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faith is not ikea furniture

I’m currently working on a fiction story.

I’ve been working on it since 2014 when my faith and the church around me felt like it was crumbling.

I had just come home from the World Race which was this intense year of life where I pushed through things that I probably shouldn’t have just pushed through. I was carrying stories in my backpack that I didn’t need to be carrying.

I didn’t know how to start processing through the things I was carrying. I didn’t know what I felt.

All I knew is that my faith felt broken and I needed to figure out what to do about that.

So, I started writing.

My story begins with the end. It begins with the main character Vera, walking away from the church. Filling up boxes and moving away from a life that she had always lived because she realized that all it had done was hurt her.

She packed things up though because she wasn’t throwing everything away. She knew that there were parts of her that had been made with that life that she didn’t want to get rid of. She wasn’t going to throw the baby out with the bath water, but she was going to for sure change the water.

I wrote that story more throughout my time in Spain and over the years I’ve revisited it here and there.

This past three weeks I’ve worked on it every single day.

And it’s been bringing up stuff that I didn’t realize I held onto.

Here’s the bottom line: I didn’t realize the depths of my church/religious trauma.

Because this is the thing about writing fiction (at least for me); the story comes from the places deep inside that need to be made sense of. They come from the places that are twisty and the only way in which I can untwist them is to put them outside of myself and start writing.

Then, like the lights that you put on your Christmas tree, they slowly start to become a string of lights and not a tangled mess.

And you begin to see what lights are out from the last Christmas, places where the garland wouldn’t untangle or even maybe remnants of last year’s tree.

You can’t discover those things unless you sufficiently detangle the lights.

Sometimes you don’t realize something is broken until you put it next to something that isn’t broken.

Sometimes you don’t realize something hurt you until you start talking about it in a fictional sense and realize that you feel deeper about it.

When the storytelling begins to not be storytelling anymore.

I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do with the stories I have that feel heavy or who I might need to talk to.

I know I have situations and people from my past that I need to let go of. I know there are people I need to write letters to that I will never send.

I know that there are spaces where I was told to be quiet and I was and I still am.

There are things that I believed to be true, that aren’t.

There are words that have shamed me into believing I wasn’t enough that are all the way from when I was a teenager in high school youth group.

Or moments where they sat high schoolers in a room and had them watch a terrfying movie about “the rapture” so we lived in fear of not living up to a standard that was even there.

There are farfetched relationship ideals that I don’t believe I can ever reach too.

There are intense shameful parameters around sex that have warped my brain.

There has been church leadership that never supported me and told me to just listen to God.

Spiritual “authorities” that told me my depression was sinful and that I didn’t trust enough.

Men who told me I shouldn’t speak, or that I didn’t hear from God and that I should just stay in women’s ministry or children’s ministry.

And sometimes these things make me angry. Not all the time, just sometimes and in very specific instances.

But I’m choosing, as I chose for my main character, to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I just need fresh water.

Because there are things that I want to keep and hold.

And things I just don’t need anymore.

So Vera and I are walking this together. When I write out a scene I go back later and meet with it.

I see if we have anything in common. I see if it hits me between the eyes. And if it does? I sit with it. If it doesn’t? I still sit with it because it came from somewhere.

So that’s where I am today. I wrote this at the end of watching church from couch and I currently have worship music playing and it isn’t causing a reaction within me.

Do I still ferociously scroll past jesus tiktok? Yes. Do I swipe away from men who talk about ‘Jesus’ in their dating profile?

Also yes.

My faith has dramatically changed since Meghan the high schooler who sang on the worship team and went to youth group every Sunday night and went on mission trips to Mexico on spring break, and attending Christian concerts and music festivals.

I’ve been on mission trips to 13 countries and attending a Christian university, I’ve worked at three churches at one time.

And even though parts of those things hurt me and changed pieces of me in ways I might not get back, there are moments that I don’t want to give away either.

