Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blank Transition

I entered graduate school in a moment of verge... a time when everything seemed to be at my back, pushing against me. Though it all wanted to be released, I resisted like a wall, not letting it go until I was sure I no longer needed it. For a long time some fear was stronger and had let me resist the growth that I had already realized but was unwilling to let live. I am slow to change outwardly although deep inside I am always constantly.

My husband and I decided that I would go back to school, to find a job that would provide, but that I also would love, and that it would be a way to discover this great internal ‘must’ I wanted to come of my personal story, my life, but that I had no direction or understanding of how to move towards it. I went and it was hard and rewarding and the most poignant experience I have ever personally and intellectually gone through; just me. I have had the most profound experiences from having children, but motherhood is not just a concentration of my ideas, and school was, and I broke through. I crossed over…my intellectual lust, and my motherhood grew. I found passion for myself while being educated about education and it pierced my heart in overwhelming ways. I became a better, more present mother for it.

Often in class I felt so much, and to write what happened internally is really difficult, because it is made up of feelings, the ones you wrestle with when you’re learning and changing and becoming.

The ones I can’t accurately say I know what I did with.

 I just know they surfaced out of old growth and formed a new path. I cultivated a new perspective although I feel closer to myself, my soul self, than I have in many years. I was exposed to so many new ideas about education, though I kind of felt that I had always know them, somehow. I felt I had found a source to feed my soul journey. I had many conversations with God, grateful for vulnerability and trust.

So many feelings.

I reflected on everything I had done, and thought, or thought I knew, and I allowed myself to be open to what others had studied and written about public schooling, and about how children learn, and about being equitable and fighting for the story of each child. I shared ideas that I was proud of, ones that kind of shocked me about myself and some that I shudder at because I thought I may have come across, to some, in unintended ways.

I sat in classes where I felt friendship and trust and others in which I felt insecure. I sat like a child does among the cliques and ideas, kinship and insecurity and I realized that these ways of community do not change, but that instead, I have grown deeper inside, and so I know myself deeper and understand how to communicate better, and how to accept difference.

I felt pulled apart and put back together.

I was tired, but refreshed with a new direction to venture towards.

As part of my coursework we spent a great amount of time in our writings using the practice of reflection. After I finished student teaching, I kind of just stopped doing so outwardly, onto paper. I kind of shut off the faucet of letting it all pour out. After a period of shifting away from school and back into a new routine of children out of school for summer and finding a teaching position I once again realize the power of reflection and how recording my thoughts it is a vital compass to directing me back to my best self, over and over again.

There was a period right after I finished student teaching that I felt like I was facing myself from two years ago, before school. I can’t quite describe it, but I felt like I was staring at a blank version of myself. I questioned if anything had really sunk in. I felt like all the knowledge was slowly slipping away; I couldn’t figure out how to transition, or let it guide me to take the next step. I felt I suddenly had to learn something new, to create; to keep the momentum going. I didn’t know what to do though, until a great storm and some simple acknowledgement helped me transition.

Part of this unsteady shift from school to idle has been soothed by what is seen in these photos-tree branches, watercolor boats and of course these silly, sweet, wild souls. I will share more about what I have been making with the branches and boats as I finish. It’s simple, but has helped me revive my creative energy in new and unexpected ways.

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