I have barely been creating my art for quite a while now, instead working far too much and trying to be there for others while not being there for myself. While the pandemic has been incredibly stressful and dismaying in so many ways, I am very thankful that it gave me the time to slow down and look at what I was doing, and not doing, with my life. It made me reach a breaking point with many issues, which is usually the only time I am honest about things that I don't think others want to hear. As the Twelve Steps say, my life had become unmanageable. Some days I feel like what life has put me through has broken my spirit, but I think maybe I only just metaphorically allowed the surgery necessary to fix the broken parts of my life. I must accept that there is a painful recovery period where some days the healing is apparent and hope feels real, and other days when a little stumble agitates the surgical site, and it causes so much pain that thinking about hopefulness isn't conceivable to me. Even though physical therapy hurts, ignoring it makes the effects so much worse. Rather than ignoring it, I need to do my version of physical therapy; creating. Sometimes I really don't want to do it, sometimes I feel much better afterwards and am grateful for the push to do that which I thought I could not do. But all the time, I need it in order to feel like me.
So, I have decided not to be a classroom teacher anymore. I will still work elsewhere, but anyone who has been a teacher can attest to how mentally, emotionally, and physically draining the profession is. While I loved my school, coworkers and students, at the end of the school day I had nothing left to give to my artwork or other responsibilities in my life. Most especially at the end of a pandemic school day! But even without that, I was closing in quickly on the day I would need to recreate my life to be one I could live with, and it has finally come. I'm thrilled, and sad, and anxious, and relieved. It's time to get back to being the creative soul I was born to be.