It's Thursday.

Today, I:
-took an extra 5 minutes to make myself look pretty anyway
-tied up loose ends at work with my students after my two days of absence (I was touched that so many were happy to have me back; I was surprised at how much easier it was to teach than I had built up in my head over two days of absence)
-worked through my break to help some students
-worked through my lunch to meet with a colleague
-zoomed off to interview #3
-then zoomed off to interview #4
-then zoomed off to my tutoring job

...then, 12 hours later, arrived home.

And now it's time to do homework.

= = = =

God, the universe, my body, or something else is telling me to slow down. I'm getting many, many, many messages that I need to slow down. The most recent of which is this weird cough that I've had for 6 weeks now. It started as nausea, then a fever for 5 days, then diarrhea for 4 days, then a cough that just would not let up. Finally, I started having chest pains of some sort... not sure if it's a muscle strain from all the coughing, or a busted rib from all the coughing, or something else.

In the past month, I've called the doctor 4 times. Finally, on the last time, the doctor wrote me a prescription for a host of drugs... and a doctor's note to stay home for two days from work. Next week, I'm supposed to call (again) if symptoms persist in order for them to "check out my lungs".

OK, so all this, plus psychiatric appointments...

= = =

The people whose opinions I trust most tell me that I owe it to myself to slow down. Striving does not have to equate struggling or suffering. It's time to hit the breaks.

= = =

Today, I felt confident in myself for the first time in a long time. I knew that I would have a lot to do today and I didn't fell 100% prepared for any of it. But then, I figured, what do I have to lose? My students will be happy to have their teacher back, someone know they know and trust. After years and years of teaching, my worst teaching day with them is actually quite good. My meeting required no prep on my part--sure, I was nervous about being evaluated/judged/critiqued... but I mentally prepared myself to face the worst and reassured myself that no matter what's said, I know that I'm a decent teacher, regardless of what a boss or supervisor says or believes from the snippets of my teaching that is seen. I wanted to make a good impression at my two interviews today, but I realized there wasn't really anything I could do to prepare for it; all I could do is show up, be friendly, be curious, and try to glean as much information on each school as possible. Finally, for my tutoring session, I was nervous about being called out for not knowing my content (because I hadn't studied up on the content first), but I figured I'd just face the music if it came to that because, welp, I didn't have time to prepare.

AND LOOK! I got through it all. With some charm, even.

= = =

I love that my closest friends have been telling me that I "can" take a break from teaching next year. That is, they're not necessarily telling me that I should, they're just assuring me that if I do:

  1. the world will not end
  2. teaching will always be there
  3. my taking a break (or even leaving) is not a reflection on me as a person or on me as a teacher
  4. there are many ways to continue teaching in capacities different from what I do now
  5. if I choose to take up something else entirely, my years of experience up to this point was not all for nothing... the pieces of my life puzzle will all fit together and make sense later.
= = =

Is it ridiculously and out of this world crazy that I've recently had a pull in my heart to pursue writing? What would it even look like to "pursue" writing? Where would I put my writing? Who can I chat with about writing? What do writers' days (or nights) look like?

= = =

That's me right now. 'Til next time.