The beautiful thing about something breaking is that when you put it back together again you can choose different.

You can choose to see the pieces in a different way and create something new.

Faith is not a piece of Ikea furniture.

You can get creative.

So, this is where I live now. Continuing to write a fiction story that is helping me unearth and replant things, that’s help me to clean up and see the beauty in certain places.

Emptying my head of the Christmas lights to find out which are broken and deciding which strands can be fixed and which need to be tossed.

If you’re on this journey and need to throw all the lights out and start fresh- do it. If you need to be like me and replace the broken bulbs with new ones- do it.

There isn’t a science to building up what was broken.

Once again; faith is not a piece of Ikea furniture.

Be creative and kind to yourself.

With love,

Meg

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a slightly aggressive love letter

I have to admit when I got this idea this morning I internally rolled my eyes. Because as a single human on Valentine’s day it feels incredibly cliché.

But, sometimes the most clich’ things are the most true things so like…here we go.

A love letter to myself.

To the badass that is Meg Reeve,

Wow, honestly wow. I am having trouble articulating how far you’ve come, how much more comfortable you are in your own skin.

How, shockingly so, the last year has been a game changer.

I know you’re sitting there, alone, in your cozy chair with a mimosa that holds a half a bottle of champagne and you’re contemplating what takeout you’re going to treat yourself to, as you ponder the words you’re saying to yourself.

But man, look at you.

You’ve come a long from the girl who didn’t really know who she was in college, who was constantly questioning her worth inwardly, who just didn’t really know how the fierceness she held.

And I know. I know that comparison is a rough game. I know it pops up more than you’d like it to. I know sometimes that the comparison game hurts your soul.

But, man. You’re doing it.

I know that your closet is filled with clothes you’d never even thought yourself capable of wearing. You have own more two piece bathing suits then one pieces.

You are truly living up to the “wear what makes you feel good” mantra you came into all those years ago.

You’ve surrounded yourself with people who never cease to hype you up and cause you to be the self you never thought capable of being.

I’m proud of you.

And I adore the woman you’re becoming.

I know you’ve spent a lot of years saying you don’t need xyz, but not truly believing it. I know you’ve spent a lot of years choosing to be stronger than you have the capacity to be.

And even though you are still rolling your eyes at typing these words out something in you is so hoping that they won’t just be for you but for someone else who needs hyping up and a reminder that they are all they need.

You’ve taken a long time to come to that headspace. You aren’t perfect at it (but who is).  You’ve had points in your life that have hindered who you are and you’ve been fighting to get those pieces back.

I know that it hasn’t been easy. You’ve had to prove to yourself that you’re worth getting those things back.

Spoiler alert: you still are worth getting those things back.

So keep fucking going.

That’s all.

I love you more than I can say.

(and I know that hasn’t always been the case)

Now order yourself some fancy take out and watch the third “To all the boys I’ve loved” while curled up in your bed.

With love.

Always,

Meg

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This is who I am.

Sometimes being a single mid-thirties woman is really, really hard.

It’s funny. Before I could even type that sentence, I had to scroll back through my previous words and make sure that this is something I hadn’t said recently.

Because to talk about being single as a single person, is sort of taboo.

You can be seen as complaining or whining. People have all sorts of advice if you talk about it ever. They tell you all the things you should try (even though, they as a married human they might not have had to try said things to find their human).

Or they tell you that you are so lucky that you get to be single and wow look at all the things you can do.

Sometimes, (more than sometimes in my case) they tell you to lose weight and maybe that will help.

Or you get the person that tells you to trust Jesus more.

Or to not be so picky.

What I’m trying to say is that people have opinions.

And I’ve been realizing how much those opinions have caused me doubt and caused me to not believe in my self and caused me to step away from parts of who I am because it felt like too much.

Do I believe that there is a man out there for me who is going to open my doors because he knows it pisses me off and is going to force me to drink water and actually eat food because he loves me?

