I was awoken by either the noisy renters upstairs or an existential pain. It does not matter.
It has been years since I’ve passed practicum. In a way I am glad I did not make a daily blog entry then. It would have all been something like: today I absolutely sucked.
But where did the years go? There is a gap between now and then that I cannot recover. I am not sure I want to know.
Looking back, those growing pains still feel real, but dented, somewhat, by a feeling I cannot name.
I had no footing, no experience, no big ideas – only a small hope that I’d do my best. So of course, I very soon learned that it was not enough. It is a fact I am still learning every day. What is my best? A dogged sense of duty? Stupidly high expectations of myself? A sense that, at the end of the day, I have done all I can?
I think the difference in the three years is that I used to know that I was playing the part of teacher. I knew it was separate from the person I am, my interests and beliefs – whatever they used to mean, they used to mean a lot. And in that way I hated myself for being “not with it”, barely an adult, barely a teacher. But today, I can no longer tell if I’m living my pretensions or if I have lost all conviction. Which came first? The desire to be not-me or the process of becoming someone else? Maybe it hardly matters, since the loss of whatever it is has made me a better teacher?
People tell me that the late twenties bring surer footing. I am a cleaned up version of my post-21 self. I have a furnished home, bills to pay, a marriage to tend to. I have somehow “made it” in the span of 3 years. And yet, owning many books and drinking tea, the one dream I’ve always had, is somehow not enough.
I think that it means there is more fixing to do. Some restarting, some more patience and endurance, even more days to strive to live well and do right by others – I think this might be the measure, or the start, of what it is to come into the cusp of oneself (or the greatest unknown).