I said to my family member: “You don’t have to hold on to all the things.” I heard the echo in my own ears and, to be honest, it sounded just like irony. I am getting better and better at the idea of letting go, but I still don’t excel at it. It’s a practice, after all.
This week, I let go of something that I had held on to for just that little bit too long — my teaching job. For a little over 2 years, I taught in the general massage therapy program of the school where i learned massage. Even though it was clear almost immediately that it was not the same school in philosophy, attitude, or almost anything I recalled, I hung on because I loved it. I loved the teaching and the students. I loved it so much I wrote about it, a lot. I loved it so much that I stayed, even when going to the school made me physically ill, and I could watch myself being a straight-up jerk to my boss.
But I could keep it all together in class. I could bring my best self for the students. That’s what it was all about anyway. Sure I could. Until I couldn’t. This last term, every day was a struggle against entropy. It took all my energy just to hold it together for the 4 hours I was in the classroom. By the end, I stopped trying to engage students who were slipping away and managed to give just enough to keep the rest of the class afloat.
This was my last week of teaching at that school. I got a colleague to cover my final class so I could sneak out quietly, avoiding the need to think too much about the finality of it. I wrote “So long, and thanks for all the fish” on the board and snuck out while everyone else was teaching.
I say I’ll never go back there to teach, that my teaching outlet is now focused on Oncology Massage and other Continuing Education classes, but I can’t be sure. I can’t be sure that I have really let it go. For now, though, I feel like it’s right to be away. There is a space opening up for all the other things I want to do, and I am gathering the courage to trust fall into that space.
I can’t fall, though, until I let it go.