“What do you do?”

-Susie Q –

-Bobbi Lu –

Each morning, I enjoy a cup of coffee, some quiet meditation, and the company of my two amazing dogs. I cook food that makes me feel good and try new recipes. I feel on purpose when I am looking after my mental and physical health. I run up and down mountains because it gives me joy. I read voraciously because I love feeling immersed in the world. When I can sit one-on-one with someone, making eye contact and discussing things that are deep, I feel connected. When I can connect the movements I make with the breaths I take, I feel alive. When I go outside and feel the sun shining on my face I feel hopeful. I talk to my family often and enjoy that connection.

I go slow and am quiet. My health is my priority. Checking in, expanding my world, and exploring the stories I tell myself are some of the most important things that I do. The possibilities that I see in my life excite me. Each day I look for a moment of joy because life is too damn serious and I want to bask in lightness when it’s available.

And to make money, I hustle. I shuffle between different jobs. I get other people organized and I help to make big ideas come to life. I light a fire under people’s asses to move, breathe, and be mindful. But how I make money doesn’t give me purpose.

When you meet people, one of the first things they will ask is,“What do you do?”

Right now, this question (“What do you do?”) haunts me – it stalks my steps on a daily. It used to be easy – rolled off the tongue with conviction and pride . . . “I’m a teacher. Middle School.” I’d grin in a knowing way as their memories flashed back to the horrors of that age and they’d look at me like I was either a saint, or a crazy person. It’s both really. So then I’d usually launch into the obligatory chit chat about grade level, subject, the broken system, the lack of funding . . . you get the point. I had it down. I could talk about it in my sleep.

Now.

Now . . .

“What do you do?”

“Uhh . . . I’m a, I was a . . . I’m in a transition . . . I’m searching . . . I’m . . .”  

I’m lost is what. And to top it off – I’m trying to be lost. I’m putting myself in the “between” – or adrift if you prefer the ocean metaphor. Why? Good f*ing question.  Obviously to make myself actually crazy – which seems like a real possibility as each day passes. But really? Truely? It’s to make me uncomfortable – to force me to to grow. I’ve been stagnant for a while – searching – casting my eyes out into the world to see what there is . . . what else? It’s not that I don’t still think teaching is great as a profession – hell, it’s one of the most important jobs out there. It’s just . . . I’ve done it. What’s next? I’m 38 – hitting my stride – it’s a good time to evaluate and chart new courses to explore. It’s actually what I told my students all the time – that it’s in the uncomfortable, or the unknown, that the most growth, discovery, adventure . . . you name it . . . happens.

So why the hell am I struggling so much? It comes back to that damn question – “What do you do?”

I wonder, and I AM lost, dammit – but it’s by design. This is where the adventure is – this is where I become . . .  something . . . where I learn . . . something. So, the answer is no longer straight forward, succinct, or easy to explain – but this is my answer, and it is where I am at.

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