Yes. Absolutely.

But, if for some reason I don’t meet him for another ten years am I going to be ok?

Yes. Absolutely.

I’ve spent most of my adult life on the outskirts of other people’s relationships. Combined over the course of the last 14 years I have probably spent an entire wedding budget on weddings and baby showers.

I’ve dealt with, re-dealt with and dealt with again that currently I am no one’s first choice (this isn’t a bash to me, it’s just what it is.)

I’ve been hurt by men, I’ve been stood up, walked away from, made fun of.

I haven’t always been able to trust.

(I still don’t super trust, but those are other words for another day).

I am a self proclaimed strong independent woman who don’t need no man.

Yes, this seems like a stereotype and maybe it is. Maybe I come across as closed off and unwilling to get hurt again.

Maybe.

But it’s also just who I am. Not single, not out on a man hunt, but just a woman who gets up each day and takes care of herself and when her head hits the pillow she gets to lay across the whole bed and use all the blankets.

I’m grateful for the humans in my life who walk with me. For the ones that continually build me up. For the ones that remind me who I am despite how I sometimes speak to myself.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to an Instagram account called “The Naked Pastor” and he’s been talking about singleness in the church and one of his posts was about microagressions directed at single women. And one of them hit me in the eyes:

instagram: @nakedpastor

And I’ve realized how frequently in “the church” or in ministries I’ve been involved in that my singleness was because I was too much. I was too independent, too heavy, too busy. I’ve been told that I am/was single because I am too caring. That I give too much.

I’ve been told I was single because I don’t need to be in a relationship (and well, yes, that’s true- it’s just not up to someone else to decide that.).

I understand that this isn’t the only phase of life where people have opinions. Marriage, houses, babies. But, this is the one that I can obviously commentate on, so here I am.

I want to ask you that if you’ve ever told someone one of those things, it’s ok. If you’ve ever told me one of those things, or given me your opinion on my singleness: it’s ok.

We’re all human, we all at some part of our being just care.

And if you are a single 30-something women (or man), I want you to know I see you. I raise a glass to you.

You’re doing the damn thing.

PS: To everyone out there, please, for the love of God- don’t call my singleness brave.

Honest, I choose champagne

I miss writing in bars.

The title really hasn’t nothing to do with this blog. It’s just really true.

And I’m tired.

And I’m kind of sick of saying that.

Now, before you come at me with SO MANY obvious ways I could have more energy-I want you to know that I know them all. (please don’t come for me MLMs)

My tired isn’t a physical tired. (I mean it is. I am physically tired and no amount of espresso helps that.)

My soul is tired. My insides. And I know I’m not alone.

I don’t state I’m tired, or that I’ve had a long day, week or that 3 year olds are depleting the Miss Meg magic out of me for sympathy.

I state it because all I’ve wanted in my adult life is for other people to know that they aren’t alone.

That’s honestly in my unwritten mission statement that you, my friend or whomever is reading this, is not alone.

I spent a lot of my growing up feeling incredibly alone.

I was made fun of and picked on so much it was honestly easier to just be alone. If I had my 7th grade year book with me I could take a picture of a picture inside. I had on an oversized polo, my probably slightly permed hair was in a pony tail and my bangs were shaggy over my face and I had big glasses on and I was holding a book at lunch. I decided after too many lunches of feeling outcast from the people I knew from youth group that it was just easier to have a book with me from the library and find a quiet corridor that didn’t have a lot of people that normally passed by and eat my lunch alone.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve obviously come out of my shell more, I’ve gained and lost friends and gained some back again. I have beautiful people in my life from all walks.

But, every once and awhile that lonely feeling cuts through me and I see that 7th grade girl who was never anyone’s first choice. I see a someone who lived as a perpetual third wheel. I see someone who was never enough.

I see someone who has this tiny voice in the back of her brain that tells her that this will be the thing, this is the thing where they leave. This tiny voice that reminds me that I am not the first choice. I am just good old reliable single Meghan who will always be there.

