Monthly Archives: March 2013

I am lost

“So when you run, make sure you run to something and not away from…”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between my leaving and my going.

My biggest heartache is in leaving. The fact that all of the lives around me are also continuing the grow and change–with or without me. (Obviously.)

To a certain extent, I am angry at myself for being someone who needs this sabbatical: Why can’t I stay put? What is my aversion to planting roots somewhere I love, with people I love? Where did I go wrong where part of me is missing, and why does nobody else feel this way? What happens when I get back, and will I ever be able to catch up?

Going will be so much easier than leaving.

A Story (Alternatively: Why I Am Going)

In 2010, halfway through my first year of teaching, I lost myself. This is an excerpt from December 30, 2010, one of only a handful of entries that I wrote in that time span. Reading those posts still fills me with that familiar feeling of misery.

…I lost faith in mankind. Lost faith in the future. Lost faith in myself. I’m fairly certain now that I have absolutely no ability to impact the world, and it colors my life every day. I am a cog–and not even a very good cog–and that knowledge has changed me to a scary degree….

Today, I am. And come tomorrow’s tomorrow, it will be 2011 and I will still be. And really, that is all we can ask for from this meaningless existence we romanticize into life.

It got better. It always does, but while I cringe to say it, it wasn’t enough.

Despite my hopeless adoration for my kids, second year still had me working literally every. single. waking. second. I had no hobbies. My fun was limited to a few drinks on the weekend. I was always, always anxious.

And while third year provided a break in that respect, I found myself left behind by some of my best friends, and stuck in a routine–while pleasant–that became strangely unsatisfying in a surprisingly short period of time.

The refrain beating in my head: There has got to, got to, got to be more than this.

And so, I am setting off to find out.

(God, I hope I’m right.)

Yes, I feel overwhelmingly selfish. I am leaving my kids for a cliche of a reason. And seriously: I am a teacher for low-income students–how much more meaning can I possibly need to be satisfied? I am only justified by my strong belief that I will more than likely end up back in education, and I am pretty sure the achievement gap will still be there waiting for me.

And I know this is right: just thinking about next year makes me feel chillingly free. I am ridding myself of everything tying me down–literally and figuratively. I am excited at the thought of discarding my possessions, of being able to carry my entire existence on my back. I can’t wait to discard my deadlines–for once in my life–and create a new, more careless, relationship with time.

And I am ready for change… or, I suppose, as ready as I can be. I have always dreaded goodbyes, and I know I am setting myself up for an entire year full of them–starting, terrifyingly, with the current relationships that I have built. For the first time in a long time, I feel as though I am surrounded by so much love every day, and while I know I am foolish to let that go, I am yearning for the strength that it will give me. I am in desperate need, I think, for some emotional growth.

Of course, along those lines, there is (always) a boy. The boy who is constantly, constantly getting away. The boy who knows me inside and out, and somehow still lets me hang around anyway. In this, I am the most torn. On good days, I understand that our separation is not only inevitable, but beyond the right move. On bad days, I am devastated in a ridiculous, unjustified fashion. Per usual. The saving thought in this: through every major decision I have ever had to make, I have always bet against the boy in my life–and betting on myself has always been the right choice.

And so, I am seeking meaning. I am seeking freedom. I am seeking time. And space. And love. And adventure.

I am seeking more.

For Allison

In a week or so, my baby sister is leaving to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Her six-month solo hike will take her from Georgia to Maine, and if all goes as planned, she will arrive before her twentieth birthday.

I couldn’t be more proud.

My sister and I were born five years apart—which is just a big enough gap that we grew up in completely different worlds.

I am impulsive and emotional to a fault, clinging to social situations as if I could not exist without someone to love. She is introspective and independent, the consequence of her situation as a crazy mix of being the youngest child and a faux only child once I left the nest for college.

It is only now that I see the similarities which link us.

Free spirited, self-motivated, loyal beyond belief. We take risks—for ourselves, and for others. And through this, we become examples of people’s “could haves” and “would nevers.”

No regrets, baby sister. I’m always on your side.

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