CMT and Change, The Fine Art of Grieving
Keeping it real. Which can be the biggest challenge of all. So much easier for me to share images of everyday life, moments that inspire me. So much easier to write an easy story.
Yet truth matters. Even when the truth is really not fun. CMT is a big deal. I make lots of accommodations and compensations. So my daily life is almost normal. Almost. Yet certain changes make me notice that my life isn't “normal”. And my first reaction is worry and frustration.
This is my first August since I was four years old where I am not gearing up for a new school year. And while that’s a glorious freedom, it’s also nostalgic. CMT makes it impossible for me to work full time. CMT even impacts what I can do part time. And that makes me frustrated. Frustrated that I can’t pay bills. Frustrated that I have to walk away from the career that I cared about. Frustrated that I am essentially starting over.
And after the sadness and anger, comes worry. Because I have other passions. Photography. Writing. And I worry about building a new path. That’s work for sure. Then I worry about follow-through. What if I invest the time and energy building a new career just to have another crash? Then I’m standing in the rubble all over again?
The fine art of grieving.
That’s what CMT brings me. Over and over again. Not just for lost skills, but for lost moments. Not fun at all.
When I get riled up like this, I turn to my inspirations. Photography and writing. Find new moments.
And, yes, it’s going to be tricky and challenging. Yes, it’s going to have moments of doubt and fear. But also moments of grandness. Moments of discovery.
A dear friend once said that I have been given a gift. I will not be able to coast through life. I won’t look up in twenty years and wonder what happened. The easy road can be misleading. And I am going to choose. Over the years, I will pay attention and choose what really matters.
And that’s true. Choosing isn’t easy. I look at people who are in the same job for years. I’ve had that maybe three times in my life, for maybe three years at a time. I’ve taught mixed grades and homeschool, jobshares and handwork. I have rarely had an August where expectations repeat. This year is a bigger change than past years because I am completely shifting my work expectations. Shoving off from the shore, so to speak.
And that’s exciting as well as worrying. On my terms, photography is fun. A couple of sessions a month. Sharing moments with people who may not notice them otherwise. And the stories are calling me.
I may not be teaching in a classroom, but I am gearing up for a new year. My kids start school in a couple of weeks. And, for the first time, I get to be their mom 100%. They won’t be hanging around classrooms while I write over 100 name tags. Or staying super-quiet during inservice meetings. We can soak up every last day of summer. I can go to all their field trips. Volunteer any day I like (as long as I feel ok). They won’t have me grumpy in the evenings or Friday afternoons after I spent my precious energy teaching.
Grieving is part of the journey. So is rising up and finding new opportunities. So I can miss the past. Yet go into the future with confidence. Maybe one day photography sessions will be ‘too much’ as well. Right now they’re fun, but maybe one day they will cost me more than they inspire me. And, when that happens, I can regroup. I can create again. Rise again.
Life isn’t one thing or another. Grieving or celebrating. Loss or discovery. Life is all the things. Wrapped in a wild adventure.
Let’s go :)