Monday, December 5, 2016

Why Not?

My title is indicative of my attitude about a month ago, when, while in the middle of not only Student Teaching, but NaNo as well, I agreed to also try to fit volunteer soccer coaching into the mix. Because why not? I mean, who needs time at home to do work?

All joking about my insane schedule aside, I actually said yes to the offer because I missed doing things that I love. Not that I don't love teaching. I do. Every time I'm at the front of the classroom or working with students, I'm pretty stoked about it. It feels like the payoff for surviving on peanuts doing anything and everything I could to just be around kids, teaching kids, even if they weren't the age group or subject matter I'm ending up it.

Every single time that I've gotten a job that didn't involve working with kids in one way or another it has petered out within a few months, tops. I think the longest I've made it since graduation college was 5 months in a job without kids. It's either been kids or (often) nothing the rest of the time. And really, it's because nothing else drives me like that possibility for life transformation. The prospect of being "that person" for even one student, the person who said something that changed how they think about the world or helped them understand something... It's a heady idea to think about.

Coaching soccer is my other happy place. Or rather, my happy place has always been a soccer field in some way, shape or form. The first practice I went to was actually on Election Night, and despite all the stress of the day for me and many of my friends, being out on the soccer field was like the best anti-depressant ever. It is a place where I can give my brain a break from focusing on all the things about my life that are out of my control, and focus instead on the sights and sounds of drills, or a game being played. I lose myself, in a good way, and I missed it when I was away from the game.

Now, a month later, I'm finally starting to learn some things. Learn the girl's names, learn what a coach actually does (because I really had no clue), learn the differences in gameplay and expectations between the different levels of play, learn all those nuances of the team and the relationships, and the league.

Who cares that I could have actual evenings at home if I wasn't doing this? I really don't right now. I was suffocating under a blanket of JUST SCHOOL AND WORK for months, and I was making it, but I didn't have any activities that actually gave me some sort of outlet and it was killing me. Now I've gotten another NaNo, and the associated temporary social life that helped breathe a breath of life into my weariness. I've gotten into a place where I get to know more people in the community, something I've done a stunningly poor job at since I moved to this area. I've gotten a place where for an hour and a half most weeknights I can give my brain a break from the constant chatter of to-do lists and lesson plans and scheduling time into my life to grade papers and...

And it's wonderful.

Until tomorrow.

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