This girl has been in panic mode, y’all. Since my recital ended, I have allowed the beginning of the school year and the worst decision I’ve made since St. Anthony’s to suck the joy from my life. As a perfectionist, if I miss any training session for any reason, I tend to let it snowball. “Why bother? I missed one. Might as well miss the next one.” I also am a big time procrastinator…”Lesson plans – they can wait, right?” I think the latter plays into the former, in that I fear falling short so much that I simply choose not to do whatever it is I’m supposed to do. Punk.
As I look in life’s rearview mirror, I see some pretty neat stuff. My first three years in the classroom have flown by. Races keep freaking me out and then boom – there’s a string of finish lines. I look forward and I see
Past success = future pressure. While I’m still young, I’m not quite a novice teacher any longer. It may be my first 70.3 but it feels disingenuous to say I’m new to racing. I should know some things; otherwise, registering for this would be a death wish. Coachie wouldn’t let me do that, right?! If I don’t keep getting better that pretty much makes me a loser.
So I’ve been back at work, pre-planning, freaking the hell out. “OMG these people are just going to keep expecting more. More. MORE!” What if I don’t have any more? Ironically, I’ve been feeling more panicked than I had as a first-year teacher, as I logically reminded myself that it was silly to expect perfection from a beginner. It makes complete sense to demand perfection from a fourth-year teacher, of course. I should know EVERYTHING. I’ve been grumbling, wondering if I should be in education, music – adulthood! You know, all those things in which I’m inadequate.
And then – I got my class rosters. All 48257204740572 of them. #specialistlife
As I started seeing the familiar names, I began to smile. I’m excited to get and give as many hugs as I have rosters. Suddenly, I remembered what I am going to ask them to do. “Try something new. Suck at it. Believe you can get better. Keep going. If you still suck, keep going.” Not because you’ll get in trouble with mom or dad or Ms. Lady J, but because you have no idea of what you’re capable. I want them to see so much success in their rearview mirrors that they forget their missteps. Way better to have missteps than missed opportunities. I will ask them to embrace their present in order to maximize the possibilities for their future. Right. Now.
Welp. Guess I should do the same.