Today, and also beauty

Today did not go really at all as intended, and yet it was wonderful.  I felt confident as a person, powerfully beautiful as a woman, and classily stellar as a guide to my young companion.  I want to look at today to see what made the difference for each of these things and more to have happened with such ease and success, which is quite different from the everyday to which I am accustomed.  My daily has become quite beautiful for me, however, there were elements of today – especially my comfort and confidence as a beautiful woman – that haven’t been successful yet in my day-to-day.  Perhaps I will discuss it all on here more later, but, for now, I’ll just mention that the “confidence” part of the beautiful woman idea is not a matter of being a confident woman; rather, it is of being confident as a beautiful, desirable woman.  I have experienced the beautiful, desirable throughout my life, but mostly with a pressing experience of embarrassment or ‘please, forgive me, I don’t mean it,’ or even ‘I’m sorry to be looking like this, and I am not trying to entice you.’

Anyway… my head aches incredibly, so I’ll sleep now.

Post-a-day 2017

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A hug of love

Tonight, at an event, I came across a student whom I taught for a grand total of eight days, and whom I haven’t seen since those couple months ago.  When she saw me, her delight was noticeable instantly, and her desire to hug me was almost palpable – she was almost shaking with the anticipation and desire, similar to a puppy wagging its tail as it waits desperately to be pet and loved on by its human.  When she saw that I was okay with her hugging me, we hugged.  It was a real hug, and not the common ‘meh’ version that feels like a required pleasantry instead of a genuine gesture of care for someone.  She cared, and it was for me.

I almost began to tear up, but for the intense joy and ease that filled me and flowed out of me afterward.  In that teaching job, I was incredibly myself with the students, and this was the kind of impact I left after only a single week.  This impact, where a student can hardly wait to hug me upon sighting me, and declares fervently, “We miss you,” despite our having not seen one another in months, was clearly a powerful one.  And I am grateful for the grace and strength I had to provide it in being myself.  I was truly honored tonight.

Post-a-day 2017

Being a teacher… ouch

Being a teacher is hard.  And by “hard”, I mean “incredibly difficult”.  What calls to mind this idea today in particular – because we all know that there are loads of reasons being a teacher is difficult – is the aspect of life outside of school.

You see, to be a good teacher, the best one can be, requires arriving early to school, working through free periods during the day, actually teaching classes, working privately with students at lunch and/or after school, and then working at least a little bit more before going home for the night.  By then, exhaustion is just about ready to set in, leaving time only enough to make it home, eat some food (maybe), and crash to bed.  And then the alarm goes off at five-something in the morning to start it all over again.  In other words, a truly dedicated teacher, at least in his/her first several years teaching a specific subject, works at least a ten-hour day daily, and has little to no time and/or energy to pursue anything else during the week.  Social life just doesn’t exist alongside being a good, dedicated teacher.

Right now, everything is working for me.  Right now, I have almost zero social obligations or immediate opportunities.  I go early and work late every day, and I have this strong sense of ‘got-it-togetherness’.  I am prepared for the following day by the time I leave for home in the evening.  But I have no active friends.  Sure, I chat with people at school from time to time, but we aren’t friends.  Besides, they all seem to be doing things for various clubs and such for the school on the weekends.  When I have wondered how things might be if I were a permanent teacher at this school, I have been almost certain that I would be staying even later for club activities, and sooner or later would find myself on campus or at activities (sports, possibly) for the school on the weekends.  It really is wonderful to be an active part of a school.  And that unfortunately means giving up most outside opportunities.

There is a delicate balance between having a life outside of school and making the school one’s whole life.  Sacrifices must be made in either case – either giving up social time for school events, or giving up involvement with the school and kids (when kids are truly at their best, too) to go get drinks or coffee with a friend or family member.  At my last two jobs, I wasn’t fulfilled as a teacher without being involved in things with kids outside of class.  Be it playing in the band for certain events, singing songs together at the community piano, coaching lacrosse, or choreographing and assisting with the musical, those were the necessary pieces to rounding out the teacher experience and being fulfilled as a teacher.  Unfortunately, those all meant giving up time that could have been spent on a life outside of school, getting to know people my own age or, believe it or not, older than I am. I could have spent the time running in the park.  But I spent it with the kids instead.  So, I was fulfilled somewhat as a teacher, and hardly at all as a person in life.

Anyway, that’s what’s been on my mind this evening, and is one of the many reasons why teaching is hard

Post-a-day 2017

Hmm…

I have felt recently as though I am at one of the most quizzical times in life.  The feelings of being young and twenty-something are being contradicted by simple counting and addition, and the unofficial job status of ‘semi-wanderer’ seems more and more out of place.  To add to it all, I didn’t even know the year when I was putting the date on a paper I was signing this morning.

Every other day, I have new feelings and ideas about the direction I want to pursue now and next in my life.  Today, I consider one thing.  Tomorrow, I am excited and content in pursuing that same thing.  The day after tomorrow, that idea seems somewhat bleak.  And then, the day after that, a new idea arises, and the cycle repeats itself.

For now, I think I need to stick with today and tomorrow, and what I will do with myself then.  I will put forth my own good effort, and do well and good in the world around me.  For some reason, that always had a wonderful result for everyone around me, including myself.  As for the other things, I think they will slide into place as I take each of those daily steps that seem right for today and tomorrow.  And, day by day, my life will be filled with such love and joy, shared with the world, as I never could have imagined from where I am right now.  Baby steps and hope, as I learned from “What about Bob?” and “The Shawshank Redemption” (I plan to read the short story by Stephen King soon enough.).