And once again; I don’t say for sympathy or for “oh that’s not true” (I know it’s not true, it just FEELS true in my brain sometimes).

I say it, for the reminder that whatever narrative plays in your brain from past or current situations that you believe states something about who you are is not who you are.

You are not the lies that come from the actions other people have done to you.

And I know.

I know believing those lies is so much easier than forcing them away.

Believing that you were hurt because of not being enough or because you did something to cause that person to act that way is so much easier.

Believing that people will run away like the girls did in fifth grade and will talk behind your back in high school is easier than getting hurt again.

Believing that we can never be more than we are is easier than trying to be more than we are.

Believing you are alone or single or without is much easier than allowing yourself to be loved.

And being invisible is much easier than being seen.

So…what do we do?

This morning my pastor brought up questions. Questions we ask God, questions we ask ourselves, each other- etc. But he also asked what questions is God asking you.

Now, I’m going to be honest, my moments with God and time in prayer is few and far between. I’m a questioner, a challenger and many other things in those conversations. I struggle with having a hope for a God that people use for hate. Because, that isn’t my Jesus and it’s something that’s a current ongoing conversation in my brain and heart.

But, clear as day, this morning I heard. “Well, will you keep going?”

And I thought for a moment- maybe it’s in terms of current life. Maybe it was my ability to keep doing the damn thing, day in and out. Even when I don’t feel like a badass preschool teacher. Even when I don’t feel like I have any Miss Meg magic. Even when I feel like I’m doing everything but my job.

As I began writing these words that apparently had a life of their own, I heard it again: “Well, will you keep going?”

Sometimes (a lot of the times) I feel as if I am too much. Like, people don’t want to walk along this with me and people know they aren’t alone and I should just stop wasting words.

So, will I keep going?

I can see myself not always being a Miss Meg.

I can see myself not always being in Washington.

I can see myself (this is a stretch) not always being single.

But, for the life of me, I cannot see myself choosing to bring myself to a place where I stop reminding people they aren’t alone.

I cannot see myself coming to a place where I stop putting pieces of myself out there in an effort for even just one person to know they aren’t alone.

And I can state without a doubt that you have things inside of you that you’ve stepped back from or though t was too much or didn’t want to do anymore because you felt it has no point.

It has a point.

It’s who you are.

It’s as simple and complicated as that.

So, I guess I pose my question from God to you.

Will you keep going?

And I really, really hope you do.

With love,

Meg

back to the barre, Honest

Dear 2021: No, I’m good, thank you.

I’m sitting here plopping back and forth between two very distinctly different topics. One a soap box and one more personal.

Because ye gods, it’s been a frickin week.

I have a lot of anger, hurt and sadness. It’s not just from what’s happening in our world, though that’s a part of it. But, I think that I’m going to back away from the soap box and let that simmer a minute.

I had a moment this week where something happened in what felt like an instance and I’ve now had in the back of my head since said moment a couple tricky little sentence that used to haunt me much more than they do now.

I’m sure you’ve heard these sentences, these questions. I’m sure they have danced around your brain once or twice.

It’s “Did I not do enough?”

And then the follow-up: “Was what I did, what I do even worth it?”.

I’m a feeler, I’m a listener. I’m someone who tries to extend more grace than I think I’m capable of.

I desire for others to be better for themselves and I want people to know they can succeed. I want to encourage those around me. I want to help them find ways to show up for themselves.

I want to step back and watch them do all the things for themselves.

So, after this week, I had to take a moment to ask myself why.

And I as I sit here comfy on my couch, thinking about it and what I’ve learned in my life, and thinking about my word of the year (shift). I realize that this is one place I need to shift my thinking.

Shift is for a lot of things honestly. It’s a little aggravating, it’s a little bit empowering.

It’s active.

It’s something I can put into motion from a lot of different places.

