Jason Mraz is probably my favorite singer of all times. The way he manipulates language to create a quilting together of words and music is awe inspiring to a total English nerd like myself. Every summer my husband, children and I go to San Diego to visit family. And every summer I am known to sit at a place called Cafe Gratitude in Little Italy waiting for my moment to meet Mr. Mraz. You see, he has a little stake in the cafe, he is vegan, and he is all about positive affirmations and sharing love like its a currency. I too love and admire many of his philosophies, but struggle with positive affirmations. My mind has a tendency to be optimistic, but only in front of an all too present echo of negativity or fear. With that said, it is time to explain this Cafe Gratitude style post...
"There are three things I do with my life falls apart. Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart. Not until I do this will my new life start. That's the first thing that I do when my life falls apart." Jason Mraz
Per a previous post, I encountered a life changing, path altering, heartbreaking event that has given me an opportunity to review and reflect on the way I have been living my life and what it is I value most. Since the tragic and unexpected passing of my stepfather in February, I have felt like I have been living in a fog. I couldn't remember things easily, my emotions were all out there and not easily zipped up in my Boston Red Sox hoodie. I felt this raw and deep emotion for the first time in my life. I cried my eyes out and felt broken every day I woke up to face a classroom full of children who needed the best of me. His death and my inability to put on my daily performance broke me unexpectedly.
"The second thing I would do is I close both of my eyes And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life. I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside. Gathering new strength from sorrow, I’m glad to be alive." Jason Mraz
The gratitude to my students, close friends, and supportive colleagues has been all too humbling and gently life affirming. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and have a tendency to be there when I may not be able to. My brokenness this term forced me to pave a new path towards using the word "no" so as not to over-commit and "yes" to being able to accept the love and help I desperately needed to get out of bed raise my two children, take care of my home, and support and love the countless number of students I have grown to love over the last seven years.
"The third thing that I do now when my world caves in, is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end. I design my future bright not by where my life has been And I try, try, try, try, try again" Jason Mraz
And now on to pausing, taking a breath, and letting my chapter end. I have decided to step back from the classroom to gain perspective on how to create balance in my life. My family slipped off my radar and had I not randomly gone to a niece's birthday party in February, I wouldn't have seen my stepfather and youngest son enjoy an unusually warm winter day in front of a pond with frogs and wildlife. I am forever thankful for those last moments with him, but the piercing pain of regret and miscalculations over the last few years stains my heart and has pushed me towards a new path in education.
So I am taking a bow from a stage that I have walked across for the last eight years and am starting a new chapter in education where I hope to find balance. I love teaching, I love education, I love creating and technology and being part of something bigger than me. I am optimistic I will find balance and still be able to contribute positively to my community and the hundreds of children I adore. It's now time for the sun to shine again and although I know there will be intermittent clouds it is with this pausing and acknowledgement that will allow me to move forward and to hopefully one day return to the classroom.