Post-a-day 2017

Photography Skills…?

I don’t know what it is, but I apparently am great at photography.  My cousin and aunt said that I really just have a great eye for it.  I see what they mean, but I keep wondering if it is only for certain circumstances that I am any good at it all, that I only have an eye for specific photo situations and events. Sure, I had great ideas for a couple weddings, and a handful of other events in recent years, but they all shared in their nature-tied, almost rustic themes.  Part of me wonders if I just choose to take photos of things that are already awesome, and I am merely documenting those things, as opposed to my taking whatever is in front of me, and documenting it in an awesome way.

That being said, there is another part of me that wants desperately to agree with them wholeheartedly, go find a good quality camera, and start promoting myself as a photographer.  This is the part that tells me how I am always just a very harsh judge of myself, and the standards I hold are far beyond the usual standards for people, thereby making what I consider to be mediocre work of my own to be spectacular by regular standards.  And I so want to believe this part of me…, but I don’t want to be wrong.

Then again, why do I not want to be wrong?  It looks like I want not to be embarrassed for thinking that I have taste, and being called out about it, because I don’t actually have good taste like I’d thought.  Also, that I want not to cause people to believe I am cheating them in any way…. and it looks like that’s about it.  Huh… Well, I know that I have taste.  Especially seeing as how I frown at professional photos that I see all of the time, because I am disappointed that the photographer would allow such photos to be paid for.  As for finding an appropriate value for my “work”, let’s call it, I guess I can easily enough ask different people for guidance, and always verify with the “client”, shall we say, regarding an agreed upon value of the work.  And, regarding my earlier concern/wondering, I could always just do photos for those similar settings, if it turns out that I’m only really great at those types of setups.  Well, that’s too simple, almost.

Fortunately, the key word there is “almost”.

So, I guess that means that I am looking for a camera now, because my phone is not satisfactory for anything above instagram quality.  😛

Post-a-day 2017

Weddings and Children

A few years ago, I became aware of something new in terms of weddings, parties, and events: the effects of the presence of young children.  At my cousin’s wedding reception, some of my family and I were near a couple with a baby.  I had been strongly working to tune out he baby’s cries, when my aunt commented to another cousin of mine, ‘This is why we didn’t allow kids at your wedding.’ (Although, now that I write that, I feel like it might have been the cousin to say it about her own wedding.)  It wasn’t that the baby was a problem.  That was not at all the case.  It was simply that the baby altered the atmosphere significantly for all of those around it.

This weekend, I experienced one of the strongest respects for the ‘No Children’ policy.  Children are great, and I need not be convinced of this.  I love children on their own turf, in their own environments.  However, my former belief that excluding children from events was just because people wanted to get stupid drunk is now history.  Without children, the atmosphere is at ease.  Period.  With children, almost every single time, at least one person is always a little stressed (watching the kids), and likely several people end up stressed and annoyed, as well.  When a child is constantly running around, an unidentifiable parent allowing the child to be roaming free, things are at their worst for the other guests, because there is a sense of obligation felt to watch out for the young, solo child.  Even when a child is attached to its parent, seeing parenting skills that are less than extraordinary is stressful just to see.

As I watched yet another person take away an incredibly breakable object from a kid tonight, – I even got to take away calmly a ceramic dish from this child earlier in the evening – my annoyance was raised just that much more.  The kids were all really sweet and nice.  But kids are incapable of being fully respnsile for themselves and their behavior, and these were kids.  As I noticed with my stress levels last night, one rogue child can ruin a party’s mood.  And much more so than an annoying adult.  When an event is designed for children, then kids can be themselves, through and through.  Weddings and most events of a similar setup are not designed for children, but for adults.  And so the presence of children really just doesn’t work.

Post-a-day 2017

St. Lucia’s Day

In third grade, my friend and classmate Kristin and I did a project together around Christmastime.  We were to learn a bit about how other countries celebrated Christmas, and do a sort of write-up, and then a little presentation for the class.  I imagine that everyone had different countries, and that we weren’t the only ones presenting something, but I really don’t remember.

Our specific project, as my mother and I recall, was over St. Lucia’s Day, a holiday seen as signaling the arrival of Christmastide.  It is a Catholic and Lutheran holiday, mostly celebrated in Italy and Scandinavia.  All I remember from what we researched was that the girls in a family traditionally wore white dresses, made rolls of bread early in the morning, and sang songs at home, while wearing this sort of crown-wreath on their heads, with candles on it.  We dressed up one of my little wooden dolls to look the part.  She had a green pipe cleaner head-wreath, with rolled up tissue candles, and a tissue dress.

Since we had talked about how the girls in a family would sing traditional Christmas songs, we were asked if we could sing one of the songs.  We confessed, however, that we didn’t actually know any of the particular ones sung for the holiday.  Someone asked us just to sing an English Christmas carol, instead, and we somehow ended up with “Silent Night”.  So, Kristin and I sang “Silent Night” to the class together.  The irony of singing a German song for a mostly-Scandinavian holiday struck me only in recent years.  😛

Post-a-day 2017