Coming Up Short

I’m recovering from pink eye and after all the time I spent on the computer today, my eyes have had it!

I’ll post again tomorrow.

Good night, blog. Sleep tight.

Presto Chango

This picture doesn’t connect to this post much, but I took it about a month ago and hadn’t had a moment to use it in a post yet.

A lot has changed since I last posted. Not my M.I.A post from this weekend, but a real post. I was getting pretty down and slumpy, not knowing why things had just stalled out. I have worked super hard during this masters program and had felt that I made good impressions, but nothing seemed to be happening in the job market for me. I was applying and applying, but not getting calls. I knew that the teaching market was competitive, but every time I heard that someone had been hired, I was happy for them but I seemed to sink a little deeper into despair.

And then…

Everything changed. There was one excruciating week when I didn’t know anything, but my life literally changed last Tuesday afternoon. I am officially a teacher. A special education teacher to be exact and it is perhaps the most exciting thing to happen this century. That might be an exaggeration, but I doubt it 🙂

It has been a bit overwhelming because I reported to school the morning after I received the life changing phone call and as a new special ed teacher I have had to be in a bunch of training, but I am not complaining at all!

I know people complain about teaching salaries, but it might as well be a million dollars to me. It will more than afford me a secure living and I have access to amazing insurance benefits, not to mention getting the honor to work with incredible kids everyday.

These last two weeks have been a testament to my personal growth this year. I have always been determined and persistent, I have never been very skilled at sharing and being honest with my struggles. It is incredibly difficult for me to lean on anyone. In my excitement, I posted on Facebook and asked for good vibes to be sent my way. As the week progressed without any word, I almost kicked myself for spouting my mouth at all because then I would have all those people to answer to if I didn’t get it. However, I tried and succeeded to push those thoughts away most of the time.

I also received an immeasurable amount of support from people because I reached out and I honestly believe that it made a big difference. In many ways the process was spiritual and faith affirming. And I was welcomed at my new school with open arms. It felt comfortable from the first day and that is a blessing too.

Even as my frustration was on the rise and I was questioning why things were shaking out the way they were, I knew that I can’t always know what is happening behind the scenes for my greater good. Yesterday, my dad reminded me of how miserable I was before I took this teaching journey. He reminded me about an awful tragedy that seem insurmountable at the time, but that moment when it seemed like my life was crashing down around me, actually was the catalyst I needed to guide me to my true path.

I know there will be challenges, but I could not be happier to have the opportunity to take this job!

Presto Chango – brand new day!

Who’s Exhausted?

I have so much to write and every day I think that I will get too it, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

I owe an explanation and I have a really good excuse…really, I do.

However, I can’t do it right now. I am so tired that I need to pin back my eyelids in order to continue.

So – I will do all my catch up this Wednesday.

Sorry I was M.I.A. for a bit.

Talk soon.

Fire and Rain

I had the chance to go to the mountains for a couple of days this week which was bliss. It wasn’t enough time, but at least I got a couple of days. It rained hard every day, but I was able to go soak in the hot springs and spend some time in Salida. I even found a pair of peacock rain boots at a 2nd hand shop.

I’ve been out of the loop for over a week. Mainly because I’ve been working and in spots without internet. I’ve been kind of inside a shell anyway.

I interviewed for a special education job last Monday. I thought the interview went pretty well and they said they would be trying to make a decision that day or the next. I went home and packed for the mountains full of hope and excitement.

I had a great and relaxing time in Buena Vista with my mom, but never heard anything back about the job. I came home and went to pugsit for my aunt and a couple more days passed with no word. I finally texted my friend who works at the school. She found out that they narrowed it down to four candidates, including me. Two first year teachers and two veterans. They told her that they wanted someone with more experience, but if I made the cut, they had to think I had something special to offer.

That was Thursday.

I still haven’t heard. I hope I’ll know something this week. Part of me feels like I’ve already lost it, but I’ve been trying to squash those thoughts whenever they crop up. I know that I would do a good job. I felt a rapport with the other special ed teacher and I felt I was genuine.

As a friend of mine said in a voice message tonight, if it doesn’t work out it’s only because there is something better waiting for me.

Even though it rained most of the time I was away, I saw little glimmers of light – like this wet flower. It had been weathered a bit, yet it was still a bright spot to remind me that something better is always waiting when the clouds clear out.

I’ll be better about posting this week. I’ll keep you posted about the job.

Learning To Let Go

I’m happy to report that I was able to finish my SAPS portfolio and I am a real teacher. I still have to file for my license with the Colorado Department of Education, but it feels great and surreal to type this sentence. It has been so much work, but I know it is going to be worth it.

I seriously neglected this blog this last month. Between taking over the class at school and finishing my portfolio – there just was no time to write. In all honesty, there was not much time for sleep or fun or anything else this last month.  Now, I’m heading into my last week of school with students and looking forward to the summer. I will be working as a nanny (hopefully), taking a class, writing, singing, resting, applying for teaching jobs and continuing this journey. I want to pick up where I left off. I have been very reflective all this time, I just haven’t documented it here.

The month of May has been full of success and failure. A real roller coaster of emotion and exhaustion. I wish I would have taken a picture of my dark circles. I looked like a raccoon. Last week, I was told by my Principal that it is a very tough climate to find a job as a teacher. That said, principals will be interviewing in June. However, most people won’t be getting jobs until August. She said not to get frustrated. I trust her and I know that she will do whatever she can to help us get jobs. I also have a centralized phone interview with an HR representative from Denver Public Schools this Tuesday.