I get told frequently; at times weekly that I need to have the amount of grace for myself as I have for other people.

I get reminded to “take care of myself” and to “rest”.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been told repetitively to believe in myself like I believe in others.

Believing in yourself is a weird thing.

So, in the summer of 2020 I applied for a job.

It was a remote job that involved writing content for a company that deals in early childhood development. The job ad literally flew off the screen at me with the qualifications being a BA in English and early childhood development experience.

Umm, hi. What?

I submitted a resume and a cover letter and felt hopeful.

This job was made for me, right?

I had a phone interview the day before we went on our summer family vacation and I was stoked to leave on vacation after this interview because maybe that would cultivate some hope that I was lacking.

After the 30-minute phone interview I felt no hope. I felt like I had no writing experience, that all my EC knowledge was trash and that I wasn’t good enough. They asked me to write a spec, but before I could send said spec in, they let me know that I didn’t need to and they were going another way.

The light, the momentary spark I felt was gone.

I had a moment of “this is why we can’t have nice things”.

“This is why I don’t believe in myself.”

And I KNOW that sounds incredibly dramatic for one job, one time, one moment.

But, in all reality it’s probably something that holds me back more than I’d like to admit.

One of the things I’d like to do is shift back to believing in myself.

I still want to believe in others like I do. I still want to choose to show up for other people in a way that reminds them that they can do the damn thing.

I just think it’s time to remember that I can do the damn thing.

And just maybe, that will proof to other people that I can do it.

Take my bestie Tori. She is CRUSHING that taking care of her body thing. And each week, with each small victory she has, I am also reminded that I can accomplish things that feel hard too.

Her choosing herself reminds me to do so.

I want to choose belief in myself to remind others they can too.

So, even though this week I was hit with a dump truck of “you didn’t do enough” I am reminded that I did what I was supposed to do. I chose belief and encouragement and grace.

I am choosing to shift back from what I maybe didn’t do, to what I know I did.

And I’m choosing this year to believe I can do the damn thing.

And not just to believe, but to do it.

At the end of this year, I want to look back and see a sea of words that reminds me and shows me that I believed in myself.

How will you believe in yourself this year?

(And please, remember that believing in yourself is a daily choice. And it’s choosing to be active in that belief.)

For me being in active in that belief is as hard and simple as choosing to be words on a page in the form of a story that’s been in my head and scattered on papers for 7 years.

That’s how I’m going to believe this year.

That’s how I’m going to shift.

We can do it.

I believe in us.

And, most importantly, I believe in myself.

back to the barre, Honest

I’m quitting.

It’s true.

I’m quitting in 2021.

And it’s a funny thought because I worked so hard this last year to not quit. I worked so hard to show up and to be present and to work through the tears and the panic and the exhaustion.

I worked so hard not to quit my life.

I worked hard not to quit my relationships.

Basically I worked really hard not to give up this year.

And I didn’t.

I’m going to be completely honest though: I’m kind of done with working so hard not to give up.

It’s exhausting, it’s taxing and honestly it’s just not worth it.

Why would I want to fight so hard to hold something together that might not even be worth it?

Here’s the thing: I’m not sure if I know how to quit. I’m not sure I know what I need or where I’m going, but I do know that I have picked up parts of myself in the last year that I really love and there isn’t space for those things to be in the same space as all the things I need to quit.

It’s a little terrifying. Making some distinctions and drawing lines and figuring out what I want to lend my time to even more than I ever have.

It seems vague but I think that we don’t always know the path we are walking on- we just must keep walking on it.

When I was in Ukraine so many years ago spending time around a group of Nigerian med students, one of them said something that has stuck with me all these years. He was talking about how he and his peers were discussing what it would be when they left the Ukraine. He made the point to say that he wouldn’t be going BACK to Nigeria. He wasn’t the same, the place he was going wasn’t the same. He couldn’t go back to it. He could only go forward home.

That’s sort of how I feel about 2021.

