On July 13, 2020, I published my first blog post called “Who am I?” Almost two years later, I am publishing my 100th post. Crazy.
That very first post was a reflection on my life at the time: the mental exhaustion of being four months into the pandemic and finishing our first virtual learning school year, the terrible social unrest that was bubbling that followed months (years) of Black people getting killed at the hands of white people, both civilians and officers. It was an uncomfortable, isolated, fearful time where I felt the need to “do something,” both for myself and for my community.
The writing process began with the creation of my first published work “How Do We Feel Right Now?” which was in direct response to that social and political boil-over. That piece was created to be performed by my Thespian kids in their first virtual theater experience in the fall of 2020. As I was going through the process of curating the narratives for the play, I also felt compelled to keep writing about my own stories. The process of sharing stories is cathartic, which is why I enjoy producing theater so much; there’s such a therapeutic release when we connect to the experiences and ideas of others.
Shameless plug #sorrynotsorry.
It’s an important read.
Go get it, read it, and let me know what you think.
After many years of thinking about it, I finally purchased a domain name, cobbled together a website, and started something new. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I figured that I had time to explore and organize. As long as I kept creating things, I’d have some direction to follow. The blog opened a new door in my creative space. I had always wanted to start one, to empty my frazzled brain and sort out some of the things that had been trapped inside. While it doesn’t replace real therapy, it became a quasi-therapeutic activity for me. I also like to share some of that stuff, because I know that there are so many people out there with similar feelings and experiences.
What I didn’t expect was just how much blogging would feed my soul. I started to consider different possibilities about who I was, what I did, and what I’m capable of doing. When you get to your late-40s, the realities of being “middle-aged” can be haunting. I didn’t want to fall into the category of people who fall into a rut. I wanted to see what else I could do. What did I have to say about my life and the world around me? How do I keep growing and learning from my environment? I did not want to become stagnant, and writing helps me to identify what I want to do to keep moving forward.
It’s not like I didn’t feel a sense of purpose. When you are a parent and a teacher, purpose is sort of built in. I knew that I had already made an impact on certain people, I knew that there was value in who I am and what I had to say. I think I wanted to explore how that purpose can expand.
That’s why my website seems to have so many components to it. Maybe it’s about throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and seeing what will stick. Sometimes, I have a seed of a thought, open a blank page, and start writing. That process lets me connect some of the dots that are all over my brain. I find myself repeating refrains that I have heard and said over and over in the past, and realize how much they truly guide my existence. For example:
This too shall pass.
Be your best you.
You don’t know what you can do until you try something new.
Fake it ’till you make it.
Be in the moment
I think that all of the new things that I’ve written about in the blog are the reflection of how I try to apply the life lessons that I teach every day to my own life. Since I am heading towards the last few years of my role as a high school teacher, I am looking to see how I can take the best lessons I’ve learned and echo that out to a new audience. The books and podcasts have been incredible exercises in doing just that. Working through those projects have shown me how you can take a seed of an idea, nurture it and do the hard work to create something that didn’t exist before. It’s like giving birth to your children.
100 posts. 123,000 words written. Countless memories, achievements and experiences archived. It’s a good start.
I thank my pandemic self for following her heart and leading me here. I don’t know exactly where all this is going, but for the moment, I’ll live mindfully in the creative space where I can open a blank page and start brain-dumping. I’ll sculpt and carve some sort of meaning out of it, and maybe someday it will illuminate the path to a new door I can open and leap through.
For now, thank you for reading my stuff. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the things I have to share. Stay tuned for more!