Friday, February 8, 2013


Why is it so hard to remain positive?

I remember when the ex left, I was sure there was someone else out there for me. Now, I'm not sure I even want to go down that road again, if ever, or at least not right now.

I've bitched here about the lack of time, money and energy in my life right now. My finances are straightening out, at least temporarily, but I suspect a major shakeup is in the works, possibly leaving me struggling again.

I've complained about how teaching sucks all the time and energy out of my life. Okay, maybe I could do something about the time, but the energy is a bit questionable. Yeah, well, if I ate better and got a little exercise, maybe I could do something about the lack of energy I have.

Or maybe it's all in my head. Except the time and money part.

I come home defeated. I am in bed by 8:00 PM watching DVDs or trying to read, but I am so exhausted I can't even follow the plot of something I've already read, like any of the Harry Potter books. Most importantly, I am trying to lower my blood pressure. I have a group of students whose daily mission is to get under my skin. I do everything possible to remain in control, yet, every once in a while there is that proverbial straw and I snap. I have now resorted to pulling out my cell phone and calling parents right then and there, in the middle of my lesson. Sometimes it helps. All of the time the good kids suffer, and yes, I do have some great students.

I have been questioning myself. Am I a good teacher? Am I reaching my students? Am I meeting their needs educationally? socially?  emotionally? I have spoken with my principal, and even consulted my school psychologist to see if they could see something I was doing I wasn't aware of.

Both said no. It's them. It's the students, the age. They're twelve. And they are mostly boys. Eighteen of them, and ten girls. Twelve year olds begin to think they are adults. Their hormones are beginning to rage throughout their brains and bodies sending conflicting messages that they don't understand. They are sensitive, they crave attention, yet they don't want it at the same time. They seek their independence yet are afraid to spread their wings. They want to be treated like adults, yet still are immature creatures, behaving like giant two year olds but who now have some reasoning abilities. And they will test limits, push boundaries and step on the last nerve of every adult in their life. Add their dysfunctional home lives and possible sexual orientation/gender identity issues to this phenomenon and it's no wonder no one wants to teach middle school.

Okay, so I am still a good teacher and this is just a bad vintage, according to my principal and the school psychologist. Yet, they still get under my skin and I come home exhausted.

Coupled with all the other items on my plate at the moment (trying to market my first novel and write the second, third and fourth ones; managing the house; straightening out my finances; figuring out who I am as a suddenly single gay man at midlife; deciding if I even want a husband and if I do, figuring out what I want in and from him;) it's no wonder I don't want to do anything. I don't want a boyfriend, I don't want to date, I don't want to do anything but sleep.

Maybe all this negativity is because for most of my life I have been in a negative space from the constant moving, from the anti-gay bullying, from the emotional abuse from my stepfather, from the absence of the father I longed for, from the satisfying adult relationship I craved but never found.

Maybe it's just too comfortable to stay there, as uncomfortable as I am; yet, as familiar as it is.

Maybe I'm just too afraid to be who I truly am.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
--Marianne Williamson

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