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Don’t Know What You Got

Do you ever get where you’re super tired but so jazzed about an idea or a project that it’s just impossible for you to sleep?  Seriously, that’s where I’m at right now.  Look at me up there–beat–tired–spent..but still burning the almost midnight oil! Plus, can I please say how much I am loving my new MacBook–this is a crazy kind of love–I can’t keep my hands off of her kind of love. Yes, my MacBook is definitely a her!  

Though–I need to share something..why all of a sudden I’m so jazzed about work again.  Well, maybe jazzed isn’t the right word–but inspired in a sense.  
Remember a few weeks ago when I was singing the blues about my job–then followed it up with a refreshing day of shooting photos while playing hookie?!?!  That day of “personal development” really helped–I went back to school refreshed, with a shiny, clean perspective of my job and role as an Art teacher.
Ever since then things have been smooth sailing.  Not to say that the same thorns still exist on my flower of a job–but now, somehow I can navigate my way through them better.  
What really caused this change of heart?
Last week–mid week I had a minor break down.  It started with round two of my rocking and stomping neighbors at 3 AM–which led me to major sleep deprivation–followed by an 8 AM meeting at school to learn that next year we will either lose our jobs or keep our jobs but with a hefty pay cut.  This was also accompanied by a couple frustrating phone calls that don’t really matter anymore.
Let me say, thank the Universe for friends.  Friends that can bring you right back to the center.  Friends that remind you how to hold on to yourself when you think you’re falling.  Friends that just make it all better by being sweet, understanding, and completely supportive.
But there was something about hearing I might lose my job that kicked me in the ol’ ass.  It’s one thing to walk away from a job on your own accord, it’s another thing if it is taken away from you.  Suddenly I was filled with this feeling of despair….and it wasn’t about the money.  I have so much experience in such a wide range of things, that somewhere–there has got to be someone I could possibly charm into giving me a job.  This was different…like a piece of me felt missing if my job would cease to exist.  Suddenly I wanted to savor every moment I have in the classroom–stuff it full of juicy excitement and learning…reach out more to my students–suffocate them with creativity even.  Anything but to leave, is how I felt.
What is the saying?  You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.
Or in my case, till it’s threaten to be taken away.
Then something happened that day.  Something that really made a difference.  
On certain days, I, the Art teacher, have to do reading practice with the fourth and fifth graders.  This day was like all the others..except, somehow the students started opening up to me about their lives out of school.  All of a sudden there was a huge discussion where these kids were getting some things off their chest–mostly issues having to do with divorce and custody battles.  I sat there with them really listening, and guiding them as they each tried to support and help one another understand.  They were so appreciative just to have this opportunity to share what was on their minds–this opportunity to have an adult really listen, and to trust this adult not to necessarily tell them what to do.  
These kids need this.  They need a place to talk, to figure things out, to find ways to help one another.  To learn about themselves and the world around them.  This reading circle didn’t turn into this support group by accident–it was me–I provide these children with a space to grow.  I provide them with a safe haven to release their fears and worries into the world.
Don’t we all need that?  Including our children?
That’s the power of Art my friends.  The true, 100% all natural ingredient to living this crazy thing called life.
For the first time in two years of being at this school—I finally felt like I belonged there.  I finally saw exactly what my role is–what good I do for these children–how DAMN IMPORTANT AND ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY the Arts are in education.  
I belong there–and it has nothing to do with trying to navigate my way through the thorns of negativity I kept seeing–it has everything with watering the seeds of roses and flowers that rest in the fertile ground we call a school.  That will one day either add beauty to our landscape, or if not taken care of properly, poison the ground and its environment by growing like weeds.
Now, it’s getting near midnight–my eyes are starting to shut..but all I want to do–all I want to share with the world–is Art and creativity.  Suddenly it feels like I woke up, right when I felt like I was falling fast.
Peace & Love.
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