last. day.

it's here. the last day of school. for students. and me.

i've been back in the nc public schools for a year and a half, but now it's over. i'm moving on. to what? i'm not sure. but, by judging how i've been feeling & what i've been pondering for the past few months, i'm headed back in the direction of my deepest passions. and after some conversations/words of encouragement and support, i have been given a chance this weekend, during the methodist conference in western nc, to realize that i am already headed back and forward at the same time. no matter what i do, i will be sure that i am returning to those things which i am most passionate about. and yet, i will also be moving ahead, forging new territory, following a new & unknown path, challenging myself to step out of my box yet again. even with all the uncertainty, though, i am confident and excited about whatever comes next. the doors will open. and i will be true to myself in every way possible, never losing my past and never losing the courage to peek into a door that lies ahead.

i have said most of my goodbyes to my students. perhaps there will be a few more tomorrow. some have really touched me. all have challenged me in one way or another. i will miss their silly moments and their willingness to share their pain on the days they felt alone & depressed, or stupid and worthless. what a humbling, amazing time it has been. and i am so thankful to have had them pass through my life. i will think of them and hope that they find some joy, confidence, and success in whoever they become in life. my students' lives are difficult in many ways, and my only hope is that they have felt love, acceptance, and a little bit of hope from me. even though they are surrounded by pain, violence, darkness, drugs, and sadness, i hope that i have shown them that there is always a little ray of light, that anything is truly possible, that it will not always be this bad, and that hope, love, and acceptance do exist.

i guess the main goodbyes tomorrow will be with my co-workers. it has been a great team to work with, though at times difficult. but, hey, that's the nature of our job... it's pretty high stress and involves some sort of unexpected crisis every day. however, i have received so much support from my co-workers through one of the most difficult times in my life. they will never know it really, but without my love close by for 5 months, my friends at work became my connection to life. they helped me through each long, excruciating moment, and i will miss specific things about each of them...

so, i'm headed to bed now. ready to wake up at 5:30 and drive to asheville to be a high school special education teacher for one more day. it's hard to believe, but it's the last day.


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