I’m soul tired, and it’s time to let go of the issues weighing down my soul.
Sometimes, I think, we need a reset.
I’m in one of those periods right now, and I’m okay with it. I’ve been here before; I’ll be here again.
It’s a season where there are a lot of unknowns in the air. There’s a lot of change, a lot of potential worry.
Yet, I find myself not worrying at all. Instead, I find myself a bit angry.
Angry at the world for moving too quickly for my taste.
Angry at people for leaving the earth without saying goodbye.
Angry at situations I feel forcing me to change outside my comfort zone.
Angry at myself for making dumb decisions I never should have made in the first place.
I’m not tired, I guess. I’m mad.
But we all know being mad makes you weary, and last weekend, as I was working in my yard, I thought back to a time years ago when I felt this same way.
It’s funny how my life has been a cycle of making a decision, regretting it, living through it, attempting to undo it, undoing it, resting, and jumping into the next impulsive decision.
Might have been TD Jakes– yes, I think it was– who said that if we don’t learn from our mistakes, God makes us do them over and over again until we finally get the message.
That’s what I’ve been doing. For years, I’ve had dreams and goals of entrepreneurship, writing, travel.
I’ve wanted to go to cool places, write profound things, sell amazing pieces.
But I’ve never been confident enough to do it. Growing up as an unseen, unheard girl, I wasn’t exactly given the Confident Cathy Toolkit for Abundance.
So instead, I would run towards the thing I knew best: children.
I’d been raising children nearly all my life. My mom kept kids in her home off and on throughout my childhood. I started babysitting at 13 and working in a daycare at 19.
Kids are what I know. And what better way to be around kids than to be a teacher?
When I was little, I swore I would be a dance teacher.
But opening a dance studio takes skill, money and confidence, three things I lacked plenty of.
Because I loved to read and write, I became an English teacher.
Teaching has not fulfilled me. Not even a little bit, not at all.
For starters, teaching isn’t just about the kids. Trust me, if you think you’re going to go in a classroom, shut your door and sing Kumbaya all day, think again.
No, teaching is primarily about parents. Parents and administrators.
You are really nothing more but a facilitator to the education they’re wanting you to impart. When their grades are bad, you fix it. When they have a problem, you let it go. If they need more time, you give it.
Ball games? Those are crucial. They take precedence over the classroom.
Straight A’s? Gotta have them. No matter if they’re doing their best.
Got a student acting like a little turd? Who cares. Let it go.
The truth is, I was never meant to teach.
Not traditionally, anyway. I hate grades, admin and dealing with parents.
I hate teaching a curriculum I’m staunchly against and imparting “knowledge” I think is ignorant at best, dangerous at worst.
But I love the kids. I really do. They’ve been what’s kept me coming back all these years.
Lately, they haven’t been enough. I feel the tides turning against educators, and I want out.
It’s obvious many feel just like me. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves.
As it should be. The entire educational system, public, private, charter. It needs an overhaul and STAT.
It won’t matter to me much longer because I’m leaving soon, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I’m choosing to pursue my dreams, one step at a time.
I had this opportunity about seven years ago. I was on the cusp of a breakthrough, ready to change my world with my writing and travel.
Then, the presidential election happened. My background got the better of me. I was too afraid to change.
I knew that I should; I knew my views were killing me.
My insides didn’t match my outsides, but I didn’t know how to let go, let God (yes, that is Biblical!) and let myself rest.
I didn’t know how to say, “It’s okay not to have an opinion, an answer or a sure thing.”
Shortly after Trump’s election I was working in my yard on one of those rare January occasions in Mississippi where it’s warmer than it should be.
Raking the leaves in my backyard, I finished and decided to go to my side yard.
This was a place where weedy vines and overgrowth had towered the land when we moved in. I had done my best to clean it all up, but where there once had been vegetation, now there was nothing but naked ground and leaves.
Right as I was about to put the rake to the earth and pull back, I felt something inside me say, “Cover the ground and let it rest.”
Something in my soul broke that day. I got off my blog, stopped writing, and went back to work that year.
I was bitter to go backwards, and I knew that’s exactly what I was doing.
But I was also not ready to move forward.
Eventually, I ended up right back where I started. And here we are again.
Here’s the thing, though. This time is different.
I’ve lived a whole new life in the last few years. I’ve broken family chains, I’ve cut weedy vines that choked the life out of me, I’ve burned hurts, habits and hang ups that held me down.
I’ve covered the ground, I’ve let it rest, and new life has bloomed that wouldn’t have had I not retreated into my same cycle…and allowed myself to finally change.
This year is the year of beginnings for me.
My preacher said something profound in church Sunday: You can’t have a resurrection unless you’re willing to let something die.
I’m so thankful for the dead things that hurt like hell to bury.
My views on Christ, my politics, my beliefs and judgments of others. All changed.
The way I’m raising my children. Changed.
My marriage. Changed.
How I remember my childhood and love my family of origin. Changed.
My life has changed. Change teaches us to die well.
But it tires us, too. And though my soul is weary, nevertheless will I be thankful.
Thankful for the time I’ve spent underground.
Thankful for the lessons learned.
Thankful for painful change.
See you soon,