Friday, June 30, 2017

i'm going back to junior high

Junior High.
A time of sweaty arm pits and deep fear.
I never thought I would revisit it.
I was glad to see it go.

And yet in approximately 6 weeks, I will be entering those hormone laden halls once again.
This time as a teacher.
An 8th grade lit & creative writing teacher.
Can you believe it?
I know. Me, either.

I am super excited! (Writing! Yay!)
And already sweaty. (There you are, deep fear. How have you been doing all these years?)
This fight or flight response is what my body does any time I do anything out of my comfort zone.
Pitching new book ideas? Speaking in public? Hanging out with new people I don't know? 
Sweat galore.

I will be doing all three of these things in my classes.
Pitching new ideas. Speaking in public. Hanging out with new people I don't know.

I will be keeping Dove Ultimate Go Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena Scent Deodorant in business.
I will be buying a case or 7 in anticipation of Back to School Night.

Jesus has a way of bringing our dreams full circle in very unpredictable ways. 
I discovered my love of writing in junior high.
I wrote a lot of stories about girls who got to wear purple eye shadow and teal colored mascara.
Mostly because it was the 80's...
and I was forbidden to wear  eye shadow and mascara until high school.
I poured all of my angst and awkwardness into those stories and shared them with my friends.
Writing became my creative outlet. The one place as a young person that I felt safe.

And here I am, decades later, getting the opportunity to help young people discover
the love of writing.
Unleashing dreams and potential. Offering a space of creativity. (Along with a side of homework.)
And I am pretty sure that purple eye shadow and teal mascara are a thing again.
What are the odds?

I am planning a million fun things that I want to do with these kids.
So many good books to many journal entries to little time.
My creative juices are already flowing.

But back to my sweating issues.

When I started looking for a job this past year, I wasn't even thinking of teaching.
I was looking into admin work and writing content for large companies.
Jesus had other ideas.

He likes putting us in places where we have to lean in to Him.
Where we know we can't do it on our own.
Where we recognize that He is in charge and that He is THE ONLY ONE who can get us through.
(Class room management, anyone?)

Jesus tends to fling open doors of opportunity that make us more than a little sweaty.
Opportunities where fear grips the backs of  our throats and sets our hearts pounding in our chests.
Then He grins at us and says,
"Do you trust me? Because together we can do this."

So this is my new adventure.
As my mother-in-law would say, "Please pray heavy."
Just typing this, I am already sweating.

But I am planning on wearing teal mascara on the first day of school.
I think that will help.
Junior High? Here I come.


apriljanetjones said...

So excited for you, Susanna. That's awesome! You're going to love it and of course, you will be AMAZING!!! Trust me when I tell you, this will bring on a whole new level of 'real-life' writing opportunities for you personally. Yaaayyyy!!!

Deborah Minter said...


owen said...

I am jealous of the students who will be in your classes! Gr. 8 is not anyone's best year at school - a hard age all round. Your enthusiasm, compassion, and wisdom will provide a safe place for them. Your sense of humour will make them rush to be there! May many discover their passion for writing with you, next year.