Sunday, March 20, 2016

Writing for Nerdy Book Club & Four Authors Who Push Me to Dare Greatly

My 6:31 screenshot so I could remind myself later, no you
weren't dreaming, this actually happened!
In what now seems absolutely surreal, I woke up a few weeks ago to a milestone I never thought I'd achieve, my name on a Nerdy Book Club byline.

Already, by 6:30 a.m. my phone was lighting up with a flurry of new twitter followers, people sharing on Facebook, commenting, and to my pleasant surprise none of my worst fears (people telling me it was absolute crap) came true. It was shared over 1,000 times from their website, hundreds of times on Facebook, and somehow, no negative Internet hatred had yet rung down upon me.

In the weeks since I've still been processing that something could actually go well and not be a total disaster. As humans, as women, and as teachers, we often are our own worst critics. From trying a lesson that doesn't go as planned, to not having all students meet that goal we set out to -- it's so easy for us to blame ourselves and spiral into negative spaces. However, one of the many powerful things about teaching as a profession is that we are always learning, for our students, for ourselves, and for our school communities.

With this is mind, over the past year, I've been working on trying to portion out a larger percentage of that learning energy for myself too, feeding my own soul and doing what makes me feel most alive. A big part of that has been working up the courage to prioritize myself, which, not surprisingly, is making me more effective in my classroom as well.

From taking the #100daysofrealfood challenge with my boyfriend to reignite my love of cooking and help ourselves get healthier, to getting back into running, to gardening, it's been a good year of working on my own personal growth. However, my last goal seemed the scariest: writing. It's something I've wanted to do since childhood. (Just ask my mother, she loves telling the story of my elementary school days, when I, forever writing, even wrote a book for my dentist and gave it to him). Writing has been a constant wish, but never something I'd gotten up the courage to do. The voice in my head kicks in that it's not good enough, it's not worth writing because no one will ever want to read it anyway.