Saturday, December 12, 2009

Treadmill or Footpath?

I'm making this list because my fiance told me to, in order to snatch my ass out of a quiet but powerful bout of self-pity.

Ten things I have improved upon, grown in, or gotten better at in the last year:

  1. I have learned to do salamba sirsasana in a way that makes me feel both safer and in the pursuit of an advanced pose.
  2. I have learned that list-making is an integral part of my writing process, that it is for me evocative, humorous, and even poignant.
  3. I have moved deeper into a storytelling cycle in the face of the myriad discomfort it would hold for me.
  4. I have learned (and am still in process of learning) how to feed myself in such a way that I look and feel healthier and happier.
  5. I have learned to listen to my fiance even when we disagree, and to argue with him without robbing him of any humanity. (Right, honey?)
  6. I have learned that it is always appropriate to give my students what they need, even if that means I have to throw the beloved pedagogy out the window.
  7. I have learned (I think) to honor and protect my artist self, and not just try to shove her in the direction of the task-master self. I have learned not to consider the artist that I am to be too flaky or too self-absorbed. (This one's probably still in process, too.)
  8. I have learned that despite the fact that I grew up with both parents in my home who loved me, that I never wanted for food, clothing or shelter, and that I have a good education, common sense and relentless ambition, that I still have powerful, unique and compelling stories to tell about my life and my upbringing.
  9. I have learned that I am a woman who treasures high heels and short skirts as much as she does a dogged pursuit of gender equality.
  10. I have learned that, like many things in my life, my pursuit of the Divine is a good deal less structured, regimented and official than I used to consider it, and that God still cares for me, seeks me and wants to engage with me outside of a paradigm I've known all my life.


11. I've learned that I have the strength to withstand being hurt over and over again. The sun still keeps coming up, my heart continues to beat, and despite my impatience and confusion with the world, I can and will continue to do what I can to live, thrive and figure it all out. Even if I'm hurt. I won't just collapse into a pile of dust.


ABG said...

As a fellow teacher I would really love for you to expand on #6 in a post sometime. It sounds like something I'm teetering on the edge of and not quite sure about yet...

Jessica Young said...

Roger, willco. Finishing my semester this week, hoping to spend at least a bit of semester break reflecting on my skills as a teacher.