I have so many things that I picked up in 2020. Some I loved, some I didn’t. I have things I lost, things I cherish.

But I’m not going back into myself.

I’m moving forward into 2021 in so many ways. The year has already started a little topsy turvy but we’re going to roll with and keep moving down the path that I’m going.

I’m quitting the things that don’t give me life. That cause me to run away from myself. That cause me to lack hope.

I’m quitting the things that aren’t me.

I’m quitting in 2021.

So…watch this space.

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You did it.

I had an entire collection of words about why I am currently crying. There are a lot of reasons; heartache, missed moments, missed hugs, missed curtain calls, missed Junapera.

But, I realized something: right now, the overwhelming emotions and feels I have are not actually sadness.

They might be a little bit of grief, a little heartache.

You know, 2020 norm.

The words though that are filling my brain and growing larger and larger so to be seen and heard are as follows:

Hope and strength.

Woof.

My bestie Tori said something back in the 5th or 6th month of March that comes back into my brain frequently. She said that hope feels dangerous.

And as we start to step into the next calendar year with the knowledge that nothing will really change when the clock strikes midnight I need to choose more than I believe I have the ability to do so: to hope anyway.

I need to choose hope and be active in believing that good things will happen.

That good is still true.

I have the knowledge that wishing for good doesn’t mean that not good won’t happen: but choosing to believe that good is still true is choosing to believe that it can happen in the same span of time. That things that don’t feel good aren’t forever and that things that are good can still come.

And the second I feel is this: strong.

If you know me, you know that I detest the world resilient.  Mostly in regards to children and to how much they are capable of withstanding. But, that’s some other words for another day.

I’ve realized that I am strong and resilient, and I can handle disappointment and sadness and do hard things in spite of how my insides feel.

I can function with high amounts of anxiety and I can keep fucking going even when all I want to do is stop.

I garnered strength for myself, for my people, for my tiny humans this year. I also borrowed strength from all of them as well.   

But I cannot walk out of 2020 without admitting to the fact that I am stronger.

And I think that’s what I want to leave you with: you are stronger. You might not feel it. You might not be able to pinpoint the moments, but damn it, you are.

You might feel as if this year chewed you up and spit you out. You might have lost a lot. You might have quit here or there.

You might have drank too much, or ate too much, or binged watched.

You might feel like you failed (trust me, I know the feeling), but I want to remind you that you are stronger.

At the beginning of this year I referenced “The Labyrinth” (yes with David Bowie) and this is what I said:

“The road to worthy is like the movie The Labyrinth. It’s speckled with twists and turns and things and people and creatures trying to move you off course. There’s the little wormy things trying to invite in you in for tea so you forget that you are trying to save your baby brother and in all reality save yourself.

This season terrifies me a little. Just like David Bowie terrified in the Labyrinth.
I was freaked out and given the heebies jeebies by the weird 80s vibes of the Labyrinth- but I had to keep watching.
I’m a little weirded out by the creatures I might find along the way. The words, thoughts, and emotions that have and will distracted me and led me off my path because they did and still do feel right.
This next year freaks me out because, in all reality, this momentary lapse of crazy in referencing the Labyrinth has just cemented the fact that this year is about movement.
You can’t get through a maze if you don’t keep fucking going.”

I want you to remember that you can’t get through a maze unless you keep going.

And guess what? No matter how you feel you did, or what you did or didn’t accomplish, you got through this Labyrinth that is 2020.

You are stronger. And you know you can do it.

Because you did.

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

It FEELS like a lot.

I’ve realized lately it feels as if my anxiety is winning.

I know it’s not, but it FEELS like it is.

And I’ve been trying to figure out why that is. Why does it feel for every five steps I move forward the sucker punch takes me back ten?

Why does it feel as if I can do 9 things right but the 10th time puts me underwater?

And I’m wonder do you feel the same?

Do you feel as if you are unable to get ahead or celebrate the small victories?

