Disconnected…

A¬†year ago, January 4, 2015,¬†I drafted this post, but never published it.¬†I was struggling terribly¬†and¬†knew that if something didn’t change soon, I’d go right over the edge. It was a really, really, tough time for me……

gasoline tank reading in car
credit: affinitycentre.co.uk

Jan 4, 2015:

What do you do when what you do is no longer what you wish to do? 

 

The clarity is undeniable.

As I write this¬†post, it’s Sunday evening. In a few¬†short hours, I’ll return to my¬†high school classroom¬†and¬†my students, after two weeks’ winter vacation.¬†We will catch up ~ talking of¬†gifts and family visits, travels and test scores (ACT and SAT scores were being posted during our time off). We will laugh¬†and tell stories.¬†Then, we will pick up where we left off in December. Inevitably, we¬†will count the days to our next vacation (nine).

In spite of this wonderful sharing¬†with my kiddos, time away from the¬†classroom¬†continues¬†to clarify for me:¬† I no longer¬†wish to be there.¬† I’m ready for a new chapter.¬† I have disconnected….

Tony Robbins quote about change

 

In September 2014,¬†I began¬†putting the wheels in motion to make a change, discussing with my principal that I¬†was ready to leave the K-12 classroom (for the second – and final – time), and¬†didn’t¬†want to return to the classroom at the start of 2014-15, but wasn’t completely sure what else I wanted to do… yet. I hoped he would understand my need for change. He did, thankfully, though my transition¬†turned out to be a lengthy process. Leaving a teaching position¬†in the middle of a school year is generally frowned upon (and not something I’d ever do under ‘normal’ circumstances), but I knew my health and mental wellbeing were being compromised with each week that went by.¬† I was¬†overwhelmed, depressed, and filled with anxiety¬†as I considered my options. I¬†needed to get out, but what would be my next chapter? I tinkered (again) with leaving Education, but wasn’t sure ……¬† I desperately looked for¬†a *sign* that would help guide me.

Soon enough, several *signs* practically hit me in the face,¬†and I figured it out;¬†I wanted to¬†return to Career and Technical Education as an Instructional Coach, this time on a campus instead of at district level.¬†While I was ready to leave the classroom, being able to interact with students every day is¬†important to me – to stay connected to the reason we do what we do in Education (and being an administrator is not on my Bucket List). Instructional coaching allows a teacher to¬†be part of a leadership team, but not have to manage staff,¬†budgets, facilities, etc…. Instead, an IC¬†focuses on supporting teachers and their students by positively influencing effective instruction – from teaching and learning¬†strategies to time management, organization, and relationship-building – through professional conversations, modeling, side-by-side teaching, and¬†feedback – much like an athletic coach, but without the cursing, push-ups, or¬†laps.¬†ūüėČ

Time seemed endless as I waited for the ‘right seat on the bus’ to open up. It was during that time¬†that I turned to art as a respite. As I struggled to go to my classroom¬†each morning¬†and my inner writing voice¬†that had been my early-morning friend, had fallen silent as I struggled,¬†I needed a way to focus and … cope.¬†Exploring art and¬†other writing forms helped me through a difficult time.¬†Time well spent, some might say….¬†I’m a glass-half-full-sorta gal, after all.¬† ¬†RobinLK Studios was established¬†in 2015.

baby with a fist - Success
credit: prweb.com
Fast-forward a year.

Next month,¬†I’ll¬†celebrate my one-year¬†work anniversary on my current campus. Working as an IC, I¬†help new teachers navigate the complicated waters of entering teaching, while¬†learning how to navigate the¬†complicated waters of working with seasoned teachers – who¬†tell me¬†no help is needed,¬†thank you very much….. all¬†the while working on my own professional shortcomings, namely, high expectations that must be tempered, so I can meet teachers where they are without stepping on toes.¬† The new role hasn’t been without many ‘growth opportunities’ for me,¬†but these make me understand the bigger picture:

It’s not about us. It’s about something¬†much bigger than each of us, which I’ve known a long time, but sometimes a swift kick in the butt is needed… just sayin’.¬† ūüėȬ†¬† We need to get out of our own way, sometimes.

