When I started writing my blog I had just started as a master teacher for TAP. TAP is a framework for teaching and leadership that is run by NIET.
I wanted to blog to find other people like me. It was a new job and I wanted models on how to do it well. I sensed the power in the approach but there was so much to learn and implement. I was lucky to be in a new role and to have a trusted framework to follow and a coach to help me but I am impatient.
Quickly, the blog turned into something else because finding other TAP people was harder than I realized. I started connecting with other educators because I found the Two Writing Teachers blog. Then it just became about connection and sharing. Part of the original goal, but slightly off-center. It still worked within the same vein. I wrote about everyday life and book recommendations. I tried to answer on the blog the questions I was asked in real life.
I am always searching for a connection that is life-giving. I steal this phrasing from Jim Knight when he talks about instructional coaching and better conversations. I have used the Swedish word Hygge to describe it in the past before I had Jim’s words. Hygge to me is the conversation that feels like the comfort and warmth on a winter night in front of the fire with great wine, bread, and soup.
Every week I stick to a schedule of sorts for writing. I write and share my Weekend Coffee Share on Sunday. My education post for the Two Writing Teachers is on Tuesday. I write Five-Minute Friday posts based on Kate’s word There are other themes I throw in when I feel like it. When I was a middle school coach I wrote Workshop Wednesday when I did my trainings.
Then I started experimenting.
I tried Medium as a platform because they paid their writers. I became associated with publications that brought more readers to my writing. I published poems and education articles.
Then I kept reading about an email list. I came late to that game but started a newsletter. I am still trying to figure that out and how it serves me and my readers.
Life is about adventure and part of that adventure is trying new things.
I am not a stranger to risk. I take risks in my career – note that when I applied, interviewed, and got the TAP Master Teacher job I already had a tenured position in a large corporation. People thought I was CRAZY for leaving. I was bored and unappreciated and actually got written up for running the Boston Marathon and for going to a reading conference – when I was reading specialist.
I am a lot of things. I could write a list of description and some of the labels might surprise you. I am a published writer, an educator, a coach, a mom, a stepmom, a wife, a runner, a friend, a speaker, an INTJ, an Enneagram 1, a manifesting generator, and a woman.
I am insecure at times, driven, relentless, judgmental, and smart.
I am loving, fragile, strong, and small.
I write because I have to.
I give myself challenges to prove I can do shit. When I ran my first marathon I ran 27 miles as a training run to make sure I knew I could do it. I did this before the race. I Boston qualified by 18 minutes that first time. I don’t say this to impress you. I tell you to impress upon you that I am relentless on myself.
I stayed in my first marriage too long because I had convinced myself that I had made a choice and needed to see it through. When I woke up on my 40th birthday I knew that many of the stories I had been told were not the truth. They were lies to keep me in line by society and culture. I changed my life.
Once again people thought I was crazy, and that I had lost all my marbles.
I am constantly trying to improve myself. I am not afraid of action. But sometimes I wonder what I am trying to prove and to whom. I have high standards and have the need to learn. As a teacher, I have to be a model for my students. I cannot tell them to constantly be learning and taking risks and then not do it myself. I have had too many people in my life that have shown me that movie on repeat.
Recently, I moved to Wisconsin and took a job in the middle of the school year – which is something I never thought I would do. I tried multiple times to stay at the old job and requested changes to my contract to no avail. So I followed the money and to an area that I am more comfortable in. I love it here. It took me 45 years to get out of Indiana. I cannot change the past, but I do often wonder what my life would look like if I had left Indiana right after college or had gone to school in a different town.
I have identities that I call on within myself to get shit done. Everyone has different aspects of themselves they call upon. I am working on being more intentional about it.
Right now, I am in a coaching program with Tony Robbins’ organization. I am working on getting my body back to how it is supposed to be. I call it Back to Zero. I want all my clothes to fit in my closet or be a little too big. This is how I am comfortable with myself.
I am working on not reacting defensively.
I am nurturing my female friendships because honestly, I am not comfortable around women because I have been hurt so many times.
I am working on doing all 7 areas of my life at a level 10. Balls to the wall the best I can be at that moment. (body, emotions, career, contribution, money, time, relationships)
I am going to be writing more about these areas within the next 6 months.
Right now, I feel aligned with the purpose. I am in a good space and happy. I will start to share the stories that are meaningful to me.
The lockdown showed me I am living very close to my ideal life. I am striving to get even closer to it. I am paying attention to my emotions and energy.
Thank you for allowing me to share. Hopefully, my stories will serve you in your life as inspiration, conversation, or hope.