Craft Conspiring

Friday, December 12, 2014

Learning to Say No.

She sighed, said, "Hand me a piece of paper, I need your pen."  She stared at the chart she'd drawn in silence.  The tension in her posture and her quickening breath all added an energy of anxiety to the desks where we sat.

She wrote numbers below the Monday through Friday list she'd made on the page, sighed again, and then put her hand to her chest as if to pull the words from her Professor-experienced heart, "You should say no."

Torn, wearing dress pants and a sweater woven of my pride and anxiety, I walked into the school, smiled at the secretary I've come to know and appreciate, and cancelled my interview. I would not teach music to 6th through 8th graders in a charter school during the Spring of 2015. It is not my time.

If you knew how long it has taken me to get to the point of being able to say a heartfelt no, you may roll your eyes, laugh, or pat my back patronizingly.  Being a people pleaser, when previous difficult decisions rocked my insides, I looked for the answer in the following places: at the bottom of pint glasses, under the cocoon of covers in my bed, in books and Google image quotes, through sarcasm, in excessive exercise, and often, by stomaching stress.   But, just maybe, I'm turning a new leaf, adding another chapter...dare I say, it's growth.

No really, after a much-needed, solving-our-worlds'-problems conversations with one of my very best friends, I realize I already have the answers, including the no's, and that the answers already exist in the world, it's just a matter of uncovering the layers of sludge that prevent me from hearing or seeing them from this very limited perspective of mine.  

In the slow and fast movement of time, varied experiences, beautiful mistakes, and some laughter directed solely at myself, I am here. 

Isn't that the truth for us all? 

On to pillows, classrooms of learning, tutoring, and the peace that comes from listening. 

I wish you the same. 

X, Jo

And also, this.