Do your joys that you experience feel like things you can’t share because everyone around you feels like they are losing battles?

Are you the friend that’s losing a battle?

I’ve had a few friends have some really exciting things happen over the last week and it makes me PUMPED when they share it.

Because we can’t find celebration for ourselves these days unless we see celebration.

We can’t figure out how to find joy and hope unless we see it.

There is a shouting match happening in the world right now. 

And it’s exhausting.

It’s like with my tiny humans. If I have a staff who tries to just get louder to shout over the kids who are being loud I let them know it doesn’t work.

And it’s gonna drive you absolutely insane.

I had something happening the other day where there was loud chaos, no one could pick a place to play, I was just trying to clean up and I realized me cleaning up the mess wasn’t helping.

So, I used my loud teacher voice and stated “I AM GOING TO READ THIS SPOOOOOOKY BOOK” (my tiny humans are all about spooky books right now).

I sat on the floor of my library and at first just started leafing through the book.

Then one tiny human came over and I started reading it.

By the end of the story I had 7 of my ten kids in the library. 

Then we finished the book and I re-asked them where they wanted to play and they chose an area, I pulled out some new toys and we went back about our day.

There are a lot of things that need to be said right now (#govote). There is a lot of energy in the air that isn’t helpful.

There is a lot of the inability to feel as if we aren’t allowed to be joyful.

But damn, do we need it.

And joy isn’t easy.

And it sometimes feels like succumbing to anxiety is easier.

But sometimes we have to stop yelling at the chaos and we have to sit down and read a spooky book and let the chaos settle.

And yes, sometimes we have to fight.

I think right now we are more prone to fight.

I know I am.

If I don’t fight I feel like my body might just give up on me.

But I also know the more that I hear others celebration and joy I get more ability to fight.

I think we’ve stopped sharing joy because it feels wrong.

I think I’ve started feeling like anxiety is winning because it feels like celebration is losing.

It feels like we are shouting at the chaos when instead we just need to tell a story. It can be someone else’s story or even a spooooooky story. 

Stories don’t have to be celebratory but the more we speak out our own darkness the more it isn’t able to stay because we keep shining light on it. 

So, what I want you to do is (if you’ve gotten to the bottom of these words) to share a joy, a celebration, something exciting that has happened this week no matter how small it seems to you.

And lastly: if it feels like anxiety is winning, if depression and darkness is winning- I get you and also,

No, it’s not.

I can promise you that right now.

You are more than it.

It’s still valid, it’s there- but it’s not winning.

Uncategorized

But, I am a teacher.

Almost two years ago now I wrote a piece called “Don’t call it daycare”. It outlined my day, everything I do and how I am in fact a teacher.

This year, over the course of this pandemic, I’ve been told by all the world outside of my little classroom bubble a lot of mixed messages.

My center has been open the entirety of 2020. Our class sizes have ebbed and flowed, our bleach usage has gone up and we had a glorious season of time where we had turkey burgers and chicken nuggets at lunch.

We’ve been told we’re essential, we’ve been told we’re needed, we’ve been told they couldn’t do it without us.

We’ve been told to try to social distance three-year olds and to not hug them when they fall. We’ve been wearing cloth masks (that I now own about 12-15 of) and doing circle time, singing songs and telling stories.

We’ve watched parents cry before they pick up their kids, we’ve seen kids have tantrums they haven’t ever had, and we’ve missed out on the lives of those who haven’t come back.

But then we were told we were germ factories, we were told we weren’t teachers, we shouldn’t have opinions, we were called daycare over and over.

And then teachers didn’t want to come back to school without all the proper PPE (which rightly so), but then I saw post after post about “daycares” being open so why couldn’t schools.

And more than I ever have in my life, I’ve been told that I am not a teacher.

We’ve been doing a really damn hard thing since March.

