Sunday, May 17, 2015

Go. Live.

I just got home from my first ever graduation as a high school teacher. I hope that letting them go gets easier, but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't. My students quickly become my kids, so goodbye will always be hard.

This year's seniors put together a video of their photos and memories as a class. Part of the music was One Republic's "I Swear I Lived." I'd been hearing snippets of the song as they worked on the video, but as I listened today, I realized it was one of the most inspiring songs I've ever heard. This song encompasses everything I wish for these seniors: strength, love, pain with purpose, healing, living life to the fullest every single day.

More than just my seniors, I want these things for myself and everyone I know and love (including you). At the end of my life, I want to be able to say, "I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. With every broken bone, I swear I lived." I want to do what their graduation speaker advised: "Once you find what you're passionate about, do such a good job at it that people know you're passionate about it."

I want to live. 

Those of you who have been following me for awhile will know that those four words are the most important, most revolutionary words I've ever said, and I would not have said them two years ago. So thank you, seniors, students, colleagues, friends, family, and boyfriend, for helping me to start over and for teaching me not only how to live, but that living is a worthwhile pursuit.

Now, seniors: Go. Live.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

On Difficult Conversations

Anxiety has a funny way of making every conversation difficult. While many of my friends, family, and colleagues can easily pick up the phone to order pizza or call to tell their parents that they've met someone, I struggle to even send a Facebook message. Then, when I've put off that conversation for too long, I worry that the person I need to talk to will be angry that I've put it off, so I put it off again in hopes of avoiding the confrontation. (See the vicious cycle?)

I'd be lying if I said I've learned how to break the vicious cycle completely. There are still things I haven't told my parents that I really want/need to. But I have found some baby steps that help. For one, I call my parents more often now. I vent about work. I ask for their help and advice. I'm making clear attempts to open up lines of communication. I even mention my depression and anxiety when it's relevant to a story. To be honest, I'm hoping that this will eventually prompt them to ask me questions about my life so that I don't have to just say it on my own.... but even if they don't, it will hopefully feel less awkward when I finally open up.