After a few weeks of panic, anxiety, and being overwhelmed with the sheet volume of work involved in the move, I am physically removed from the nonstop chaos in Sydney. Finally, I’m able to take the time to rest, allow myself to just breathe, and let those stress hormones level out a bit. Underneath all the sweat and grime, is an ever-flowing, constant state of love and appreciation for all that’s happened and still to come.
It’s been such a whirlwind process; the aftermath still to be faced upon my return. Yet all along, I have been so very blessed, with great friends that have cheered me on and physically offered help. Really couldn’t have gotten where I am without them pulling me out of the state of defeat, steering me into the right direction, feeding me when I’ve neglected self-care, and of course, being extra pairs of hands and arms. So humbled by the kindness that people have shown. So very very grateful for all that had been accomplished.
I am so very very blessed… And though yet to come up with the HOW, I’ll make damn sure I give multitudes back to my dear friends and to this fabulous, kindness-filled wonderful world. My god you’re all awesome!!! Mwuahs!!!
A great sense of loss and grief took me over as quick as the storm clouds that darkened the skies this afternoon. I always knew it would come one day. I understood it conceptually, empathised logically; but my heart was never ready for this eventuality.
Goodbyes were said in lots of loving cuddles yesterday. Yet it wasn’t until today, when I saw her friends wondering the playground without her, that it really hit. Amelie has graduated from us. For personal reasons it was her last day yesterday, after 5 years being in the centre. I was only there for the last one and a half… But she was there 5 days a week. Always with bright smiles and her wonderfully warm, kind, beautiful personality.
Oh Amelie… How it was a pleasure to have watched you mature and grow. I still remember you were so shy to greet me in front of your mums at first… Yet we bonded straight away – naturally, because we practically had the same name!
Amelie, I was there to sooth your cries. I was there to clean you up when you’ve made a mess. I was there to facilitate your social interactions – a little nudge here and there gave you confidence to flourish. I was there to observe and celebrate your achievements – and how proud I am of all that you’ve become!
Yet you know what? It was your openness and acceptance that helped ME when I was down. The love you were used to getting, the love you drew from me, saved me from being helpless and lost. Your genuine kindness and the care you have for your peers, remind me to be more gentle. And the way you strive to search for exploration and learning – it inspires me to try harder to be a better teacher for you.
I guess I never held back. I gave as much love as I could, and in return, received much more. Hence the sense of loss… I’m happy that she’s all grown up and ready for school – I know she’ll do very well. Yet I know I will always remember her smile and miss her cuddles.
To pick myself up from this and to continue giving these children love. To know that they would not remember me, yet strive to shape and facilitate their growth… Perhaps this is the hardest struggle for preschool teachers. Yet how fortunate I am, to be in this amazing position to influence so many young minds and souls…..
Thank you for the privilege. You are all my angels.
(And to think I haven’t even been teaching Amelie this year! I was her teacher last year and stayed in the 3-4 year old room in 2014. Next year though, I’m moving up to the preschool room with this lot… Oh 2015 is definitely going to be an emotional one!)
(Not really sure why I made myself watch “What Maisie Knew” as well as “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” today… Had me balling my eyes out.)
“Lucky”. I find myself gradually stepping further and further away from identifying with this word, because as life goes on, I stopped believing in luck.
Indeed, I am blessed to have the life that I’ve got. I was fortunate, to be born healthy, into a loving family who fostered and stimulated my growth. I am blessed to have so many people and connections I treasure. I am blessed to be where I am in life.
But I do not attribute this to luck. I worked hard to shift my mentality to embrace positivity. I put in heart wrenching efforts to dig myself out of holes of self-pity and apathy. And I use every speck of my awareness to send out waves of positivity in order to attract what I crave on the same frequency.
E.g. My latest inspiration:
So when I think about all these treasures in my life, be it my passion for a career I love, my friends and family who I adore, the luxury to go on a fear-smashing eye-opening self-discovery journey, or the man who continues to bring me deep fulfilment and joy… I count myself blessed, not because of luck, but because my hard work has paid off. My life has come to fruition of my beliefs and what I had envisioned for myself.
We are masters of our own universe. You can (and must) create your own luck too!
