Saturday, December 15, 2012

Do You Feel Like I Do?

It has been a long week with four days of substituting. Last week I left the classroom feeling frustrated because I just didn’t feel like I communicated, and as a result my students didn’t “get it.” I began reading the “DesireMap” after that experience, and much has transformed simply as a result of asking myself, at any given moment, “How do I want to FEEL?”

On the morning drive to my first day of teaching this week, I declared that I wanted to feel calm and patient. The student I have the most trouble with must have declared feeling “focused”, because we “got it” together and tears actually welled up in my eyes. I’ve had many successes before, but this was different; I’ve never FELT such overwhelming happiness for my students before.

I’ve felt like writing at many moments this week, but have been too busy and exhausted; last night I went to bed at 8:30 pm and slept for 10 hours! This morning I watched Shahs of Sunset (a reality show about a group of Persian people in Hollywood…can’t help this guilty pleasure, it’s the voyeur in me!) for the first time. There is one character who I fell in love with and wanted to be more outwardly like her, because she reflects the parts of me I suppress. She’s beautiful, exotic, and brave. She wears cultural clothes and jewelry and makeup. She’s artistic and expresses her soul both on the canvas and music. She’s fun. She’s adored. She’s unaffected by the greatness that she is, and the greatness others openly express that they see and admire in her. Wow, I AM her. 
Can you guess who I'm in love with?
 “You are not chasing the goal…you are chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.” Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map. I feel rather goal-less; I think I am wallowing in that feeling rather than looking to see if it is true.

Am I living life with a goal in mind? I make glass beads, but not as often as I want, and when I do, I don’t have the same confidence I used to. Have I really lost interest in the art, or have I become too critical of my abilities? More importantly, what is the feeling I am hoping it will give me?

I am a substitute teacher in special education. I went to school for my credential, received it, but have not been hired as a teacher on a full time basis; but why do I want to do that? I know if I get hired I will feel valued, and I will feel that I have a career, making my parents proud. I have forever felt that I am a failure, not finding a traditional way in life to give me financial freedom and responsibility; if I had this “job” would I feel “worthy”?

I am not as passionate about being in a classroom on a regular basis as I am passionate about advocating for students, their caregivers, and their teachers in the special education setting. I REALLY want to make a difference on a much bigger scale than meeting curriculum goals; I want to inform people of their rights, help them create tools, give them mechanisms that will enable them to be academically and socially and personally capable of meeting the educational demands placed on them. For some reason, should that be my goal, I cannot define the “feeling” I hope that will give me; is it fame, fortune, acceptance, importance, pride, worth, all of the above?
Thanks for the guitar Grandma and Mom!
I have been struggling with this search for self for the last 12 years. This week my son turned 16; I am giving him the gift of not having the same pain during his own search. On his birthday morning we went early for Starbucks’ free birthday coffee, and we had an amazing conversation about what is important, what is happy, what drives our goals, and how do we make choices. My son is amazing, and ahead of the game. His thought process is clear, mature, and he is confident. I have always had a hard time accepting the compliments others have given to me for the beauty that my son authentically is; today I own that I have had a great part in allowing him to become who he is meant to be.

I just get stuck there, in that space of knowing that if I never do anything else in life before I die, I have done the most important thing anyone can ever do. I hope my mother feels the same.
With much love for all of you readers, have a good day, and do what you want to feel!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts!