Tug of War

I’ve talked before about my dilemma of moving on vs. settling down, and I’d like to give you a little update, but also share some new thoughts. First, the work update.

Y’all, my transition back to work could not have gone better. I used to teach the highest level we have, and at one point, there were so many students in that class that we split it into two classes and added another teacher. For the past couple of semesters, though, the numbers in that class have been declining, so we knew that something was going to have to change. Meanwhile, a slightly lower level had begun to boom, and the current teacher was facing the addition of a dozen or more new students to an already established class at the last registration.

The plan for me was that we would see how many students we got in each level, and if there were enough in one level to warrant opening a second section, I would teach it. Well the slightly lower level got 18 new arrivals, which is huge for one registration, so that’s what I’m teaching now.

To sum it up, I got to go back to the same great place with the same awesome coworkers, but I got all new students and a change in level (and curriculum). Essentially, I got to move on and settle down…all at once. It’s perfect.

I’m still wrestling a little bit, though, with the balance between giving myself time to heal and forcing myself to move forward. Honestly, you have to do some of both, and you have to listen to your body and mind very closely to know which one you need when. For me, it looks a lot like knowing when I’ve had too much people time and need to rest quietly alone vs. when I’ve been alone enough and need to change out of my jammies, but I imagine that for an extrovert, the process would be very different.

There are steps I need to take to move forward in my life – not away from my past experiences or who they’ve made me, but just not to stay stagnant. I need to get up and go to work every day. It’s better for my health than watching Netflix. It forces my brain to be active and creative, it forces me to interact with people, and it forces me to get off the couch and move a little.

I need to read all the books in my book queue, not just the ones about miscarriage. After a while, those all start to sound the same, and I just don’t want to be so immersed in it all the time anymore. I feel like I’ve tried everything on, picked out a few items to purchase, and am still debating on a couple more. I’ll keep thinking about them and make some decisions later, but for now, I’m ready to exit the fitting room. (If that analogy is at all confusing, see this post.)

I feel like I’m getting used to who I am again. There are some really hard moments when the past comes rushing back and I remember that I was getting used to being a mom but now I’m not. There are times when I’m sad, and I don’t want to feel sad because I don’t want to be a sad person. But most of the time, I feel ok. It’s like having an injury that’s healing nicely but still feels tender if you bump it or achy when it rains.

Last July, I ruined the big toenail on my left foot. I mean it was completely destroyed and disgusting, and it took until October for it to grow back completely. It feels fine now, but even after it had grown all the way back, it took a few more months for it to feel normal again. It still just felt vulnerable. I moved on from my summer sandals to my fall boots, but I was very careful putting them on.

Right now, my heart feels like my toe did around mid-August of last year. It’s ok. It’s not infected. It doesn’t hurt like crazy just to touch it. But there’s still a lot of healing to go, and I know that even once it looks completely better, it’ll still feel vulnerable for a while. So I will be very careful with it and keep an eye on it and not play emotional soccer anytime soon, but I will also look forward to wearing my fall boots. I don’t know what the emotional equivalent of wearing fall boots is, but I think actually wearing my fall boots will contribute to my healing process.

Author: beth

I'm told that I'm cleverly stupid, and that's why people are friends with me. And here I thought it was because I was so dang cute...

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