It has been more than two years since I last posted. Recently, I made a commitment to myself to revisit the things that once gave me joy. Writing is one of them. Monday through Friday I teach a classroom full of 10th graders how to write. The academic writing that I teach revolves around structure, format, grammar, claims, theses, etc. What I miss is the journey of narrative writing. The cracks and crevices of language that live deep beneath the surface of characters on a page. I miss the freedom of writing without a clear path in mind; not knowing where the words will take you.
For the past few years, I have allowed stability to run my life. I sought structure and routine, and in doing so, I forgot the parts of myslef that allow creativity to take hold.
A “hiatus” is defined as a pause or gap in a sequence, series or process. The two years have just been a pause, not a stop, not a standstill, just a pause. Today, I choose to resume the parts of my life that I allowed to wane. It’s never too late to revisit the parts of yourself that make you, you.
As my students bound about my classroom with enviable pep in their step I am always overwrought with jealousy. They have only just begun. Their whole futures are ahead of them and their options are endless. Despite the fact that I am only 23 I feel as though some of my options and decisions have already passed. My college experience has since retired, my graduate schoolwork is already half-finished and I am well on my way to becoming established in the teaching community. While I still have some monumental decisions left to make, I look upon the freedom of youth with admiration.
These little humans are so resilient and sometimes ignorant to all of life’s cruelties. I just wish I could bottle up their childhood innocence and lock the lid forever. Each year I find myself becoming more cynical and more stubborn, more aloof. The world isn’t as safe as I once imagined it. I often wish I could see the world through their little eyes for just one day, to see again that there is beauty everywhere, and not just heartache.
One of my students passed away this year in a murder-suicide. She and her mother were taken. Her father took himself shortly thereafter. My students handled this horrifying truth with such grace and maturity, of which I am still dumbfounded by. They were able to bandage up their wounds far sooner than I was, and are able to talk about her with smiles and laughter.
As a teacher I am constantly amazed by their brilliance. But, this was the most remarkable of all. Life for them is not yet cruel. Even though they were exposed to the horrors of this world far too young they are still able to see only beauty. For that, I am grateful.