running on empty (but also full?)

A lot has changed in the weeks since I last wrote. 1st trimester ended right before Thanksgiving, I survived my first round of PT conferences, I’ve dealt with more of the apathy and the learned helplessness of the kiddos. It’s tiring. But then are these breakthroughs. A 4.0 from a student who walked into my class the first week and said she’d never gotten a passing grade in math. A full streak of 4.0 grades from one of my students with a learning disability. GLORY. GLORY, HALLELUJAH.

I want to smother my students. Sometimes in the pillow-on-the-face sense, but always always in the I-want-to-squish-you-because-you-need-to-believe-I-love-you way. The closer we get to break, the more often the pillow version is true, but I still love them. They literally run into me and they throw broken pencils at each other and they ask annoying and irrelevant questions but then they accidentally (or purposefully…) call me mom and they ask what my favorite color is and they clean up the floor without asking and they tell me I’m their second favorite teacher (after Mrs. Blair, the art teacher, who is EVERYONE’S favorite teacher. Even mine.)

So this job is hard. Really hard. Especially when it’s two days before Christmas break and I give them a test (sorry, but not). But they’re worth it.

Aside from work (which, honestly, is most of my life) I finally found a church that fits. In this new season of life, life feels a lot like treading water, alone, in the middle of Lake Michigan. Outside of work and visiting Claire’s house, I didn’t have much consistency when it came to friends. But I’ve found this new place to belong, and it already feels right. In just over a week, I’ve already served alongside these people, broken bread and had great conversations with them. I think that’s my favorite part about the church so far - they are all about conversations - deep, surface-level, faith-oriented, casual, weird, safe, uncomfortable conversations. And they’re already inviting me to join them.

In other news, 36 hour from now I will (Lord willing) be pulling out of the driveway to go home FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS AND I’M SO PUMPED).

As always, I love you for reading this. Whoever you are.