uncle stan

On Monday, my uncle lost his battle with cancer.

I haven’t really acknowledged it much this week. I’ve been busy, I guess. Too busy to acknowledge the death of a family member? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t want to.

I’m not sure how I am supposed to be acting, or what I am supposed to be saying, or how I am supposed to be feeling. I certainly feel something. I feel sad. I feel sad for his kids and for my dad. I feel sad for him, that he had to go through so much before finally getting peace and comfort.

He was a good man. A master of the “I’ve got your nose” game, and the most jolly person I ever knew. Always smiling, always laughing about something, always so excited to see me.

I’m not sure what to say to the people who are hurting.

One thing he talked about before he died, I was told, was chocolate glazed donuts. I can get with that. I’m going to think of him every time I eat a chocolate glazed donuts (my favorite). And maybe I’ll go eat one today.

a new thing

The other day I was discussing crippling anxiety with someone. They suggested that when I am anxious and imagining every worst case scenario, I could instead imagine the best case scenario. It would put me in a better mood and keep me occupied while I wait to see what really happens.

I’m going to try it. You can try it too, if you feel so inclined.

professionalism

This seems like a good time to write a blog post about professionalism. In one hour, I will hand in my very last college paper. It is 37 pages long and I worked sort of hard on it.

I am one day into teacher in-service at the high school where I will embark on my first year as a teacher. I love the school where I’ll be teaching. I feel such a sense of community there. Sometimes when I slow down to look at my life and all of the wonderful things going on, I am totally speechless. Too full of gratitude to talk. Other times, I feel the weight of the world and all of the anxiety that comes with it.

I feel so young. I feel immature. I feel, once again, like someone is going to call me out and say, “Hey! How’d you get here? You’re not supposed to be here!”

I’m glad I feel comfortable at my job. I feel known, understood, accepted. The obstacle is that sometimes when I get comfortable, I get too comfortable.

This is my job. I have worked really hard everyday for the last four years so that I could get to this point. I have set aside death and fear and depression to focus on this work. I am so scared that I will mess things up by sharing too much about myself. By getting too comfortable.

So again I face the question- how do I stay true to myself without sharing every detail of my story with every person who asks about my background? I have to be truthful, I refuse to lie. But I also don’t necessarily have to tell the whole truth. They asked me what got me here, they didn’t ask to know every piece of my story.

I am conflicted because so much of my identity comes from the fact that I am a survivor. The other day someone told me that I am a warrior princess. I really like that, and I want to honor that part of me. And I want that part of me to be known at school. That part of me wants to be known. If I am not careful, I will say too much at the wrong time. I’m still learning how to walk, how to compose myself.

I feel good about the community where this growth will take place. I think it is a community that will look past my awkward growing pains and instead acknowledge my ability to work hard and support my team.

I will keep you posted.