I often listen to people thinking through things at work. As an Instructional Coach, it’s a large part of my role… to listen. Just this week, I listened as a fellow teacher who’s in a new teaching role this year shared how much she dislikes what she’s doing. Not the kiddos, but the challenges that are systemic and largely unchangeable right now. (I’ve said for years our traditional educational system in the U.S. continues to fall short of our societal needs.)
As I listened, I could hear myself saying to her in my head, “Write it down. Work through it. I promise. It will help.” And yet, I didn’t say it because I knew it would fall on deaf ears. She needed to vent and trusts that she can be honest with me, which I’m keenly aware of. I listened.
But still I kept thinking… if only she’d write it down…. let the frustrations, the questions, the a-ha thoughts, even the celebrations (there was one that day – that’s why she called) all have a place to Just Be.
So here’s my tip….
Write it down. I know. I hear you. Are you kidding, Robin? It’s not that simple. Actually, yes it is.
Yet sooooooo difficult for many people. I think because we get caught up in the notion that we need to write comprehensible sentences. Not even comprehensible words… but full-on, grammar-correct, essay-ready sentences. And paragraphs. With proper indents. Transition words. A theme. Oh, dear god! We break out in a cold sweat as we remember those English class assignments. This is not English class, folks. We can do this! You can do this. Just. Write.
Just pick up a pen. Or pencil. Or lipstick. Or crayon. You get the idea…. And write that shit down. Apologies for the folks who prefer g-rated material, but I cannot overstate the simplicity of what I’m suggesting:
Write what you are feeling. One word. One hundred words. Just Write It Down.
Then, put it away for now. You’ve given your feelings, your thoughts a place to rest. To simmer. To marinate. To yell. Scream. Cry. Wonder. Explore. Discover.
I promise. You’ll be glad you did. Maybe not right away, but at some point, you will look back and see those words with a fresh set of eyes. And thoughts. And feelings.
P.S. – A fancy notebook and/or pen? Nope. Not needed. A writing utensil and a scrap piece of paper will do. Want to keep all those thoughts? Drop them in a plastic baggie for safekeeping. Or a box, jar, even a book on a shelf…
You get the idea.
Go ahead. Just Write.