Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Learning to not be alone.

Breaks from school are often not really breaks for me. Typically this means that I travel somewhere with my family, and spend every waking moment with them for a week. This is a startling departure from my life at home. I'm so used to having to look for people to hang out with, and being able to run away at any time, that it's kind of stressful to be surrounded with people all the time. 

I love my family. They are an amazing group of people. These past few days have been cold, so I've had to stay stuck in the house with them pretty much the whole time. We don't do much. We talk some, and then we read, get on the computer, etc. I've put in grades, checked facebook billions of times, and written lesson plans for next week. I would love to go outside and walk around for awhile when it warms up tomorrow, but then someone will want to come with me. How do you tell your family that you hardly see, that you want alone time? Isn't that selfish? 

At the same time, I know I will miss them when I go back to work as usual next week. I'll miss having home cooked meals that I eat with five other people at a real table. I'll miss having someone to hug me and tuck me in like I'm five years old. I'll miss torturing my mom with my dad, sister, and mine's bad jokes. I'll miss mock fighting with my sister over the covers in the room we share. 

While in some ways I like being treated like a kid, it's frustrating when I try to be an adult and feel like they won't let me be one. I know that I'll always be the baby. They want to tell me how to do things, even though I already know how to do them. I'm not helpless. I do not always need direction to fix problems. I am not the best at gracefully accepting direction anymore. I know I should be more patient and let them  teach me things, but I get so much direction at work that when I am not at work I kind of want to do my own thing. People are constantly telling me what to do it seems. I'm good at obeying orders at work, but when I'm at home, I'm my own boss. It's weird to let anyone else be my boss now. 

I need to learn to be more patient. I need to learn to listen more and talk less. If I don't, I'm likely to regret the fact that I didn't do what my grandmother told me to do this spring break when I don't know how many more spring breaks I will have with her. I need to be grateful that she's here to nag me, because I know I'll miss it when she's gone. I hate to even think of it, but I know it's true. 

So this break, I'm trying to be grateful that I'm constantly surrounded by people. These people are my family, and I love them dearly. We get on each other's nerves and bicker, but we are fiercely loyal to one another. I will really miss them next week, when I'm dealing with a difficult student or new piece of paperwork. I'll yearn to be asked to do the mundane task of wrapping twenty packages rather than deal with the seemingly insurmountable tasks of inspiring 100 students to not flunk high school Economics or even to try to graduate high school. I will miss struggling to listen to the same story I've heard a dozen times, rather than try yet again to apply for fifty jobs and not wind up moving all over God's creation. I don't have to figure out whether I love them or not; I learned that a long time ago. I'll miss the simplicity. 

At the same time I miss the complexity of life at home. I want to get home to help my stubborn students do better. I want to get home to spend time with the people I care about there. I want to get home to be able to proactively work on my job applications and perhaps earning back my job. I want to go home to go to church and be with my church family. I cannot get any of that done sitting still here. This break was good for preparing me. Now I'm restless, and I still have four days left. 


  1. This is so true! I'm an only child so my parents place ALL their attention me, which is great in a way and terrible in another. I feel like they will never completely unhook the leash. I guess we'll understand one day when we are parents!

  2. I didn't know you had commented on this! I was re-reading it, because I've been on vacation with my parents for two weeks, and I was revisiting an old soap box. I feel guilty longing for home, when I am technically home.