This is a photo of my great-grandmother smoking a cigarette while swimming in the Atlantic.
I just have to leave that sentence there and ponder it for its pure bad-assery. Her name was Janet. I never knew her, and until very recently never knew this photo existed. In every other known photo of her, she is shown the well-bred daughter of society that she was brought up to be, but in this photo she is just looks like she really did not give an eff – and I could not love it more! My mom’s cousin grew up around her and said, “She loved to smoke and she loved to swim, so she did them both often.”
As I am making so many changes in my own life right now, this photo (besides making me laugh) reminds me that I come from a long line of fiery, independent women, and it reminds me to embrace the things I love without hesitation and release the rest.
Hello. It’s me… [stares into the middle distance longingly wishing I could wing my eyeliner and hit that one note in the bridge as masterfully as Adele]
No, but really… Happy New Year! I’m three days fashionably late, naturally, but I welcomed 2016 with some decisions that I wouldn’t have dared make before December happened. To keep it concise, my December had more drama than any given season of Grey’s Anatomy. The most life-altering thing is that I resigned from my teaching position due to some very abrupt and unprofessionally made changes by my administrators that left me reeling a week before Christmas.
It’s been a difficult pill to swallow – the last 6 years of my life have been devoted to graduate school in order to teach, and then teaching, and now I am abruptly leaving the profession. I won’t say forever, but indefinitely. There is no love lost between myself and the school or district, but it is so difficult to leave my kids mid-year, and to leave two co-workers who have become my family. I’m certainly terrified of the abrupt end to my paycheck and insurance.
Even though this is not happening as I planned it, I am realizing that this was an important and positive decision. I’m beginning to understand the overall negative affect that this place has had on me, the changes my family and friends have seen, the misery that I have felt, and the negative toll on my health and well-being. This “job” has been all-consuming for six years. When you really start to reflect, you see just how unhealthy that is – I don’t know how other teachers find any balance or if they truly do (I certainly do not know any of these unicorn-like teachers).
Now that this chapter of my life is closing I am excited for the future and am making the leap to pursue the things that I love, and find out what comes with living the adventurous and creative-driven life that I’ll be sharing with you, here.
PS – I adore this…
(click photo for Danielle Doby’s @iamhertribe instagram link)