16 April 2013

Keeper of the Stars

This past week I posted the Bill Cosby quote “decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”  It was fitting at the time.  Hell, it is fitting all of the time.  There is something every day that I am slightly afraid of…but if it is worth doing, or you want it bad enough, we move past the fear.  How soon is too soon to move past the fear though?  How long are we supposed to sit and stew on it and debate whether we want it more than we are scared of it?

In class, I can let a student struggle for only about 5-8 minutes until the fall apart and lose interest in the math.  They are so scared of failing and getting the problem wrong, that if they cannot answer it in 5-8 minutes they just don’t do it.

Imagine if we only sat and stewed over our own personal dilemmas for 5-8 minutes. 

It felt like that when I decided to move to Bahrain.  I applied in the middle of February and had decided by March 25th.  I cried for about a week straight while I was debating.  I talked to my family every day, but did not mention much to friends.  I remember telling Jamie over spring break.  It was hard knowing that this huge life change was going to shake so much up, yet was the right move.  I had to convince some people that it was for good and that I was happy. 

However, that huge step in my life was whirlwind and great. 

I do very few things slow.  I talk fast, I think faster than my fingers type, and until recently, when I have learned the Arabic way of life, I walked fast.  I have many speed tickets including through a school zone, on my way to school.  I’m not proud, I just always think that there is something exciting to be getting to…we should move fast! 

I believe that people sit and stew too long.  I am a procrastinator, but I make my mind up pretty quickly.  I never visited a single college campus when I accepted to Elon.  I applied, interviewed and accepted in a week when I switched jobs to Durham.  Canden and I bought Bakerloo in about 5 minutes of debating.   

I believe in gut reactions and feelings.  I believe we all know what we want innately, however, the longer we sit and stew we change those gut reactions, and sometimes for the better, but sometimes just for the easier. 
I love excitement.  I love a challenge.  I love gut reactions. In my first blog post I wrote about this need.  My job is amazing because it provides me with a challenge every day.  I have put my job first because of this passion. 

So, in a whirlwind move, is it ok to be challenged in other areas?   Can we worry too much about something and sit and stew and struggle…too much?  Too little?  At what point am I not building my students’ intelligence when I let them struggle with a problem?  When should I intervene?  When do “helpful suggestions” become “telling them the answer”?  When do we listen to others and take their advice over what we really want…or need? 

The Rolling Stone’s song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is stuck in my head.  It has NOTHING to do with any current situations…I actually just read the lyrics and…well…am really surprised by them.  However, the point being…it may not be what we want, but it may be what we need. 

Did fate lead me to Bahrain or was it a gut reaction from something my boss said that led me down a rabbit hole here?  If I hadn’t acted quickly would I have taken this adventure? 

The girls watched “He’s Just Not That Into You” tonight.  The main character Gigi sits and thinks and stews over every single thing that a guy does.  It drives her (and her friends…and the guys) crazy, however she is the eternal optimist and knows that love is right around the corner for her.  When she stops thinking and listening to all the “exception” stories, that’s when Alex comes along and tells her she is his exception (you have to see it to fully understand). 

Our life is full of rules.  We follow guidelines at work; we follow traffic rules (well…sometimes), follow ones outlined and even ones that are just understood.  You must stop at a red light (written).  You should give up your seat to the elderly (understood).   So why in our life do we have this rule that we have to overanalyze all aspects until we go crazy?  Rules should be simple and easy to understand.  And as the movie states…we are the rules…until we are the exception.  Worrying, fear and trepidation will not get you anywhere except for reveling in a world of exceptions that do not meet your circumstances.  The only way we can find our own exceptions is to take a leap of faith.

Leah Banner Poole is an exception.  She is taking a leap of faith…and I love her and Jordan for it.  I hope that I can continue to show her that following your gut reaction, your heart, and/or your instinct will lead you to amazing things…as I have found…here in Bahrain…and, inshallah, beyond.

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