I can’t really ever remember feeling quite so broken before. In fact, I don’t think that I ever realized how whole I had been until I felt it all fall apart. Until there were only pieces remaining, I had not realized how full it had all felt only moments before.
I am sorry if you are here looking for lesson plans, looking for ideas on how to end the school year strong, on how to carry on conversations of justice and equity through the final days of the school year. I have none of those words to give to you today. I have very little left to give to anyone at the moment.
In fact, probably, I should write nothing. This is not really the space for me to fall apart. Not in this way. It’s probably not professional. Not the right place for it. But it is the space that I have. It is the space that I can still claim as my own, as familiar, when so much around me no longer feels like my life.
But if you are not here looking for that, I completely understand. Feel free to check back in a few months. When I start to breathe again.
So where am I?
I suppose I should start by reassuring you all that I am healthy. My daughter is healthy. We are fine. We will be fine. But my marriage. It is not fine. It has ended. It was sudden and unexpected and not something I ever saw coming or anything that I wanted. And while the details don’t belong here, the next time you see me, buy me a beer and I’ll tell you the story that I am still trying to convince myself is real. The story that I now take on as my own. As my life. As where I am and how I have been broken.
I suppose there isn’t much more to say. I just felt the need to leave a note here and let you all know that I will be back. I keep hearing the brilliant words of comedian Hannah Gadsby from her powerful show, “Nanette,” when she says, “There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.” And those words fill me with such hope for a day far from this current day. Because for now, there is no rebuilding. For now, I am trying to simply allow myself to fall completely apart. And then slowly, one day, I will start to rebuild.
And I will tell you this. In all of this. Gratitude exists.
I am so grateful for the humans who surround me. Because I may no longer have the love from the one person I thought would be there forever, but in its place, so many other kinds of love have revealed themselves to me in the most beautiful of ways. These people, people who have always been there right by my side, have stepped up in the most incredible ways. My family and my work friends and my neighborhood friends and my high school friends and my college friends and the friends I have found here who are scattered across the country. People have shown themselves to be these fierce senders of love and I cannot tell you the difference that it has made. Because as of late, it has been easy to think of myself as rather unlovable and people have found ways to show me, in the most remarkable of ways, that all of us are worthy of love. And often, the places that that love comes from are unexpected, but so, so, so good.
And there is also such gratitude for the work that we do. This job has saved me in countless ways over these past few weeks. Even now, during this crazy time of the school year, when patience is short and energy from the children is at an all time, this work continues to save me. Because when I start to doubt my own worth and the value that I bring to this world, I need to look no further than the work that my students and I are doing and it is such good and hopeful and important work that I know that I serve a real purpose. I know that there is goodness in what I do and in who I am. Because my kids remind me of that every day. The work we do reminds me of that every day. And that brings a deep sense of gratitude.
So I hope that one day soon, I will be back here writing about the work. About the work that we have done and the work that we so desperately need to keep doing. I hope that one day soon, I can care about others and about the world and about justice and about equity in the way that I used to. But for now, I need to care about myself and care about my kid and allow myself to simply be wrapped up in all the love that we are surrounded by.
So hang in there, friends, as we walk through these final days of the school year. We are so close and the summer will be necessary to rest and recharge and for all of us to find ways to rebuild. Some of us, will just need a little bit more rebuilding than others.