Saturday, August 24, 2013

being surprised by joy, and a job!

Life has been crazy. Crazier than it's ever been or that I could have ever imagined it could be.

I found a job! I am working for the ICAN Schools network at Akron Preparatory School teaching the fourth grade. All subjects! Ah!

We are a start up school in the network. Brand new. Lots of brand new teachers. This has meant long hours, weird circumstances, and lots of the wonderful (but stressful) chaos that comes with all new beginnings. I can't even begin to tell you.

I have never, (never, never, never) been so exhausted and overwhelmed in my life.

But I have also never (never, never, never) been overthrown by the amount of joy, surprise and delight I'm experiencing.  I drive to work (an hour commute!) and sometimes literally laugh out loud at the surprise that this is really my life. I'm doing it.The thing I set out to do. But never in the way I expected. Me? A sometimes soft spoken, T-county girl, teaching in inner city Akron? How can that be? It can't be possible that this is right?

This was never in the plan. Its been the the most difficult, but the most wonderful thing I've ever done. I'm humbled and overjoyed by the grace of it all. I get to be a part of something good, and new, and beautiful.

I work with families who somehow trust me and my co-workers. They look at us with all the hope and trust in the world. It terrifies, motivates, surprises, and delights my heart. All of those things, at once. Its almost too much joy for one person.  How can I be so exhausted and so happy all at once?

So, somewhere, in all of this chaos and exhaustion, I'm trying to hold onto this. This precious delight. This knowing that I'm a part of something. Something that is rare and good and difficult.

I hope I don't let go of this ability to let life surprise me. It is wild, and I go forward with all the white knuckled terror of someone new at this, but with hope. With the knowing that this is it. These are those rare and wonderful moments in life that we wait for. This is my moment that matters.

You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it.— Mary Oliver

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10 things I've learned from running and job hunting

This summer has mostly been filled with these two things: job hunting, and running. I've learned a great deal from both.

Here are some of the lessons (some harder learned than others) that I've come away with.

1. Just get up and get going. There will be a lot of days when you don't feel like it, but I promise, if you just peel yourself out of bed, get dressed, and start moving, the rest will come.

2. Some days you will feel like you are absolutely crushing it. Your mile time will be better than ever, or you will have more leads than you know what to do with. Live in this moment. It might not last forever, but its a good feeling.

3. Some days you will feel like it is absolutely crushing you.  These days are the worst. When putting one foot in front of the other seems impossible, and you want cry and scream and give up. Its okay to do the first two things on the list (in the privacy of your own home, preferably), not the third.

4. Laugh at yourself. This is important. Some days you may fall flat on your face. Its better just to laugh. If that doesn't work and you have to cry, that's okay too. Do it.

5. Some days you will get hurt or even just very tired, take the time you need to rest and let it heal. This is so much easier said than done, at least for me. Running on an injury only makes it worse and only requires more time on the bench. This one takes discipline, learn it.

6. Don't forget to enjoy the view from right where you are.You may only pass this way once. Look around, there are some really great things you might be missing while on your journey forward. While you're climbing the hill, take in the view from the top before you charge on to the next. Take a deep breath. Look around.

7. Enjoy the success of others.  Some people might be faster than you or farther along than you. This is a hard pill to swallow, but in the end its not just better for them, but for you. Life is much more pleasant when you are happy for people rather than mad. Much.more.pleasant.

8. Not everyone will understand you. Deal with it. There will be times when you are thought crazy, or weird, or whatever else, the list could go on. You may be running in the rain, or the heat, and people won't get it. But the truth is, you're out there. And that's something.

9. You'll get there eventually. This is my least favorite. It requires patience, of which I've learned I have very little, but it's true. You really will get there eventually.

10. Don't give up. This will be tempting. And you may even claim to yourself on some days that you are in fact giving up, but don't. Keep on keeping on. Even on a slow day,  you're still moving forward. Remember why you started int he first place. That helps.

That's it. They are simple, and maybe a little lame, but they are getting me through. Happy Tuesday! Keep on keeping on!