To be lying on the hospital bed, watching the doctor teaching a medical student and explaining the suturing he was performing on my arm… Brought me all new respect for the medical profession. Thank you, for the rigorous training you endure to help the people in need.
Oh and was I in need. I’ve never been so vulnerable. An open cut on my forearm, deep enough to reach muscle structure. To see a hole in my arm that most undeniably was not going to just heal itself. It was a new experience for me at the age of thirty.
To understand the fragility of the human body… How easily I could have done a lot more damage… Had it been closer to my elbows, tendons. Had it been closer to my wrist, blood vessels. Lucky. I am.
And to have the nerve to stomach the wound; to stay calm and apply pressure after squishing the flesh back in; to be able to call for help, to have received help… Blessed. I am.
To have made this cut myself. Well. Careless. I am. Perhaps it was a lesson learnt the hard way for me, but hopefully it raises safety awareness in the micro world around me.
Life is fragile. Take care my friends.
This elated state of gratitude, for the love I saw and felt. This doubtless certainty, of how lucky and blessed I am. It goes beyond my logical understanding and physically affects me, warming me up, resonating and tingling from within. It lifts me up, in the gloomiest of weathers, and gives me the clear-blue-sky-joys that put a smile on my face from dawn to the darkest nights.
To me, the value of physical possessions are always outweighed by the thought and effort put in to making me feel the affections. It is less what was given or received, but rather, the intention behind it that gives it importance and significance. So when a boy spends half his allowance to take you out to dinner (I’m looking at you Alice), you know you are loved. When a man with a busy schedule prioritises spending time with you. When he drives a long way just to see you. When he gives up sleep for you. When a guarded heart opens up to you and allows you a peek or even a touch of the raw squishy parts; you know you are loved.
Oh and it is grand. No matter the size of the gesture – to understand the intention behind it, to see the effort, to feel the love… Every, little, thing. Each time you reach out to touch. Each time you ask how I am and actually care. Each detail you notice. Each second you allow me to see a little deeper. Each part of me you seek to understand. I have felt it, and now, I am embracing it.
Isn’t all that we want in life, to love, and be loved in return?
So what can I do, to give you the same in return? Do I put in an effort to make food for you? Do I dress up, or dress down to please? Do I buy you things you like? Do I drop my hobbies and interests to spend time with you? Do I compliment you and make my appreciations known? Do I listen, and take an interest in all that you are? Do I bare my all, clothes and defenses and boundaries? I’m not sure if these will do.
Perhaps I don’t push for answers when I’m dying from curiosity. Perhaps I give you space when I need warmth. Perhaps I make excuses when you need me to. Perhaps I entertain myself so you can sleep. Perhaps I stop keeping score. Perhaps I do my best to take pressures off. Perhaps I keep reaching when you keep dodging. Perhaps I admit my flaws and work on improving myself. Perhaps I learn to be discrete. Perhaps I remind myself to never take anything for granted. Perhaps I put on my brave face. Perhaps I pretend to be stronger than I am. Perhaps I even say goodbye.
And then perhaps, I spend Friday nights thinking and writing about it all…
I guess there are no answers now. But no one can take this away from me. I was loved.
Thank you, for letting me see it.
I remember when we used to laugh like this everyday. I am glad we still bring this out in each other. Feeling very blessed, thank you for masking my abs hurt from laughing so hard.
[Day 48] still getting over the trip…
When a child trusts you, completely depend on you; puts their existence in your arms and ask you, a stranger, to comfort them… It is such a powerfully humbling experience that just… warms my heart and expands my soul.
My dear class:
I promise to help you obtain and refine the skills for learning and the tools to socialise; I’ll give you emotional and physical support and teach you to manage them yourself; I’ll celebrate your achievements with your family and be excited when you are; and I’ll provide you with a stimulating environment so you’re always having fun while learning. I promise, I will always always always be here to listen to your needs and be responsive to all the wonders you want to share, for these are your treasures, and I value them more than anything money can buy.
Thank you, my beautiful class of 2014. As challenging as it was this week for you to settle into the new room and new routines, I am so blessed to have you. Am completely in love with you already :)