Life as Learning 

What an incredible learning experience life offers us. Never a dull moment. Lord help us all lol. 

I am in a calm place at the moment, and have been for a few days. Solitude supports me quietening the noise that life usually offers. As a result, I have started ticking things off a to do list, and more importantly, started formulating what will become a five or ten year plan. 

Small things to take control of my life back. 

I have always said that Oprah is quite right when she says that the big things that happen to us, often happen because we haven’t taken heed of the smaller signs that fate/the universe/God has shown us. I have now started to listen. 

Obviously, I’m a phenomenal teacher and a great leader. I love the work. But it isn’t all fun, and the workload in modern teaching practice effectively corrodes a life/work balance. And realistically, my employer (NSW Department of Education) does not care one iota for my welfare or my contribution to their business. I am dispensable. Ridiculously. Because I am not. 

As much as I love the classroom and as much as I love making a difference through leadership, I resent what teaching has done to my life. What I have let teaching do to my life. Mostly from fear of not knowing and not trusting what lies beyond teaching. 

I wanted to be a teacher from five. I found a nobility in providing opportunities for kids to learn and to empower them to realise their dreams. Obviously, not all of that when I was five. At five, it just seemed magical to learn. I still find a nobility in teaching. But the cost in achieving it has become too high. 

I am a highly competent and resilient and intelligent human being. I am also a gifted healer. And I love writing. I can create opportunities for myself. And I will succeed. 

Breathe. Lol. Faith. 

I am in my seventh week of anxiety. I know that once a situation is resolved, one way or another, relating to work, I will be able to move forward. The anxiety will come under control (fingers crossed) and I will recommence living. Hopefully, with renewed vigour. 

But, I think the situation causing the uncertainty aka anxiety, is also serving as a big shout out to me that teaching is no longer my life path. I deserve more. I deserve better. I am valuable. My value is unrecognised and unrewarded beyond myself, my peers and my students. 

And that’s just not good enough anymore. 

So, I’m going to conquer the anxiety, conquer my fear of the unknown beyond teaching, and jump … If all else fails, I can always go back to teaching. 

Now to put the steps together so that I can reach the platform from which I will jump … 

To reclaim my life. My value. My self. 

A Conspiring Universe

Just sometimes you can see or feel the universe at work. Just sometimes, and when you do, it is magical. 

My anxiety has been up this week, quite significantly. Every moment, every conversation, every decision, has been agonizing. 

I have a new found understanding of what suffering with anxiety is like. I do not wish it on anyone. Mostly because it is debilitating and/or exhausting depending on how hard you fight it. And either way, because it steals your life from you. I’m working and for the most part, I’m functioning at work, but my life is gone. 

I can’t do both. 

And the resolution I had hoped would come before the holidays, allowing me to recover and reconnect, has not come. 

I have, at least, another two to three weeks of uncertainty ahead of me. And my fear is that the toll from my anxiety will be larger as time goes on. 

I’m open to strategies. I’m open to try. 

Yesterday I booked in to attend an Alana Fairchild workshop in Berry in May. By myself. Huge. 

And last night I messaged a friend to let her know that Alana was returning to Berry. She replied. And talk turned to her business in Body Talk. I did some quick reading and I booked in for this afternoon.

This will not do the session justice. It was amazingly empowering. My anxiety dissolved during the session. It’s back but it is minimal and a different type – more like a nervous excitement. It might not be anxiety. 

Anyway, Body Talk is not necessarily well known as an alternative therapy. My practitioner, my friend, is very accomplished. I went in open and without expectation. 

I felt it working immediately. 

The practitioner utilises sections within the body, energy and tapping (on the head and on the sternum) to ‘reprogram’ the way the body is working. I could feel my body talking to Mel and I could feel her responses.

I know it sounds nonsensical. If someone was telling me this, I think I would be dubious. But … I experienced it. Immediately. And I left whole. My body felt together. My voice was stronger. I felt open again. 

I’m sold. Bugger medicine for healing the soul.

Thanks Mel. 

If anyone in Sydney wants to give it a try, email me and I’ll send you Mel’s number (tinameyer@live.com.au). 

The Anxiety Rollercoaster

I was better. 

And then I dreamed that I had a baby. But I didn’t give birth to it. But it was mine. And it took me a while to figure out that it couldn’t be. 

And then the day started. I slowly drifted backwards. Exhausted after working all day yesterday. Nervous that the holidays are coming and there is no resolution on the issue that has caused my anxiety. 

Worried. Knowing I shouldn’t be worried. Breathing deeply. Staying present. 

And it’s so funny. At a time of anxiety I feel the most competent I have ever been in my classroom. I am an amazing teacher. 

Bizarre. Paradox. Irony. Totes ridiculous. 

Maybe the universe’s way of reassuring me that I will always be okay. 

Only to hit a wall lol

Yesterday was the first morning in four weeks that I woke up reasonably refreshed and without anxiety. It was nice. I think the people who suffer longer term anxiety and function to any extent are amongst the most courageous people. 

I did my job in the morning without fear, without second guessing myself and with an inner calm that I had almost forgotten that I possessed. I achieved most of my to do list for yesterday in the morning. 

At about twelve thirty I became enraged, inside. You all know that I love my job. I love my school. Teaching teenagers can be exceptionally difficult but it isn’t impossible. It requires commitment, passion, tenacity, patience, reflection, a willingness to succeed. It isn’t impossible. 

And I have lost my tolerance for incompetence. And at twelve thirty that became very obvious to me. 

I had cried for a lot of the period before. I have followed a different process in teaching with my Year 11 class this term. They are a huge class for a senior class – 25 (one student doesn’t show up anymore though). Anyway, their speaking assessment task was due yesterday. We do not have a high submission rate at our school. Two students were absent – one being the non-attender and one student gave me a legitimate note for an extension a day before –  and everyone else handed in their speech. 

Everyone else. Twenty two out of twenty five speeches were handed in. My class is not the top class. I was shocked. Yes, I know teaching is about having high expectations. I have them. I voice them. They aren’t usually met. 

And then, one volunteer after another. No pauses. No waiting. No tricks. 

And the quality of the speeches. Oh my. They all attempted eye contact. They spoke clearly. Unfortunately, a fair few of them moved a lot. But, they were really trying. And the content, man, almost perfect for every single student. 

I was, I am, so proud of them. 

They inspire me to want to be a better teacher. They inspire me to want to be better. 

So, incompetence I really had no patience for. And when I saw it, I got angry. I came back to zen, but not before last night. 

I woke up without anxiety this morning too. 

Hopefully for now, the anxiety is moving on. I know it will be back – the situation that caused it hasn’t been resolved. But if I could just get a few days of peace, I might be able to restore some faith and trust in others.