I come back to my childhood home and the first questions everyone asks are follow ups about the English boy, or him, or you, and I see how I have projected myself onto the world as only a partial piece of broken love affairs.

But I also attend a social studies conference on civics and while listening to nonprofit CEOs and front-line journalists and exceptional teachers, I have a thought that runs through me as first a failing and then a saving grace:

What if, right now, my life is not my own?

What if it belongs to those I serve, those I have left to serve, those that need my time and my voice and my love and my service more than I might need anything for myself—and what if, at least for right now, that’s exactly what I want?

And so I will go back to my early mornings and 13-hour work days and too long to-do list, but I will also go back to laughing with my students and drinking coffee with my co-workers and taking photos of what I am grateful for.

Because for me, right now, it is not a balance of work or life. It is being lucky enough to work at something that makes me feel alive.


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