Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4.3.17

i kept it together until today
i never thought this pain would stay
so i sit, hoping it goes away
the pain is so much that I must lay
down
on the floor
dark thoughts
i can't ignore
teardrops
knocking at my door

p

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dreams vs. Reality vs. True Joy

Hi -- I haven't written an actual, introspective, long-winded piece in a while. Welcome back to all of us, let's chat. Here's a cup of coffee for you, and a few cups for me.

It's 6:11am right now.

I woke up yesterday at noon, and I haven't slept since. In under an hour, I will be heading out to Portland for a rad day trip with some friends, but, for now, I find myself waiting and thinking. You know, having those profound deep thoughts about life that could change everything, and yet nothing at all. Maybe that made little to no sense, but it's been a long day so far. (That was a joke, I'm just a tad bit tired.)

I have had a lot of thoughts in the past couple months that have been scurrying across my brain, heart, and soul. Some of them wait patiently, some of them boil, and some of them just jog around like chickens with their heads cut off. They may release in the coming weeks - no one really knows - but, for now, this is what you get to read; the ramblings of a(nother) tired, weary, optimistic, confused millennial.

I have been processing a lot related to my future in the past couple months. I will just be totally honest - this quarter at my college sucked. I don't believe there was a single day I enjoyed being there (aside from the one day we presented a book we wrote... and ours was about farts). Perhaps it was all because I had a constant cloud of stress hanging over me, because my administration wasn't communicating well with me, but, no matter what it was, my motivation hit an all-time low this quarter.

This quarter, more than ever, my future really hung over me.

After completing fall quarter of two thousand sixteen, I only have two quarters of classes left, and one quarter of student teaching next fall. After that, it is finished. My degree is complete, just like that. How does that happen? I have no idea. It flew by, really, which, I believe, stresses me out even more. I look at myself, my knowledge, and a million other factors, and think, How the hell am I going to manage a classroom of wild, crazy children and effectively teach them all the content they need to learn? Thoughts like that make my stomach churn.

Insecurities about my teaching ability cover me like an overwhelmingly warm blanket. It fluctuates from day to day, really, but I just cannot see myself in a classroom every day. As I work my regular job five days a week, getting more burned out every week, I think about how that will translate into my classroom. Will I feel this way in my classroom? Some might say emphatically that, "No! That's your dream! You'll love it! You won't get burned out like you are right now. Surely you won't feel like your job is slowly killing you... like you feel now."

But I am realizing that teaching in a classroom isn't my dream - at least not right now.

I have a God-given talent... and that talent is writing. I have been blessed by the sweet creator with this gift, along with the tendency to think outside of the box. I enjoy dabbling in other areas, too - music, photography, videography - and want to pursue these ventures. I have a passion for using my talents in these areas to incite social change in my nation, and this earth. My biggest passion right now is spreading love, peace, and unity through children's literature.

However, it is so difficult to make this dream into a reality, and into a viable career. I feel like so many people that I talk to encourage me to continue pursuing teaching and always keep the writing to a hobby, maybe a small side-job. I don't know if it's that no one believes in this vision I have or they just want me to play it safe, just in case, but it sucks... and that's the honest, raw truth. The wisest piece of advice I have received in the past couple months pertaining to my future was from my therapist - or my tattoo artist, rather. I was talking about school and how I was unsure if I really wanted to teach. I just was talking about how I wasn't really one hundred percent passionate about it.

She replied, "Well, why do something you're not passionate about?"

So nonchalant, but so true.

Why am I pouring myself into something I don't really care about? Why am I chasing after a dream that I am not sure is really my own, that is not really something I want? So, here it is: I am facing the world, with our God holding me up, and my metaphorical middle finger to the typical workforce. Even if I fall on my face, I am pursuing the career and the goal(s) I am passionate about. I can pick myself up again, with the help of my close friends & family, and the help of my Christ.

I want to write books that will cause children to look at themselves and change. I want to travel to schools all around my region, then the country, and talk to kids about how discrimination feels, and how we can begin to overcome it. I want to be a strong activist for social change, for unity, for racial reconciliation, for the breaking down of social norms - all of it.

I will fight for this and no, this is not a resolution for the new year. It just so happens that I am vocalizing these thoughts at the end of the year. (Convenient, right?) I'll just say this: Get ready, world, because children's literature is about to get crazy. Phil is about to make it LITerature - know what I'm saying?

Sorry for the dad joke; I'm just so excited. Journey with me. Saying a prayer for all of you beautiful people tonight, or this morning... whichever.

philgathany.com

- P