I have been very freaked out the last couple of months about finding a job. The anxiety was making me sick. I was having nightmares about it. After I turned in my portfolio, I suddenly had a sense of peace about it. I don’t know if it’s just intuition or what, but I feel that the work I have done in the last two years will help me land up in the right place and the right job. For what ever reason, I feel like I will have a teaching job in August.

I have also been experiencing a great deal of anxiety about one of my relationships. I have gone back and forth, over and over again about what to do. Although I have gotten some well-meaning advice from friends, I wasn’t sure what the right action was. This week, the universe took care of it on its own and I have to say, I am feeling at peace about that situation as well. I have been trying desperately to understand why this person is in my life. This morning, it hit me. I finally understand. It felt like an answered prayer. This feeling of peace may be fleeting, but I really think I have come to a new perspective that will last.

This project is all about learning how to be myself, right now, in this moment and not to run away from anything that makes me uncomfortable. I have wanted to escape recently, but instead, I’ve sat in the discomfort and dealt with it. I have cried and talked for hours with friends and family about it. I have prayed and meditated and wondered how I could ever get to a place of peace. I have learned more about myself. I don’t feel that May was a bust because I have had some major breakthroughs.

I’m looking forward to this summer. I’m excited to keep pushing myself on this journey and learn to be Mary – 100% Mary all the time. I can spend my life trying to be what other people want me to be or I can experience some discomfort and spend my life striving to be myself. I’m learning to embrace the latter. Learning to let go is one of my life’s biggest lessons. I don’t think I have slayed that dragon for good, but I definitely won the small battle this month.

On the Rocks

There is a patch of flowers growing on the side of my parent’s garage. A small bunch of beautiful purple blooms amidst the rocks. No one planted them, but some how there they are thriving.

It reminded me of my life right now. I am essentially in the rocks as well. My life is crazy right now. I officially took over the classroom today. I’m working on my “practice” solo days this week, so my Clinical Teacher is in the room, but I’m running the show.

It was a good day, but my brain is pretty mushy tonight. I went to dinner with my mom and ran some errands. It’s too late to really work on any school work and I know I would be working at half brain capacity anyway. Some I’m going to call it a night.

Even though I’m in the rocks, I’m also blooming. I’m worried about not being paid, but I’m doing what I love in the classroom. I’m seeing my students grow and watching them learn is one of my greatest joys. I working through the scar tissue around my heart and am finally allowing people in. I’m in a healthy place emotionally. I am learning how to be present in all areas of my life, especially in my relationships.

I am a purple flower. I’m still in the rocks, but I’m blossoming.

Calling All Angels

This has been an emotional week. I had the day from hell on Monday and I just kind of lost it on my way to class in the evening. Luckily, my mom was able to talk me down a little bit. The last two days have been better, but I ended up crying again tonight after I saw a touching profile of a young cancer patient on the nightly news. I think the stress of my program, all the homework and lessons to plan, and being on steroids for two weeks left me a bit thin-skinned.

Not to mention, I’ve been trying to get some more sleep and the last two nights I’ve woken up at 4 am for no apparent reason. As I type this, my eyes are drooping…

I don’t handle transitions well. I never have. Even as a young child I would be overcome with extreme anxiety when I was faced with any change. I’m staring down a huge transition right now. I am grieving having to leave a school that I love and I’m overwhelmed with anxiety about needing to find a job when soooo many teachers are also looking.

I have always been led to great opportunities and I have no reason to believe that this will be any different.

This afternoon, I spoke to a friend of mine on the phone. She is riddled with worry right now and I caught myself giving her advice that I needed to hear too. There is no sense making yourself sick over a fearful situation. Focusing on all that negative energy is the worst thing to do. After that conversation, I turned inward to give myself the same pep talk. Now I’m trying to surrender and put my angels on it.

I know for certain that I have a slew of angels protecting me and guiding me all the time. However, sometimes my vision gets cloudy. I think I needed to work through my own worry today by trying to help someone else.

She also helped me by reminding me that I can’t expect to be perfect and even the days where I feel like I’ve failed are opportunities for growth. The pendulum has swung both ways this week – failure and success. She helped to remind me that I’m still a student, I’m still learning.

So in the meantime, I can focus on being present and leave the rest to my army of angels.

It’s Not That Easy Being Green

I am a huge Muppet fanatic. I have loved the Muppet’s since I was a toddler. Jim Henson is one of my idols and I remember exactly where I was when I heard about his death. I cried myself to sleep for a week.  Today, I received an email from one of my best friends with a great Muppet picture and it made my day. I have been up to my eyes in work and I desperately needed a moment from the chaos and frustration to smile.

I have always loved the song, “Being Green” as well. It may be my favorite song. It is simple and profound and ever beautiful.

I finally started reading the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I have been wanting to read it for a while, but had a chance to flip through it this weekend and was very impressed. I know that a lot of my health issues and weight issues could be remedied with a shift in my eating habits. It’s unfortunate that the busier I get, the harder it is to take care of myself…and that includes poor eating with processed food.

I know that the principles Michael Pollan suggests take more time and are less convenient, but I don’t want to get diabetes or cancer. Cancer is certainly not convenient either… It seems to me that a little more work now could really pay off in the coming years.

I am also really interested in a teaching job at a local school that focuses on green living. I’m nervous to apply because I want to make a good impression. There is sooo much competition – I’m super nervous, but here’s hoping that I am exactly what they’re looking for.

I don’t think all of this green stuff is a coincidence. It seems like a flashing neon sign. Green is the thing I should be focusing on. It’s not only important for taking care of the earth, but also taking care of myself. It’s not that easy, but its worth the time and the effort in the end. I think Kermit had it right all along:

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder, why wonder,
I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be

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