Today, this happened:
That is my friend’s (shout out to PDL) truck filled to the brim with my “teacher stuff.” If you had asked me in September what I would be doing on the teacher work day before the kids came back after Winter Break, I’d have probably responded, “Procrastinating lesson planning and grading by visiting people in the building and going to lunch.” I would never have imagined I’d spend yesterday and today packing up the last 4 years into tubs and ferrying it to my friends basement.
I got into teaching because I had a passion to work with students in poverty. I had grand ideas and high expectations. Over the last 4 years my ideas changed and evolved, but my expectations were met beyond my wildest dreams. I poured every ounce of my heart into my job. I worked with passionate colleagues and have the faces and hearts of so many students forever etched in the walls of my heart. I should be panicking. Although this school year has been the most challenging, I just walked away from my “home.” I am panicking about things like, well money and income, but I have this eerie peace that I’m following a deeper calling.
When you work in an environment that is as intense and emotional as the school where I’ve been, you get to know your colleagues well. My teammate said she knew I wouldn’t be there all year, because I was “different.” She knew it before I did. My passion for those children had shifted. I didn’t realize it until a month ago, but she knew me better than I knew myself.
I want to tell my sister’s story. I want to make sure that parents and kids don’t make the mistakes we did. I want my sister’s legacy of love and kindness to flourish. I couldn’t pour myself into this new vessel and give my students the love, attention, and time they need. So I let go of one of the ropes I’ve been swinging between for the last few months. I dropped the rope that has been my solace and refuge from the realities of my grief, and am gripping tightly to the MollyROCK rope. I can’t pretend that I’m just a teacher who has a sister who is off doing mission work. (Seriously, I told myself some days that she was on a trip or safe in Carrollton so that I could focus entirely on my students. I might also be swinging on the Crazy Town rope.) I am taking away the safety net of being in Nashville where I have very few memories of Molly. I’m eventually headed back to Atlanta and I plan on spending the next few months shaping the message that Molly left for the world. I can’t ignore my sister’s absence. I’m about to immerse myself in it. I can’t stay in Music City and naively pretend like she’ll be coming for a visit soon. I’ll be relocating to Atlanta (when I find some sort of J-O-B), where I’ll be slammed in the face with memories of my baby sister. Her legacy is certainly one that transcends geography, but it has to start where she was. I have to start where she was. I have to strip myself of the comforts and distraction of my career and home, and let myself go back to the raw and painful, so that I can help heal myself and my family.
The MollyROCK blog is one step closer to being The MollyROCK Foundation. Stay tuned for updates, rants, ramblings, pleadings, and proddings. If you’re the praying kind, pray I don’t freak out in the next week or so and go crawling on my knees back to my principal. Pray for my students. A piece of me has died inside because I know that I’ve abandoned them. Pray for the future of MollyROCK. If praying isn’t your style, just send some good vibes out, or just laugh that I have quit a job I loved and have a Master’s degree in, to chase a dream that I am educating myself about from Google searches! (Wait, maybe I should drop MollyROCK and start an Internet College.)
Keep MollyROCK with all that you do.
More Than Meat Loves Salt,