Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme.

So, I love my new job. The staff is amazing. The lead teacher and I are super compatible, and have gotten to know each other better this week after school while she helps me learn the multitude of classroom procedures. 

The kids and I are getting to know each other, too, and they are adorable. I'm on the latest shift so I'm the last to arrive every morning. They have started walking up to me when I get there and greeting me in different ways. Most of them kind of shuffle by and look at me sheepishly until I smile and say good morning. A few of them have started coming up and giving me a quick hug, or chatting with me during their work time or on the playground. One of the youngest boys always hugs on me and chats with me any time I sit on the bench at recess in the afternoon. I happily give them "mom hugs" back, because they are little and away from their parents every day. By that I just mean, like, I hug them back with extra love in my heart that I hope they can feel. And I usually couple it with telling them to zip up their jackets for the hundredth time, because mom. They are really sweet.

The campus itself is cozy, a couple of bungalows they converted into a school, with lots of shade trees and birds in the outdoor environment. There are multiple gardens in the backyard. Several times a day I walk back and forth through them, carrying a wicker basket full of towels and things to and from the laundry room. Today it's rainy and cool enough to wear my Icelandic wool sweater, so walking through the garden is extra beautiful. 

In most jobs I've had, you have to show you're really working by displaying what we call "a sense of urgency." In other words, either rush around looking slightly frantic and stressed or pretend to rush around looking frantic and stressed. Here, it's the opposite. You show you're really working by walk slowly and peacefully, practicing nonviolent communication (like quietly saying, "You may keep your food on your plate during lunch," instead of screaming, "Stop throwing your food, you absolute barbarians!"), and sitting still to observe when things are quiet.

It's affecting the way I behave at home, too. Spills don't stress me out as much as they used to, I talk more quietly and specifically, and I'm able to calm myself down faster when something upsets me.. 

I get to be nurturing and care for children. I help give them a safe and cozy place to be themselves without judgment. I get to be kind of like a mom all day, only not quite, and I really like it. 

The past two weeks have been fraught with searing emotional pain. Pain I have to go through alone. No one can feel it but me. I have to let it hurt me over and over until I get used to it, and it fades, and one day it won't hurt anymore. 

What else am I supposed to do? This year has been too much. I've been away from my own life, lost on a kind of drug inside. Cut off the supply, and there's nothing else to do but come back and try to make up for all that time that only half of me was here. 

I feel like this place came along to anchor me and give me a safe place to call home-away-from-home just before I was about to need it the most. I'm grateful. 

What's going to happen? How does this end? Or does it? 


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