It's been awhile since I pulled one of these nights. I'm totally going to regret this when my alarm goes off at 5:30am tomorrow. Like REALLY regret it. Ugh. "These nights" mean I get home from a long day and realize that I can't sleep until I get my email under control because it's weighing me down like the box of Thin Mints I ate last week. Seriously, email is a huge problem for me. I just can't conquer it. Drives me crazy. Tonight I did okay though. I went from 288 emails to 56 in about two hours so that rocks. I'll sleep well if I ever get there.
This past Sunday when the world was celebrating Valentine's Day - I was having a mini life crisis. Through a series of circumstances I came to a few realizations about myself, about this job that I've given my whole heart to, about the people around me who keep me grounded and about what I need in order to be my best self. It was a really hard day. I don't have those very often, maybe only a once or twice a year, so when I experience them, it's pretty intense. Emotions.
My "resting happy place" is being crazy busy, doing a million things at once and pouring into others as much as possible. For some reason, I feel like I could give, give, give for a lifetime and never run dry of that energy. Sunday was a different story. For the first time in awhile I realized even my superhero size reservoir of love had dried up. And on Valentine's Day?! Come on Fadeji.
Much like roller coaster ride, this school year has hit me with turns, loops and upside down moments that I wasn't expecting. The highs have been so incredibly high. Heights I have never experienced before. And the lows, although super short-lived thankfully, have been pretty dang low. I have a somewhat high tolerance (or maybe threshold is a better word) for these twists and turns. But I guess even for me, these unexpected emotions can build up.
During the past couple months, I've probably had more conversations with CPS (Child Protective Services) and local law enforcement agencies than in the previous three years as a principal combined. It's heartbreaking. Yet, I find myself hugging my students a little tighter, leaning into my friends a little harder, and letting the tears fall a little easier.
One of the best parts of this year has been reconnecting with some of my former students who helped shape me into the teacher and leader I want so desperately to be. Dillan, who was in my 2nd grade class and is now an 8th grader, comes to Penngrove most Fridays to volunteer in classrooms. She is a natural with our students and watching her build relationships with them is so neat. And it's full of emotions to watch that unfold.
|Dill leads a 5th grade math intervention group|
|Dill and me grabbing a latte!|
And then there is Sarwah. I met Sarwah in 2007 when she was in my 3rd grade class in Mobile, Alabama. There was something about her that struck me back then. Something that told me we would be in each other's lives for a long time. Looking back on it now, I can see little hints of why and how we would still be so connected all these years later, and it makes me smile that I somehow lucked out with her on my attendance sheet 9 years ago. This past summer, Sarwah tragically and suddenly lost her dad. Since then, the two of us have been in pretty constant communication. Sarwah spent all of last week with me here in Cali - soaking up the rays with her BFF who tagged along for the ride. The three of us laughed, cried, shared, dreamt, hugged, the list goes on. One night as I was tucking Sarwah in, I told her that if my whole career and life path was intended only so that our lives would intersect, it would be more than worth it and I would choose that path a million times over. Serious emotions.
Today at work, as that dang email InBox filled up, I ignored it. The school newsletter went out a week late, I forgot to sign up for a meeting with my new Superintendent, I didn't return all my phone calls. I'm resting in the fact that I simply can't do it all every day. You know what I did do though? I spent every second I could with my students. Today, I must have high-fived or hugged at least 200 kids, some of whom need a whole lot more than I can give them. But I'll never stop trying. I won't slow down. And my reservoir is completely filled up again. My game face is on. And that's a dangerous combination for this girl. Especially when Mariah is playing. Roller coasters? Love 'em. Bring it.