And I’m not at all disregarding the hard things K-12 teachers have been doing. I’ve sent venmo’s to friends who are teachers and donated from their amazon lists and sent them coffee cards.

What I am saying is that I applied for a new job in July and was so excited to no longer in be in a profession where I felt so underappreciated by the outside world.

And when they came back after a preliminary phone interview and said thanks but no thanks, I was crushed.

I was crushed for a lot of reasons: it was a writing job that used my child development knowledge, it was remote, and, in all honesty, it would have been a needed change.

But apparently it wasn’t where my 2020 story was supposed to go.

I am so grateful that in the story of 2020 in the lives of so many of my families I will have a bookmarked spot. As hard as it has been, mostly mental health wise, I know that I am a human that can do hard things like I did and am doing and that I am a constant stability in the lives of my tiny humans. I am grateful for our families and for my boss and that we’ve done this together to the best of our abilities as we too have been building the plane as we flew it.

But the inability to feel as if I am a teacher is really damn hard. To feel that I don’t have a voice regarding being a teacher and in feeling like what I do isn’t enough.

I’m not writing all of this to get accolades or to blame.

I’m writing it because it makes me sad, angry and everything emotion in between.

I’m writing it because I’m not the only one who feels this way.

And I’m writing it because early learning teachers deserve better.

That’s all.

Honest

Rain don’t change the sun.

I don’t want to write about fall.

I don’t want to write about things dying to make room for new life.

I don’t want to write about the darkness that comes and seemingly hides the light.

I don’t want to write about that in 2020 I feel like fall is going to break me into smithereens.

I don’t want to write about fall.

Fall seems like the time the standard basic white girl thrives.

I am not that basic apparently (though I am by trade, a basic white girl).

Fall feels like a season I can never get ahead of quick enough before it’s time to put up a Christmas tree.

Fall is when I crashed and burned about 10 years ago. To which you probably say, “Meg, it was ten years ago, why does it matter”.

Because when you hit rock bottom it seemingly leaves a mark and I’m feeling that mark these days (thanks 2020). When you hit rock bottom, and sometimes dabble in the depths every now and then and also when it’s 2020, you can easily get a little scared that with every turn and every new thing that pops up on the radar that you might get shoved down again.

Jesus, that sounds depressing I know.

But I think I want to write this because I really want to articulate how hard it is sometimes to find the thing that brightens up the darkness in words I write.

It is hard to find the turning point, to find look ahead to find the place where the world finally fucking turns. I’m a human who’s going to strive to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m not going to say everything is puppies, rainbows and chip bags fuller of chips than air.

I am just going to say sometimes it is hard and dark and tearful.

And in those moments, it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to mourn and to let things die.

We don’t have to bring everything back to life.

If things keep coming back to life, we might not have room for the new thing. If we keep forcing something back to life, we aren’t ever going to see what our life is like without it.

If we don’t have fall, we can’t eventually have spring.

(I inwardly groaned at myself for that line).

I think, what I’m trying to say, even though I don’t love pumpkin spice lattes, I only go ham on Halloween because I have been plopped into a group of theater humans and that as much as I do appreciate the aesthetics of a fall wardrobe I get too warm in scarves and sweaters, I am going to try to be ok with all the things that need to die in fall.

 I am going to be ok with the tears I might cry and the literal darkness that winds its way toward us with a quicker rate than I’d like (like, fall came AGGRESSIVELY last week).

I am going to be ok with things dying even though it’s going to hurt.

I’m going to remember that it’s not the same fall every year and that good things can come from fall.

I’m going to remember that something good will come even when I don’t know if I necessarily believe that anymore.

And I want YOU to remember that you aren’t alone if the words above all struck somewhat of a chord with you.

I want to leave you with the set of lyrics that the title of this is from. It’s from the song “Morning Comes” by Delta Rae

Rain don’t change the sun.

Jealous is the night when the morning comes.

And it ALWAYS comes.

So no, I didn’t want to write about fall;

But I did, anyway.