I occasionally gripe about Facebook, but I was SO grateful for it yesterday. Deep within the cloud of stress that was apparently passing over most of California, and in a life-determining-test-tomorrow storm front, I became one of those people I normally hate on Facebook. I threw up a cry for help.
You see….I got to work (teaching junior high) and I started to cry. I couldn’t stop. Before I even walked into my classroom, something heavy and dark had wrapped around my shoulders and I felt suffocated. Preparing for this test has made me question my intelligence and my decision to pursue teaching as a career. Combined with waking up yesterday morning and feeling like I was bleeding out (sorry, kinda graphic, but realistic) with shooting cramps through my legs..I wasn’t sure I could face the children and pretend to be happy and full of knowledge.
Luckily, because I teach middle school, they don’t bat at eye at someone crying. This is because we see it literally all day every day. Girls run out of the room constantly crying about something. Boys cry and pretend its their allergies. But seeing your teacher cry is a little different….my students start to cry and crawl into my arms with a hug and suggest googling different Youtube videos they are sure will make me laugh. And I usually get over it and am fine.
But I couldn’t pull it together for some reason. It was one of those Cries where you are almost laughing as you are crying, and you feel like a crazy person, because people ask you “what’s wrong?” and you have to say “I don’t really know!” as you laugh-sob-hiccup your way through the day. It’s extremely attractive. Every time I thought I had it under control, someone new would ask “What’s wrong?” and started the wailing and gnashing of teeth all over again.
And so on my status update, in a moment of weakness I am grateful for, I said:
“i need some prayers and love. i can’t stop crying and i dont know why. i think its the stress. silver lining is that im at work, teaching junior highers, who can totally relate to inexplicable mood swings.”
Then I splashed cold water on my face and taught two more Latin classes, with only a tiny quiver in the chin and a few tears.
When I sat down to check my phone, I had to cry again. But this time it was happy. Because so many nice people had almost instantly responded with comments, texts, and phone calls of love, encouragement, and prayers. It was overwhelming. I thought maybe just my sisters would reply to my status, but it was people from church, high school, college, work. Some I haven’t actually talked to in a really long time.
The heavy, dark thing around my shoulders started to feel lighter. I ate several handfuls of chocolate candy, and I started to feel a little smilier. I got some pint-sized student hugs, and could laugh at myself. When I started to sink back down, I went and reread the love notes. I became very thankful for the network of friends that I do have, that I am able to reach out for help when I need it, and people are lovely enough to reach right back.
My aunt reminded me that I’ve been taking care of many needy students, and their many needy parents, and my silly house and roommates, going to school and prepping for this test…but when I come home, no one is there to take care of Rachel. Ke$ha swims around happy to see me, but I’m pretty alone after 3:30pm every day.
I like to think that I am very independent;I can take care of myself, I got it. Even when I want help, I like to say “I got it.” I hate throwing up that white flag and reaching out for love and attention. I don’t want to seem weak. Why do we do that? Why do we think we must forge ahead on our own? Why are we afraid to show our weaknesses and fears? We are meant to live in community and love one another. No one can live this life alone. We aren’t supposed to be strong enough. We’re supposed to reach out to one another.
I’m glad I weaked-out on Facebook yesterday. I’m still floating on the prayers and love. Thank you to those who wrote the sweet words. I would do that for you. That’s what friends are for.
Today I stayed home and did some last minute studying. I took a lovely walk in the park, (on the gravel made of sedimentary rock) and God let me see a lot of duck butts up in the air in my pond, which always cracks me up. I love a good duck butt. I saw a butterfly, and I told him about his life cycle. I saw a hawk, and I told him he was a tertiary consumer. And my garden, which has been rather disappointing this year, revealed a perfectly round, red, adorable tomato for me. I told my dear tomato about the photosynthesis that created him.
I googled “foods that are good for your brain” and I actually have a lot in my house, which is surprising considering my $100 Dare, so I ate some and now I am getting ready to watch “Tangled” and read “Anne of Avonlea” before I go to sleep to get up at 5:45. I’ll be in Oakland at 7:30 (thanks for the ride, Jenna! #awesomesister) and the test is five hours.
And then its done! And then its done.
And I promise I will go back to “Happy Rachel” (ry says she misses her!). But even then….I wouldn’t mind the love and prayers. And I will be full in spirit again, and able to pass them back to you.