2.13.2017

Turning the Corner

I’ve decided:
Life is too damned short – I should be enjoying it more! Right now I’m not working: I fell ill working at a stressful job. Being incapacitated like that really made me think! I can no longer bend over backwards for things and people not willing to feed my spirit and energy!

I miss having fun, and now, I fear that I’m in danger of dragging my daughters down with me if I don’t start to enjoy more. Even though my little mamas enjoy every situation as much as possible, we need to get out and have fun a lot more.

Taking this break has afforded me the time and breathing room it takes to look carefully at my life. What am I doing? How am I spending my time? How am I wasting it? What I saw, surprises and saddens me. And, I’ve got work to do. Here are some thoughts:

Be Brave: I’ve spent years being afraid to pursue things and take risks. Why? I’m not sure. Afraid to fail, I suppose. Or, afraid to do well??? It reminds me of Marianne Williamson’s words,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

Be You, FOR you: Part of this fear comes from a need to have the approval of others. Meanwhile, these “others” are doing everything and anything they want. Why limit myself? Perhaps that is why the energy around me as of late seems so stale, stagnant…stuck. You really do attract what you exude. So, if I want to attract a different, fresher energy, I must need to be who I really am, without apology.       
     
    Bless and Release: A while back, my teaching mentor once said to me, “Sometimes you have to love people and situations from afar. You’ve got to bless them on their journey, and then release them to it.” This is a tough one. I’m not good at letting go. 

     Maybe it’s because I lost my mom relatively early in life (I was 19 when she died of cancer). Even though I was practically an adult, I still wasn’t ready to let her go when she did. I don’t believe anyone who loses a parent is ever really ready to let them go. Somehow, though, I thought that she’d be here forever. As hard as my mom fought, she didn’t survive. She’s gone. And ever since then, I have been holding everyone and everything close to me literally for dear life, afraid to lose anything else I love. Maybe too close. I have been holding onto so much for the past 22 years, I’m running out of room in these arms of mine. I can embrace anything new, because I’m so busy holding on to old relationships, feelings, ideas, ways of thinking…

It’s time for me to put some shit down.
Bag Lady, you gon’ hurt your back, draggin’ all them bags like that. I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold onto, is you, is you…”
        -Erykah Badu, "Bag Lady"

          What do I really need to be well, to feel well, and to be happy? I need to be able to sit with life and be at peace in that moment without feeling like I’m spinning out of control, running around here like a headless chicken, trying to keep up with it all.


 Live simply. This is another tough one. I’m still working out what this might look like in my life. I’ve decided to start with something I love to do: eat. I’m currently on the path of simplicity in my food that I consume. Now, I NEED to let y’all know, I am nowhere near all the way there. I still love sweets and my complex carbs too much to let go just yet. But the intention is there. I’m trying to get better at acting on it. 

     My living space can maybe be next. Getting rid of clutter is always a monumental task in this house. I am a teacher and the child of a clever pack rat. The hoarding force is strong with me! However, I try in the process of clearing to remember how good it will feel in my space, once I get rid of the clutter. Perhaps that will be the way to go.

So, No, I don’t have it totally figured out by any means. I am making this first step, writing it down with right intentions, so that I can see it someplace, and refer back to it, especially when life gets hairy and I start losing my way in the thick of it.

Wish me luck! 

Oh, and I’m leaving this second part of that wonderful Marianne Williamson quote, so that I can feel heartened when I see this again. I hope you enjoy it, too:

“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 

Actually, who are you not to be? 

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


‘Til Next Time,


Jaye

2.10.2017

Ditching the Boxes

It's been too, too, too long, folks. Almost five years to be exact. Why?

Life. That's why. Stuff happens: adulting, working, raising kids, Facebooking, Tweeting, Pinterest, etc.


However, now that I have the time to do it, I can update. Every day.


As always, this is going to be VERY therapeutic for me. Writing always has been my passion, my joy, my release, even though I've been treating it like a red-headed stepchild lately. 


Straight Zombie Mode


Facebook and Twitter are addicting and too much fun, I can't lie. It's hard to resist the endless supply of immediate titillation.  


However, real writers know: Writing in within boxes and character limits is confining in more ways than one. I catch myself trying to be clever, witty and succinct all within the teeny-weeny space and character limits supplied.  I struggle daily to say something that will get a reaction (happy, sad, angry, wow, haha is all we get to feel according to Facebook)  from one of your bazillion friends' fleeting and ever-dwindling attention span. We're all on there, flailing through the muck, as we scroll through soupy liquid of bells, whistles, giphys, listicles, memes, videos, goofy quizzes.... 


All of this stuff is supposedly what I want to see and hear, at least according to my click-through habits. It's creepy the way they know I was eyeing that monster-sized box of Cheez-Its for my daughters' lunch boxes or the gorgeous A-line, custom-tailored dress on eShakti....


