You make me feel confident. You make me feel like I can make a difference. You make me feel like what I do is important. You make me feel valued. Like I can accomplish my goals. Like my goals mean something. You make me feel talented. Like what I write is good. Like my writing is a worthwhile endeavor. You make me feel complete. Like I have been waiting my entire life for you. Like my life finally makes sense. No one has ever done this for me before.
I have been holding onto this news for some time but now that most know about it, I can share it. We are moving to Evansville, Indiana. I will be leaving Creative Achievement Academy this week and starting to teach at Henderson Middle School sometime in July. While I will miss all of my students and co-workers, I am really excited to start this new chapter in my life. I will be teaching special education but this time I will be a math resource room teacher and an inclusion teacher. The idea is I help the math teacher and then I go over the lesson with my students in our resource room. Of course, I am nervous but I was nervous starting at Atlantic County Special services and I was nervous starting at Creative Achievement.
When my husband and I split, we lost the house. I couldn’t afford it on my own. I know my kids were sad because they had to give up their backyard and I felt like a failure. When the kids saw the house and the backyard their faces lit up. I felt like a failure for so long because I could not give them their backyard and the popup pool they had in the past. I almost cried when we saw the house.
One of the main reasons for the move is to be closer to family but also things are so much cheaper over there then they are in NJ. My pay is comparable to what I am making now and our house is much less than this tiny apartment that I am renting.
So here it to a new chapter in my life!
I am the one that everyone forgets. They say they don't, but they do. They say we missed you But they don't talk to me. As soon as I come in, everything stops. Am I a killjoy? Do they just say they miss me because that's what they are supposed to say? How do you know someone is genuine? Because I just feel completely useless and forgotten. And if I didn't talk to them for weeks on end, it wouldn't matter. I'm an outsider watching them. I'm a loser sitting by myself. And I don't know what to do.
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I had an interesting experience at church last week and it reminded me of these two stories I have heard pastors use for their sermons.
In the first story, a man is visiting a church. This man sat in a pew and a lady came up to him and said, “I’m sorry, but you are sitting in my pew.” This man got up and moved to another pew. Again, a man came up to him and said, “You’re sitting in my pew.” This happened several times before the man left the church. I have heard this story told by pastors with the message of welcoming new members.
There is another version of this story where the man sitting in everyone’s pew was a homeless man who smelled and wore torn clothes. At the end of this story, he came to the front of the church and said, “You asked me to move because I was sitting in your pew. I have sat in your pew and have died for your sins.” The man was Jesus. The Bible says giving to those in need is giving to Jesus. We should embrace people in need and welcome them.
When I went to church last weekend with my children, I had a similar experience. I drove into the parking lot and saw an open parking space. I drove in and parked, while a car came up next to mine and rolled down the window. A middle-aged woman was in the driver’s seat, so I assumed she needed directions or something.
So I asked, “Can I help you with anything?” What came next surprised both me and my children. She said, “It’s my parking spot. We only have six spots, so you need to move.”
I looked at her, confused for a moment, then I realized she was attending the church next to mine. So I replied, “Well, it’s a good thing I am not coming here to visit your church because I will never come back.” I then drove off and parked my car elsewhere.
The woman pulled out of the spot she was in and moved her car closer to her church. My kids caught this and said, “So she just pulled in next to you to tell you to move your car. Jesus will not like that.” And my kids are correct. What if someone was planning on visiting this church or someone thinking about becoming a Christian? That person may never want to visit another church or become a Christian if Christians treat others this way. My daughter said, “I guess that’s why they only have 6 parking spots; no one wants to go to their church. I love our church. Everyone is nice and friendly.”
People expect Christians to be perfect, but we are far from perfect. Sometimes it takes compassion and common sense. This woman didn’t have either. She taught my children a lesson. She taught them to always welcome others because they know what it feels to not be welcome. It might be a small thing, but for someone searching for a church or someone searching for God, it’s a big thing.
Throw My Feeling in the Trash! Do my feelings not matter to you? Do you think you can do what you want? Screw me, because I don’t matter! Throw my feelings in the trash and stomp all over them! Did you even think to talk to me? Did you think I wouldn’t care? Did you even think of me? I know you didn’t think of me! I know no one does! It’s better to not expect anything from anyone! They always disappoint! I expect too much from people and I am the one who gets hurt. Did you even think to talk to me? Did you think I wouldn’t care? Did you even think of me? Throw my feelings in the trash and stomp all over them!
If You Were Here... I just need to talk to someone. There is no place safe to talk. Who won’t judge and won’t be hurt by what I say. I know if you were here, I could talk to you. I know I would be talking to you now, And so many other times before. If you were here. I need someone to talk to, A safe place where there is no blame. A place where I can be honest and A place where you won’t be hurt. A place where I can say whatever I need, And you will just listen And no one will be hurt. I need you, your voice, and your wisdom. If you were here.
Am I your friend? Do you really care about me the way I care about you? We use the term best friends, but is that just me? But is that truly what I am to you? Do I think more of you than you think of me? When my usefulness is gone, will you also leave? Why do these questions haunt me so? I worry about the future, like an endless sea of doubt. Doubting myself and others, will I ever be happy.
Deserve to be Happy Tears flow for freely It's uncontrollable I can’t stop the pain in my heart. The world will never be Sunny and cheerful again If you are not part of it. Darkness and gloom cover my existence. As I gasp for air as I try to be calm. But nothing calms me as I sit in the dark. Why have I done the things I have done? Why am I such a horrible person to hurt you so? I don’t deserve to be happy. I don’t deserve love. But you, you deserve all of this and more.
THE MORNING The alarm resounds in my head, and I grumble and moan. It pulls me from my slumber with a start. My blankets wrapped around me keeping me warm as the cold morning air hits me. I pull the covers over my head. It can’t be morning already. I want to hide from everyone and everything. Just lay and look up at the ceiling and dream. I want to hide from the world and pull the blankets closer. The cold morning air wakes me, but I retreat under the covers. Never leave the warmth and safety of the bed Just lay and look up at the ceiling and dream. I lay alone with all my thoughts, The quiet in the morning No one expecting anything from me In this quiet time, oh the thoughts that come Alas I must rise, each day the same Running a race that never ends Let me pull the covers back over my head. The race never ends, just to take some days alone with my kids. No work, no stress, just me and my kids.
When Covid started, I was proactive. I made sure when everything was closed that my kids and I stayed inside and away from large groups. My brother and his wife had just had a baby. I wanted to visit, but I didn’t want to bring the virus with me. So I avoided visiting family and crowds of people the best I could. I even made my own disinfectant wipes as the stores were running out of them. I did everything I could.
When I could get the vaccine, I got both shots and the booster. I made everyone in my house get vaccinated and still… still, everyone in my family tested positive. I couldn’t believe it! How could it be positive?
I couldn’t believe how sick I got. Covid hit one of my hard and he needed breathing treatments. My son was so sick. People told me to isolate him when he was sick, but how could I do that to him? He was so sick and needed me. I can only imagine if we did not have the vaccines how sick we could have been.
A special thank you to my friends and family who checked on me and my family during this time. It made me feel loved to have so many people checking on me. Thank you so much.