Since I’m the daughter of two teachers and an educator myself, I tend to think of years in terms of school years. My life has always revolved around the school calendar. It seems it still does. January might mark the true beginning of the New Year, but late August or September is how I really check off the start of a “new year.”
I even started this blog last September. It felt like the right time.
As a teacher, I have always loved this time of year. Every class was full of new faces, new challenges, new opportunities, new discoveries and new untapped potentials (and yes, new problems!).
Every year when I first stood in front of my classroom and even when I was “merely” the substitute, I took this responsibility, this power to make a difference, very seriously. I knew each year was a fresh start for me, but even more importantly, it was a fresh beginning for every student sitting there as well. No matter what had transpired during the previous school year for any of us, every new school year offered a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to do things right, or at least better.
That’s a remarkable feeling I will never forget.
I love the hustle and bustle of back-to-school excitement this time of year. I love the eager anticipation mixed with a bit of apprehension I see on the faces of kids as they anxiously meet new teachers, make new friends and reconnect with old ones. And to this day, I love opening up a brand new box of Crayola Crayons.
Last year I was not able to return to the classroom for a variety of reasons. I know many other teachers have carried on in the classroom after a cancer diagnosis and through treatment as well. I know many people carry on in whatever career cancer has so rudely interrupted. Those people truly inspire me, because honestly, I don’t know how they do it.
This year I am once again staying out of the classroom. This year I am choosing to do so, still for many reasons, but mostly because I want to devote more time to writing.
Since my diagnosis, I have decided to focus more on things I want to accomplish yet. I have reassigned the order as to what things matter most to me. Teaching will always matter a great deal to me, but now I want to more diligently pursue one of my other passions, writing.
Sometimes this makes me feel selfish. Why should I get to do what I want? Sometimes this makes me feel free and very grateful (thank you hubby for your support). Sometimes it makes me feel apprehensive. I mean, who am I to think anyone wants to read what I write? Sometimes it makes me feel inadequate and overwhelmed. What should I write about today? Sometimes it makes me feel very vulnerable, I mean what, no paycheck?
Recently I heard some aspiring writer in a movie (I don’t know what the movie was called, I didn’t see it from the beginning or finish watching it), say:
“I write. That’s what I do. It doesn’t even matter if anyone ends up reading what I write. I write because I want to, no I write because I have to. That’s what I do. I write.”
That’s how I feel about writing.
That’s why I appreciate readers of this blog so much because even though I write because I want to and it doesn’t matter if anyone reads what I write, it sure is a lot more fun when people do!