It's Friday.

In re-reading old blog posts, one lesson my past self has taught me is: after weeks and weeks of inner turmoil, self doubt, and general fatigue, sit in silence, binge on popcorn and chocolate, and write.

So, here I am. Sponsored by Trader Joe's.

What am I doubting?

I'll get back to that.

What am I sure of?

I'm tired to my damn bones. I'm fed up. I'm burnt out. I want more time to read and write. I want more time to exercise. I want more time to spend on my marriage. I love reading and writing. I love learning. I love connecting with people who share my aspirations. I need to feel valued for what I have to offer. I've loved seeing my youth develop into mature young adults. I love routine and predictability and security and safety and coziness and organization, but I also love nuance, adventure, and new experiences. I need a change.

OK. So what am I doubting?

Do I love teaching... or am I simply deluded with an insatiable desire to want to be a "good" teacher without the self-confidence to ever actually one day believe that I am? What added value have I provided for my youth? Should I be a teacher? What does "should" mean? Why should I be a teacher? What does it mean to live a fulfilled life? When I strive to achieve, am I happy, or do I just think I'll be happy once I've achieved it?

= = =

What's new?

2018 thus far has been a mish-mash/large serving/deep dive into life coaching, therapy, and self-help books and workbooks and podcasts. My inner compass has been madly spinning as though my head and heart were in alternate dimensions while my body continued to stumble through life on Earth.

I've been re-orienting and re-centering. Here's what's stuck so far (my apologies for not attributing work to proper authors... I'm lazy and I don't want to lose my train of thought):

  • "Liking without wanting is heaven, but wanting without liking is hell."
  • How we experience life, in sum, is not necessarily based on what we do or how we spend our time; it's about our state of mind in every minute of every day. When we operate throughout our day, is our mind cluttered with problems to solve and challenges that are bringing us down, or is it focused on the good that's ever-present? As I sit here, on my couch, on a Friday night after many, many, many hard weeks, where is my mind? If I think about demands at work, my students, my part time job, my grad program, doctors appointments, my health, and on and on... my body becomes tense, I'm worried, I'm drained, my thoughts and my life is consumed. On the other hand, if instead I choose to notice how the hum of the refrigerator has stopped and I'm met with near complete-silence besides the hum of the freeway, and notice the soft couch cushion on my back, and notice the open expanse of a Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday ahead of me, and look forward to BC coming home from work, and look forward to our yummy dinner that he and my sister prepared the night before... then my muscles loosen, my body sinks deeper into my chair, the muscles in my face soften, my heart rate slows, and I remember that I am safe, I am cared for, I am content, and the universe has given me everything that I need. If life is nothing but the sum total of how we've experienced it, then how are we experiencing it? In a state of angst and anxiety or in a state of gratitude and contentment?
  • In the end, literally nobody is paying attention to how I choose to spend the hours of my day or what I do to earn money. Even if they are paying attention, it doesn't matter. So who am I trying to impress? What if I lived my life without any intention of impressing anybody? What would I do differently?
  • I've poured my heart into everything that I do not because that's who I am but because I've carefully selected the things that I do and the way that I spend my time. That being said, when you pour your heart into what you do, you're bound to get burned. When you falter, you question your competence and choice to expend so much time and energy. This has been true for me with teaching. It may be true for me with writing, in the future. Am I ready to pour my heart into a new realm where I will get torn apart by others? Will I have the confidence in myself to push forward? 
= = =

It's now an hour later. I've binged, drank hot soup, written, and even forced myself to cry by watching sappy, guaranteed tear-jerker YouTube videos. Nearly all my guilty pleasures have been accounted for. Last one on the list is disappearing into a book, so off I go.

'Til next time.