Stranger

Mental Health

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Lately, I’ve been so entrenched in the details of the reality I’m trying to manifest that the reality I’m currently living in has started to feel a little…strange. Or maybe I’m what’s strange. Either way something has changed and at first it was quite startling.

Yesterday, I talked some about how important my environment is to my creativity, and honestly, to my overall mental health. So obviously, my classroom is pretty cozy. There are lamps and twinkly lights everywhere. The wall space above my desk is covered in cool art and wall hangings and my windows are framed by some awesome geometric curtains.

I tried to create a space where I feel comfortable. Since I teach ESL, I receive new students all year long. I like to think that the environment I’ve created makes those newcomers feel comfortable too. I can only imagine how terrifying the first day of school in a different country can be. I try to use the design elements in my classroom to communicate as much positivity, security, and inclusivity as possible.

Usually, when I walk into my room, seeing those elements makes me happy. But yesterday, when I turned on my classroom lights after a long three-day weekend, I had this incredibly odd feeling. Like I was a stranger entering a space that didn’t belong to me.

I didn’t feel upset or angry or really any negative feelings at all. I felt detached, maybe even a little confused. Almost like waking up from amnesia.

It got me thinking about where my head’s been at for the past several weeks. My practice hasn’t been perfect. Those fears and doubts still creep in now and then. But I have been extremely dedicated to trying to stay positive and take action where I can to manifest the things I want.

And I’m starting to believe that’s how this whole thing works. I felt strange stepping into my classroom yesterday because my mind was already living in the future. In that reality I am a writer and full-time creative. In that reality I am content and stress-free. Teaching is the opposite of stress-free. In fact, the more overworked and overwhelmed you are the more you are rewarded–usually with more work.

Now I have these two realities, almost these two different people, yanking me around in this tug-of-war. Eventually, one of them is going to have to win. I want to be ready to make that decision. I want to be sure. If that means getting uncomfortable, I have to be willing to endure that too.

In the meantime, I am incredibly grateful that the work I do is meaningful and makes a difference. It might not be what I’m meant to do forever but my classroom is not a cage. It’s more of a…chrysalis. A place to grow and change. But also a place I’ll eventually have to break through if I want to discover my true potential.

Maybe that’s what comfort zones are for. Barriers we break through in order to fortify our minds and find our gifts. Maybe we should keep that in mind the next time we feel the urge to build a nest, whether that’s decorating our classroom to the nines or renovating our home. The purpose of the nest isn’t to protect us from all of the dangers of the outside world. The purpose is to provide us with temporary safety while we’re still learning to fly.

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