agent of mercy


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Declutter and Unclog

I am beginning to feel like I haven’t taken a deep breath in a long time. I am jam packing my schedule again. I’ve been working full time for Professional Development) for three weeks, working part time hours at the daycare (along with an overnight tonight), and coordinating the whole house buying process. The new school year starts on Monday, and I find myself comparing myself to other teacher. Any time I start comparing myself to others, I put myself in a dangerous place, really. 

I suddenly realize how many tabs I have open on a web browser, how much stuff I own, how many things I need to do, and I want to just trash it all and start anew. But even the idea of trash makes me think of clutter. I am a hoarder of research, old writing, old emails, clothes that no longer fit. I feel this desperate need to simplify before I suffocate.

Today, I threw away a bunch of papers in my new classroom. Unfortunately, the lessons and work from all the restarts I’ve done in my last two years of teaching cannot be used this year. I’m at a new school. In an effort to clean out my email (as if that really is a high priority when I should be planning my first units), I went through old emails with professors during my first year of teaching. The emails brought me back to the pain of the profession. I really hope this year is better.

I even feel bogged down by all the unread pages in the books on my bookshelf.

Comparison bears no fruit,
Branches creek (weighted)
Sigh for the vacancy of light.

(wait)


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Lamenting the Loss of Fourteen Years of Writing

So over the course of the past month, I tried to access my old on-line diary to write a new entry or to read an old one. I have clicked the OpenDiary.com link on my toolbar and nothing has happened. OpenDiary was notorious for issues loading, so I figured that it was a temporary issue, ignored it, and wrote an entry in a Word Document to upload later.

Today, I wanted to reread some entries from the beginning because I was sharing memories with my soon-to-be thirteen year old sister. She was crushing on older YouTube Minecraft sensations, and I wanted to show her my early entries about my unattainable crushes. When I was denied access, I searched Google to find that the entire website has been completely deleted. Fourteen years worth of journaling, poetry, and interactions with friends and peers is irreparably gone.

Years of experience coping with loss help me to ease my grip when it strikes. I have lost my sister, my dad, my aunt. I have lost pets, years of photos, relationships, jewelry, cars, favorite clothes, cds. I might beat myself up a little when the loss is my fault, but usually I surrender to the natural ebb and flow of life. I let go because I know that nothing is forever.

And I know that now, but the pang of grief is still there. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be – maybe because I don’t relish in hours of rereading detailed descriptions of the past.

OpenDiary was a place that preceded social networking as we know it today. My first diary was on the sister site TeenOpenDiary.com or “TOD” as we liked to call it. I wrote entries about my daily life. I wrote poetry. I received feedback from strangers. My friends made diaries and TOD became the place to start petty peer conflicts or to give different points of view about the same experiences. It was a valuable lesson in perspective.

On TOD, I met one of my best friends who lived in Ontario. We shared our poetry with one another and commented about each others’ lives. I visited her when I was just fourteen years old. We sent each other letters with poorly drawn likenesses of ourselves, odes and poems, and details of our days in school.

Adult life takes so much brain power that my intense nostalgia has relented. My tendency to cling to the past prohibited growth, so I welcome change in my life these days.

I will make peace with this loss, but it is heartbreaking that I never saved some of the creative writing. Nonetheless, the start of this blog couldn’t have been more timely. This can be a fresh start for me, allowing me to let go of my childish beginnings.


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Language of Truth

I am at a point in my life where I have become painfully aware of how my insecurities have limited me. I’m 26. I have had the hardest year that I can remember. I have wondered about my choice in a career. I have been shopping to purchase a home, but I’m still living at home. I feel like I’m on the brink of so much newness, and it has made me feel insecure and unsure about everything.

I have written in the past. I have kept an on-line journal since I was twelve. I have written poetry and creative prose. Then, in college, I began focusing on academic writing. Now, most of my writing pertains to my job: I write lesson plans, cover letters for applications, emails. I lament the loss of creative writing in my life, but at the same time, I revel in any writing I do.

I submitted a poem for a contest at Westfield State yesterday. In my revision process. I allowed colleagues and friends to critique it because I wanted it to be good. I hadn’t written in a while and it felt good, so when I got some negative feedback, I took it hard. Has allowing my written expression to take a back seat caused it to become rusty? Was I never the writer I gave myself credit for? Am I just a phony following the stigma that “Those who can, do; those who can’t. teach”?

I don’t think any of these fears are necessarily true. Of course, when we compare ourselves to others, we will always feel inferior or superior. That is not the point of life.

The truth is, I need to keep writing. It brings me peace of mind, no matter what the genre. It helps me make sense of the world around me. I need to keep writing because it is what makes me happiest. I can’t allow my insecurities or insatiable perfectionism to run my life. I need to keep pursuing my dreams, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

So in this sentiment, I begin this blog. Hello, world. Here are my words.