on fear, among other things

i just read a post about “burning through fear” and holy crap, y’all. i talked back to my computer like it might be able to respond. i said “yes” and nodded vigorously and all of her words resonated furiously with me.

today was a kinda craptastic day. there were some light moments, but the day ended, and the kids went home, and i cried a little out of sheer frustration with the whole world.

and also i saw a big accident on my way to work and that was creepy and sad.


i’ve been thinking about fear in a couple of ways recently.

Fear 1: As Related to Teaching

teaching is not just teaching. it’s really a piece of a larger job, classroom management. i didn’t get that until now. i have to get kids to listen, to sit still when appropriate, to work together, to use kind words, to count to ten when they are upset, to write quietly, to read quietly, to think when they read. i have to move 18 kids from my room to art, to the library, to PE, to music, to violin, to the bathroom, to another bathroom because the one in our building broke, and back again.

fear comes in because a lot of my job (right now, and maybe always) is enforcing the rules. and creating logical consequences. and deciding on an appropriate consequence for a behavior (not for a kid, but for the behavior) on the fly? it’s a little scary. i still feel like i have a professor watching my every move, ready to tap my shoulder and ask “are you sure?”

i’m not sure.

that’s the scary bit. i am modifying my moves. adding to my tools for teaching. polishing what works. chucking what doesn’t.

and it doesn’t always work. that’s scary. it’s scary when a kid is mean to a peer. or to me. or to another adult. it’s scary when their mood swings or attitude spikes are SO excusable because they are kids, because i don’t know what they’ve learned before me, because sometimes self-control is a mofo. and so the fear is that…am i being too harsh by having these expectations?

Fear 2: As Related to Everything Else

mom and i were talking about how sweating the small stuff is less of a problem in our Life After Cancer world. i still sweat some small stuff. everyone does. but i think i’m starting to see that those little things that irked me or worried me…they got in my way. and made me develop ridiculous fears.

i don’t feel like telling you all of my silly fears. but suffice to say, a lot of the little things i worried about kept me from doing things that scared me. pushing for something at work, or in my graduate program. confronting a friend when they were being kind of a douche to me. being honest with a friend or a loved one about what i was feeling in a given moment. and bigger things – you know, bucket list stuff. a tattoo? uh. i mean. needles = no, pain = hell no, but despite all my “Well, there’s nothing i like enough to have on me forever”, i have thought a lot about what i would get if. if i weren’t afraid? (a sunflower, probably. or a quote from the little prince: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux).

cancer was scary. is scary. still scary. trust me on that, if you are lucky enough not to know from personal experience. so maybe i have a better gauge of what to fear. and when to let it step into my brainspace. which is…rarely. i try really hard not to let that particular worry rule my brain.

anyhow. i lost my train of thought. completely. whoosh. it is gone.

oh. fear. and things. that post i linked to up above? read it. it’s good. watch her videos. she’s ballsy. i am not sure i could do video blog things. my voice, recorded, sounds like a child to me. and i get distracted by my mildly lazy eye.

but i am working diligently to push my fears away, to study them and break them down and get them out of here. and it’s hard. and not fun. and it makes me feel like a grown-up to acknowledge them and to be honest with myself about what holds me back.

so. those are my thoughts. rambling. sort of. but honest.

also now i sort of want to go get a tattoo.

p.s. yes i had a glass of wine. shut up. i cried today, i can have some wine.