Yesterday was the first day back at work with all staff on campus and I woke up at 3:00 am and struggled to go back to sleep. I finally did but when I woke up, it was 6:30 am and I wanted to leave by 7:15 am so I didn’t get the opportunity to sit and get focused for the day. I got to work and dropped my stuff off in the classroom and went to the front office.
When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher gave me the advice to make friends with the office staff because they have the power to make life great or not so great, I chose the former. Yesterday morning, when I went up to the office to check in, the secretary was sitting there and asked me about my horrible summer. Last week when I had the kids with me, we were up on campus and she’d asked how things were and I didn’t want to talk about it in front of the kids so I just gave the “pretty horrible” response. So when she asked me that question yesterday, I was overcome. I started to choke up and told her I’d talk to her about it later. I walked down the hallway back to my classroom with tears in my eyes and, after an “are you ok?” from our LSSP, I made it back to my space. I took a minute to gather myself and then walked back to the front office to talk.
The day was mostly in meetings but we did have a pep rally thing that we needed to have actual pants on for. I drove back to my house to change and hanging out on the porch was a little green lizard. Matt told me what kid it was but I was still in my head and I don’t remember what he said it was. Either way, a little lizard friend made me feel a little bit more like things were settling in. We drove down the street to the high school for the thing and then back to campus for a bit to unpack and then lunch.
Around 3:15, I drove over to the Fine Arts Annex to pick up a safe for my classroom and met a new theatre teacher in the district and talked to her a bit about working with MS students and how to choose appropriate material etc. It was funny how quickly I slipped back into “professional” mode after being off all summer. I got back to campus and headed home for a run. It was in the high 90’s and probably too hot but I did it anyway. When I got up to Bolivar and McKinney, I saw in the parking lot a burned out pickup truck and a fire truck that had just extinguished the flames. It was surreal. I ran back home and got ready to climb with Natasha and Jack for a bit. There were a couple other teachers Natasha knew and a friend of theirs I’ve met a few times hanging out climbing as well.
Climbing with much more experienced climbers is really interesting because everything is doable. Confidence and trust in oneself are essential to growing, in life and in climbing, so having some cheerleaders on the ground is enough to break through mental blocks on a route in a lot of cases. I kept going after this yellow route that I’ve been working on for a while and was able to break through some of the places where I’ve been stuck but was still unable to complete it. I’ll have to got back tonight and see if I can nail it on the first go.
I took some bread by Kayley and Lauren’s place as gratitude for Kayley smudging the new place and had a nice chat with them about life and such. It was nice to be out in someone else’s space for a bit. Lots of neat art deco pieces and plenty of beautiful flowers/plants that Lauren arranges. When I got back to my place, hanging out in the front yard was a black cat. It was sitting there looking back at me and not moving for about five minutes. I’m allergic to cats but have always liked them and this cat just chilling in the yard was calming. I’ve had a lot of anxiety surrounding going back to work, for a few reasons, and yesterday was a challenge but I made it through. Each day after that should, hopefully, be less about the anxiety and more about the work. It’s all about the work.