Very 1984ish, indeed.


With ALL of this time I have on my hands (I'll get to that a little later here), I have been on Facebook every single day...checking on my friends and my "friends" lives (y'all know there's a difference), trying to interact electronically from my home office, laughing, cussing, guffawing out loud in my otherwise quiet home. Now that I think about it, in this whole scene I must really look happy, sad, angry, wow, haha all at once. 


Regardless of the optics, I feel innately compelled to express more. More than the blips, blinks, "LOLs," "ICYMIs" of communication...I need to stretch, and relieve that cramp to my never-ending stream of thought-to-written consciousness. 


I need to be free! 


I have more to say, and "Accurate," "Yup", and fire emoji isn't cutting it for me anymore. 


That freedom breaking out in other areas too. 


Career: A Shift 


I'm taking a break from teaching for now. It is time for me to finally admit that teaching, full-time, is not something that is meant for me anymore. I will always be a teacher. However, I've got to explore different ways to teach now, different settings. It can't be my main gig. Teaching demands SO MUCH TIME and ENERGY. I have colleagues and friends who do it, and I love them for it and it for them for that matter. I have though, arrived at the realization, that I'm just not cut from that cloth. 


At my last assignment, I was working anywhere 12 to 16 hours a day, with only 8 of those spent with students teaching. The remaining 4 to 8 hours were spent writing and editing lessons, organizing (and re-organizing) the classroom, hanging work up, taking work down, calling parents with great and no-so-great news, cleaning, meetings with supervisors and colleagues that couldn't take place in our lightning-speed school day, grading and a myriad of other duties and responsibilities.  


After several months of this, I was burning out, folks! I expressed this to my dean and principal, only to be told that I should be doing even more. How? When? With a husband, father of a certain older age, and two daughters in primary (Grades Kindergarten and 2), WTF are they talking about? 


"Make work your refuge from home." they said. 


No, thanks. HOME is my refuge. And it always will be. When it comes to "otherness" and my family, the latter will always come first. 



No One-Trick Pony


My whole approach to a career needs to look different. I can't just do one thing. It seems like a waste. I need the freedom to move around, not being bound my one all-encompassing elephant-in-the-tiny-ass-room job. 


What I do is not WHO I am. It can never be, and if you know me, you know that's not how I rock. 


I cannot be bound to only one thing for long. I need to be free, having a constant stream or flow of information, things, people, and ideas. I crave the ability to float from place to place, in and out, always moving to what I need to fully support who I am. Why limit my life's work to one particular way?


I am a mom of two of the greatest little girls I know.


I am a wife of N (remember him?) for 8 years now.


I am a daughter to a great man who is in the winter of his life right now.


I am and I always will be a teacher. But I am also a writer, a skill and passion I have been neglecting. 


Thankfully, like great friendships, I can pick up where I left off, and it feels in part the same way I remember it.


As I make room, I hope to post more often, and I hope you'll join me....


'Til Next Time,


J




4.12.2012

Remember Me?


I have been so incredibly busy that I have not posted on here in a long, long time.

My life has been occupied by two of the most adorable little girls I could ever wish for. I have also been searching for a new job.

I am at the point where I am closing certain chapters of my life, and opening new ones.

1) I am done having kids. I love my little munchkins so much. However, I'm 37. The baby factory is now shutting down for good. My hubby and I have decided not to have any more. And, I couldn't ask for more than I have in them right now. They are wonderful! They are all the kids I need in life.

2) I am ready to move up in my career. I have spent the last year not working, due in part to the birth of my second daughter. The other half of that was that the school where I worked decided to change my position into something else, so they (and I) determined that it would no longer be "a good fit". So, I have had lots of time to consider that age-old question (especially in my life): What's Next?

3) To go forward, I have to go back. Sounds strange, but it is perfect for me. I have to get back to the good and positive things I was involved in and associated with. As with many wives and mommies, I am drowning in my roles as such. There is no Jenny from before. I am ready to be Jenny, 2.0. I need to upgrade every aspect of my life from random chick to a grown-ass woman making grown-ass choices and decisions. This is the biggie. This is the one I have been spending much of my time on as of late. It's important. I need the upheaval that will come with this.

4) Knowing my role, and yours too. Not everyone is meant to come with you on every step of your journey in life. I am still, still, still learning this one. I have had a couple of close friends die, recently. I have killed off a couple of so-called friendships. But most importantly, I see that some relationships are meant to just ebb and flow, wafting in and out of your life as the need arises. That is my role for some. I have decided to just pick and choose who I want as the mainstays. And, conversely, who can just....go.

So, now that I've gotten that off my chest, expect to be blogging more and more in the coming weeks and months. I miss the catharsis that writing brings. . .

Til Next Time,

J