Some lessons are harder to learn than others.
After a gentle push that we all have something to share, two years ago I blogged Confession: I am Not Wonder Woman. It was the first time I really experienced how therapeutic writing this blog could be (also how long it could possibly take to write a few paragraphs). So am I less busy? Well it may not seem so sometimes but it has become the lesson I can’t avoid. From MEd courses on Mindfulness in Education and #the100dayproject I realize I am slowly taking the time for those small steps and trying to let myself say NO once or twice. Still a long long way to go, but at least I’m moving in the right direction.
But I noticed a different side of the Wonder Woman Syndrome creep in.
It is amazing to be in a profession where there are so many role models, educators doing AMAZING things from creating apps to keynoting conferences to publishing their work. You look up at these inspiring superhero figures and sometimes all you can do is have that fan girl experience like a 5 year old. How do they do it? How do they balance it all? And then the doubt starts creeping in, even just for a second. Should I be doing more? Am I putting my ideas out there? Maybe I’m not meant to be the superhero, maybe I’m just meant to be the sidekick or ‘hair and make up’. I’m good at the behind the scenes, the connecting, the sharing.
And just when you think you learned a lesson, there’s more.
I thought that was where the lesson would end, battling the questions of whether I was just too chicken or wanting to be something I was not. Then last week I had a few experiences that got me thinking. I wondered if folks at times, even for just a split second, may look at me with that same fan girl expression of awe and intimidation I had experienced. Suddenly I realized that maybe we all are heroes looked up to for a moment in time by our colleagues, our students, or family.
The Take Away
Maybe the take away is to remember to share the person behind the mask, the good and the bad. Or maybe the take away is that it is ok to be our own version of a super hero.
I may not be the image of Wonder Woman, but to someone at the right time I may be just enough hero.
The last time I was on the East Coast I reflected on Waves, their Power and Lessons on Change. So this time as I stood at the ocean edge with the freezing waves at my toes and sea glass in my hand it was hard not to reflect. Was I remembering to focus on the beauty formed over time with the sea glass or longing for the big photo worthy waves?
I kept thinking about the sea glass and wondering about change.
It didn’t hit till we were touring old war ships in the Halifax harbour. As we climbed the stairs and started our tour of the ship we came to the bridge and the Engine Order telegraph (ok, I had to get some help with that one). To be honest it was the old print and shiny casing that caught my eye. Through the lens I noticed the various speeds, imagining the boat barreling through open waters at full speed. It’s the ideal picture we often create of change, full speed ahead, no looking back.
I would have seen full speed ahead as the ideal for but over the two weeks my dad had roped us in to binge watching The Last Ship. Not necessarily quality viewing but definitely addictive and informative (for this post). Depending on the conditions, the purpose, and crazy hurdles that kept popping up in the show, different speeds served a different purpose. Sometimes it was necessary to just stop and be still in the pursuit of moving forward, using a slow speed to navigate the reefs, and other times it was full speed ahead. Even through the dramatics of the show, I wondered if the same could be true of change. Was I making the best of the various speeds of change or rushing to push the dial to full speed? Maybe sometimes we need to go half speed ahead so we can hone the skills a little more. Maybe we need to slow down to see what path is best next to get us to our final destination and sometimes we come to those calm open waters and it is full speed ahead.
It seems like every time I’m at the ocean’s edge I’m reminded that change is often not a quick endeavour. It’s a long journey with twists and turns, requiring a great navigator that isn’t focused solely on speed.
I may slip a piece of sea glass in my pocket this year so I have that small reminder to remember time. Here is hoping for a year at ALL speeds ahead.
Love to hear your thoughts!
It is hard to believe it’s now a month since the group got together to celebrate the end of #the100dayproject. I still remember seeing the post on @elenatreehouse Instagram feed and thinking I was crazy to take something on the day after completing my MEd. To be honest I don’t think I would have followed through if it wasn’t for a great group of folks that decided to come along for the journey. We each had a different focus over the 100 days but learned and shared from each other’s journey. We each are reflecting on our journey and learning (click the links below the post to hop from one post to another) using some of the ongoing prompts from @elleluna as some inspiration for our final reflection.
Most Challenging & Most Rewarding
I don’t think I truly knew what I was signing up for at the beginning of the project. 100 days seems simple till about day 31 when you run out of topics to photograph. The last thing you think you have time for on a busy or tiring day is to stop and create but it was amazing to see how those few minutes could reset the day. I tended to leave it to the last possible minute sometimes literally posting at 11:59 but taking those last few minutes of the day just to create with no set agenda was invigorating. I create all the time for work but there is often a set goal and determined audience. I think it was the first time I created just for me in a skill that was completely selfish.
I loved taking a few minutes through out the project to hit the hasthag and see what others were posting. Having such a great community of individuals creating pushed my brain past my own limits and forced me to look at the world a little differently. I loved @chriscureton #100daysofsymbolizinggreatness. I felt silly complaining about time watching @elenatreehouse create her amazing paper art with a toodler and another on the way. It was also great to connect with colleagues in a new way. I love social media and as an avid Twitter user, I have seen the power of connections but there was something different in us all embarking on a learning journey together. It felt intimate and allowed me to have daily connections and ongoing advice with some great friends.
As I was reading Austin Klein’s Steal Like an Artist there was a great quote by Gustave Flaubert “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” It seemed to capture my experience through the project perfectly. Taking the time to create daily, no matter what I felt like, helped me look at the world around me in different ways. I thought the biggest take away would be a better understanding of my phone but I think I leave understanding the need to take those 10 minutes, to set a routine, to take the time.
And that leads to what is next. I feel like I need a 100 day project for the start of the school year. I had considered a blog a day to get me back in the routine of writing and reflecting. That may be too ambitious. Perhaps a quote a day would be a better focus.
You can see all 100 pictures HERE. Have a suggestion for me? Want to do a first 100 days of school challenge together? Love to hear your thoughts and please if you have a few minutes check out the following posts.