It’s been a while since I posted because I feel like I might have hit a bit of a wall with what to write about. Every time I thought to write something it was because of how much I hate cancer, what it takes from me, that I still feel exhausted and pained every day, or something along those lines. Frankly, I just don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to just do nothing but complain about my illness and its repercussions. Nor do I want to try and see the silver linings of breast cancer, because the ones I do find are either a joke I tell to keep myself sane or something only true on the surface. So, here goes.
Life has been, simply, going on. I keep realizing that the old phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” has a lot of truth to it. This has become true for me in the most wonderful of ways.
I’m back doing the work I love. Every year, it seems so hard in the beginning. They don’t listen. They talk back. They can’t follow directions. I will never learn their names. And every year after a couple of weeks it’s all fallen into our normal routine. They trust me. They know me. They hug me- the ones I was hardest on most of all. It’s always a gift to be shown yet again that those kiddos who have been hardest to love need it the most.
I’m once again with a group of friends at lunch time who make me belly laugh every single day. One day last week, in fact, I laughed with a friend so hard I thought I’d never recover from the damage to my face. It was glorious.
I’m learning new curriculum because teachers reevaluate themselves and their effectiveness constantly.
I’m prepping activities I’ve never done and ones I know I love. I’m testing kids one at a time. I’m laughing with them. Using crazy voices in read aloud. Acting out crazy scenarios in math class.
A year ago, despite having been hired to teach in this amazing new school, I didn’t think I’d make it. It is absolutely true that there are many days that I know I did a good job last year, but I don’t remember what it was I did. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Now, here I am in year two with these amazing teachers, families, and kids, and I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’ve got this. I’ve got this, and I love it, even on the worst days.
Life is not all perfection. I could write about how terrified I am about my mother’s aging, tell how much it hurts when she cannot remember who I am, or even that I ever existed. I could complain about having Pupper and trying to get him into the rhythm of my work schedule. I could share stories about my depression, bad days and good, and talk about how my anxiety levels are up again. I could even talk about my desperate sadness and fear when Daughter tells me she wants to hurt herself because the lives of those around her would be easier without her here. I could talk about how she cries because she feels like we won’t ever be able to take another vacation or have enough money to do the things she thinks are “cool, like the other kids.” But I won’t. Not today.
Today is a day for victory. It’s a day for success. Today, I win, just a little, and it is totally enough.