This blog--a true labor of love--turned one year old on February 20th.
When I thought about starting this venture last January, I was--in a word--miserable. I was in a school that was closing, in a job that wasn't professionally satisfying, and facing a very grim financial future. I had spent the good part of the previous year relentlessly pursuing every job lead I could find (100+ of them), even those barely remotely related to education.
I was frightened, anxious, depressed, worried, hopeless, and angry. When you have no idea what the next step is and when you're approaching rock bottom at lightning speed, the world seems like a pretty bleak and cruel place.
But when you're on your knees, it's time to look up. And so I did.
I'm not one of those people who turns to my faith only in times of crisis, but I do spend an inordinate amount of time trying not to rely on it too much. I like being in charge and being in control. Putting my fate in another's hands is difficult for me.
However, I'd spent so much time trying to prevent everything from spiraling out of control--trying to stave off fear--that I needed to be reminded I wasn't in charge. To be reminded of the beauty of fear.
Yes, that's right. The beauty of fear. At the intersection of despondency and abject panic, my higher power directed me to embrace fear.
I'd always thought that fear was something to be avoided. Naturally, we all do. It's painful and yucky and uncomfortable. Why would I welcome it into my life, set a place for it at my dinner table, and give it the guest room?
Because fear can paralyze you, and if you don't confront it--if you aren't willing to enter into a relationship and get to know it--then it will crush you. So, at the exact moment I was at my most fearful, divine intervention brought this to my attention:
While I waited for my dream job, I decided to occupy myself as if I already had it. I'd set my sights on transitioning from a classroom teacher to an instructional coach; so in the meantime, I was going to act like I was.
I'd been advised by a Twitter contact to start blogging, to create a website, to brand myself, to get my name out there and share my ideas with other educators. And while I was reluctant at first, thinking, Great, just what the world needs--another jackass with an opinion, I eventually said, The hell with it. I've got something to offer.
And here we are. I got peace of mind. I got followers. I got great feedback.
And I got my dream job. Finally.
Fear and I have reached an understanding: I'll stop trying to avoid it, and in turn, fear promises to help me grow.
I highly recommend dancing with fear. Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of it.