 

So, what do you do when what you do is no longer what you wish to do?  My humble advice:

  1. Accept that change is necessary for your own wellbeing (and for those around you – who have to deal with you!).
  2. Dig deep. Ask the tough questions. Discover who you are (or as someone said to me, “Figure out your sh*#!).
  3. Find your passion.
  4. Take the leap!

 

I’ve come to realize that being disconnected isn’t a bad thing, though sad sometimes,¬†as we leave a¬†part of ourselves behind… Instead, it’s part of the process of life, an opportunity to see the¬†stepping stones on our own¬†path to something¬†better(?), different(?)…. more fulfilling…. perhaps.

stepping stones across a river
credit: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Have you ever struggled with feeling disconnected and needing to make a change? What did you do? How did it turn out? What advice would you give others?

 

Thanks for stopping by… Wishing you a wonderful day… and clarity to get out of your own way and step on that next stone….¬†¬† ūüôā

 

Right Turn Ahead…{Slice of Life}

right turn arrow on road
photo credit: Phillie Casablanca

 

Funny how a summer can put things in perspective.

Paradigm shift.

 

Bells ring. Students arrive.

Nine weeks come and go.

Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.

Biding my time.

Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen.

Biding my time.

 

Then ….

email icon
photo credit: Houston Chronicle

 

Don’t get excited, but….

 

 

 

Too late.

 

Excited!

Even for Maybe.

 

Right turn ahead?

Maybe.

 

Emptying cabinets.

Sorting supplies.

Boxing books.

 

Am ready.

 

Mixed feelings about leaving mid-year.

But… not mixed feelings about leaving.

 

Am ready.

 

Waiting.

Hopeful.

 

If not now,

soon.
Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers

 

 

Bodacious to Body Conscious: What Cancer Does….

Source credit: http://trendkin.com/blog/dressing-an-hourglass-body/
Source credit: http://trendkin.com/blog/dressing-an-hourglass-body/

For as long as I can remember, since I was 10 or 11, my chest has been the interest of others.

From staring to envy, even jokes by¬†our mother …. my hourglass¬†shape has drawn attention.¬† Unwanted attention.

In turn, I developed an unhealthy relationship with my body, most notably, my ‘girls’ – always wanting to hide them or wishing them away. I have been¬†resentful of and embarrassed by my chest.¬†¬† I know, I know… the grass is always greener.¬† I get it.

Recently, though… things changed.¬†Almost imperceptibly at first, but growing¬†as the days passed.

You see, my baby sister’s newly diagnosed breast cancer has created a new perspective in me, one that’s been absent for 35+ years….

With the quickness of a diagnosis and the realization¬†that comes from doctors’ visits, I’ve come to see the¬†girls as something not to¬†resent, but as they are –¬†appendages like any other body part, that can become sick, diseased, capable of¬†derailing you.

What a startling discovery for me.  No longer just an object of unwanted attention, these parts that define women, are objectified by many, and nurture babies, are so much more.  Or, maybe so much less.  They are just a body part Рto be aware of, taken care of, kept healthy.

In my search to understand, I ran across this blog post as I was writing mine.¬† Seems my evolving feelings about the¬†ta-tas aren’t¬†that different from others when¬†BC comes knocking.¬† In my case, though… I’m the outsider. The sister. Looking in. Trying to understand.

I’m not sure I’ve done an adequate job explaining my¬†changing feelings here, but it’s a start. As I¬†talked with the tech yesterday¬†before my annual mammography, I¬†found myself trying to¬†explain it¬†to her.¬† Give her credit – she said she understood.¬† Did she?¬† I’m not sure I did. Or do.

I just know my perspective is changed….¬†Altered.¬†Transformed. Adapted.

This is what Cancer does.