The Only Way Out is Through

So that semester happened.

It’s been a while since I posted. That isn’t because nothing has happened, but because too much has. I got an instructorship at a university in my hometown this year (next semester too – but it should be less busy and so there will be more regular posting). Teaching is something I love, a lot. This semester was challenging as I was teaching myself a lot of material, and also learning how to make things like Power Point presentations (ugh, I know, but also accessibility, so) and how to teach to a 200 person class (wtf lol omg).

I didn’t do these things perfectly, I still have a lot to learn, but I had a great time doing it. It was busy, it was uplifting, it was inspiring, and exhausting. I learn so much when I teach. I love it so, so much.

It also helped me retrieve something of myself. I also dated this semester – three lovely people, and all of those things have ended (well, mostly) for various and sundry reasons. All amicably, as far as I know anyway. And these endings make me sad, but I also think they are, ultimately, for the best.

And, if I’m honest, I’m still not over my last serious relationship. The previous post was a letter I wrote to the person who, in all my 35 years on this planet, has managed to do something that basically no one else has: he broke my heart.

I’ve been hurt before, sure. I have had my fair share of disappointments and frustrations in love. But I don’t think anyone has ever broken my heart the way that this man did, and I’m not gonna lie, it blindsided me. It’s been over a year now, and though progress has been made, certainly, I’m still pulling myself out of the rubbish pile of self-loathing and sadness and frustration and anger.

I did not expect it to take this long. I am angry it has taken this long, that it’s still taking me this long. I want to just be over it already. Don’t get me wrong: not for one second do I think I made a mistake breaking up with that person. That decision was for the best. That is what is so bloody confusing about it: to know, intellectually, that something was the right decision, and yet emotionally this break up threw me for the biggest romantic loop of my life. I still don’t know quite what to make of it. I still don’t know how to talk about it. Or if I should continue to talk about it on here, though I suppose the letter of my previous post got as real as I can possible get, so.

But yeah. Teaching did something for me this semester. It forced me to dig back down inside myself, to find the stuff I have to give to others, to remember how much I love pedagogy, how much I love figuring out what kind of teacher I want to be, and remembering how goddamned hard it is to constantly bring the best of myself to teaching, and how that means reflecting on what it is to learn, to imagine how others who aren’t naturally inclined to philosophy learn, and to examine my own understanding of, well, most things.

I found something in myself that I love again this semester. And it was a nice reminder that even when things seem overwhelming, the only way forward is to keep going, one step at a time. There were times I felt overwhelmed by all I had to learn, all I had to teach myself, all the lectures I had to write and how to write them and constantly trying to resist being crushed under the weight of it. But there are no shortcuts. There is no way of diverting the weighty stuff of life. The only way out is through.

And so it goes. More posts soon to come.