Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Everything I needed to know about life I've learned in the last four months.

If you said you understood my current plight, my affinity for stress baking, or the rusty brakes on my struggle bus, I'd say, "You flagin'!" "Get your life!" and "That's dead."

You don't. You can't. You don't want to. I'm somewhere between questioning purpose and throwing caution to the wind, and the middle ground...well, it slipped out from underneath me a few weeks back. From tears to necessary laughter, from disbelief and doubt to accidental recognition and praise, I've run the gamut of feelings, and I don't think any SEL training in the world can help me make sense of them. Every time I sit down to blog or to write in a journal, my proverbial pen leaks all over the place, and I'm left with a mess of things that I can't quite manipulate into cohesive thoughts. So, I just don't. And, there's the explanation for the four month hiatus. As far as the life lessons I've acquired in the last four months? Imagine that "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" poster and read on, friends.

1. Change is good, even if it's not quite the change you expected. 2. Meeting new people is fun, especially when you have to trust one of them, on day #1,  not to let you fall off a rock wall in Nashville. 3. I now understand what it means to have a work spouse. My work husband can be appeased with baked goods, and he's basically the male version of me, so we get along swimmingly. 4. Inner city children are bold and brazen when it comes to navigating the city, but they have no clue what it means to tackle seemingly impossible academic tasks. 5. Being called racist and told to "go back to where you came from" hurts in the moment, but you cry later. They will eat you if you cry in front of them. 6. Thick skin is necessary in teaching; however, body armor is essential on some days. 7. Too many people don't stand up for their talents or fight for their rights. 8. Those same people are too afraid to challenge authority for fear it might make them appear insubordinate or noncompliant. 9. Always use your resources. They're there for a reason. If the person on the other end of the phone or email isn't providing what you want or need, push the issue appropriately. See 7 and 8. 10. It's hard to be super invested when you don't quite feel like you belong. 11. Time doesn't heal everything, but it provides clarity, even when you feel like driving into the fog will result in a monumental crash. 12. Pep Rally doesn't take on the same meaning in the city. 13. Twerking is a serious skill. 14. People are increasingly easy to read as I age; however, teenagers are, and always will be, ticking little time bombs. 15. People who don't know me don't like that I speak my mind and stand up for myself. It's in my nature. No gray area here. 16. I know what I'm doing even if you think I don't. We all have things to learn, but we all deserve praise for what we already do well. 17. Job security fear is a real thing. People who feel they have something to lose don't surround themselves with smarter folks. 18. Some people cannot discern the difference between discipline and attitude. 19. Respect, to some, means letting them do whatever they want, when they want. Where I come from, respect is earned not demanded. 20. Name calling, vandalism, and defiance top the list for "I'll show you" behaviors. 21. Violence is the answer for some people. 22. I make a mean u-turn when a kid is running down the street with a gun in one hand and the other hand in the air to avoid police gunfire. 23. Environment effects change on personality. I might curse a bit more than normal. *embarrassed face here* 24. The value of sleep is underestimated by the school system. 7am class is for the birds. 25. "If it's out, it's fair game" is the philosophy of borrowing vs. stealing. 26. A city block can make all the difference in someone's quality of life and available opportunities. 27. I'll never again check school email on my phone. You should delete your app, too. For once, leave school at school. 28. Never underestimate the power of someone to embarrass you in a faculty meeting by screaming, "I learned that Ms. Freeman's Thanksgiving break highlight is that she tends to like making sexualized cookies." Long story on that one... 29. When your work husband gets wind of sexualized cookies, he's gonna dare you to blurt things aloud and make you laugh from across the room. 30. Doing the running man in the hallway just before saying, "BLESSINGS!" makes the potential crazy you're walking into seem a little more tolerable.

I plan to add to my list. But, for the sake of time and sleep (beautiful, beautiful sleep), I'm going to end on a cliff hanger and come back for more sometime this week. I've yet to cover traffic, today's teenager assumption that "history isn't real," and the relationship between super short hair and the word "dyke." Enjoy, my lovelies. The hiatus is over.

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