever be 100% good enough.  This school year will be challenging, no doubt about that.  That I on Friday did experience that brand new feeling that I created while I was in Japan getting lost and then found then seconds later something that gave me energy boost is certainly one big step forwards. 

Tomorrow students are expected back at the educational hotspot and I will be ready.  The cookies tin is filled up again till the brim and I have a brand new coffee mug.  Empty but very colorful folders that are screaming to be filled up with new ideas and a ‘new’ office that also will be my classroom where I do hope to educate and entertain my students. 

Yes, Stallie is ready. There will be days that the darkness will be looming around the corner and then please bear with me.  I promise that on the teaching frontier I still only go for the highest standards. I am not about 19 years in the teaching profession and not one single year has been the same.  Bored I have never been in all those years.  So bring it on the academic year 2016-2017.  We are back in business!  And I do believe my own way is the right way to walk when it comes down to my profession. 

PS: While being in Japan I found these boys and girls popping up on my Spotify.  Yes, they do sound rather tacky but once you have been in Japan it all makes more sense.  Even the music this nation listens to.  In a way they remind me of Steps.  More about Japan in the following posts. For now I can only say that there is a Stallie before and a Stallie after Japan. AAA will help to remind me of that.  No doubt about that!  I believe in myself, my students and the school I teach at.... that is all it takes to have that awesome and incredible academic school year I am after.  And to those all educators out there who also are about to kick off or already did for some time: I believe in all of you!!!! Please believe in your way!!! Your students also believe....

(You can find the translation of that song here: http://www.jpopasia.com/aaa/lyrics/291901/aaa-10th-anniversary-best/believe-own-way/)

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