In my head I want this morning to be a win. Win because I’m not standing in front of 3rd graders saying phrases like, “Did you ask to get up? Spell it the best you can. Take your jacket off your head. I’m moving your clip to yellow. I’m writing you up for climbing on the bathroom stalls.” I won’t miss literally watching a kid eat boogers or walking into a fog of someone’s gas they so willingly contributed to the classroom. But I will always miss their stories. I love how their eyes light up about their smencils (spell-good pencils), or the gruesome details of their pet that got “runned over,” or how they remembered to take a bath so they don’t stink bad. The hardest part is the stories that are too big for them to understand. They blurt those out in transitions like, “I never seen my daddy,” or “me and my mom sleep on a couch cause there’s no bed,” or just the fact their jacket smells like cigarettes every morning. Working with kids let me imagine what I might do right or wrong as a parent. One of my biggest struggles was stepping away from them, so they would trust their own ability. And now, I’m stepping away from them completely, but that is part of growth on my end. It’s knowing I can’t save their world through exhaustive micro-fixes. Now, in a very similar way, I’m stepping away from one of my toughest struggles. I take huge precautions to protect myself from any judgement that might say I’m not making the smartest decisions in life right now. In this time I’m attempting to walk out “intentionality” as purely as I can. I want to have bearings instead of wanderings. I took my last job as a Para Professional because I had fear in my heart of not having money and fear of appearing lost or, even worse, lazy. And taking the job was a solution, but to the wrong problem. For those five weeks, I had money, but it was insufficient, and I had a wall to protect me from judgement. But walls can only protect you when you aren’t moving, and money (whether in miniscule amounts or shamefully huge sums) will never hold up in the place of passion and true direction. Really, what this time is about for me, is stopping trying to go on adventures that aren’t mine. And this finally relieves that feeling of life being like constantly wearing clothes that aren’t your size or style.