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One art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

-Elizabeth Bishop, "One Art"

It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve blogged.

This is the longest I’ve ever lost my writing voice.

Ironically, I’m currently sick, and my voice has been going in and out all day.

This school year has been a whirlwind of change and excitement– co-teaching for the first time, finding my roots at school after 3 years, last minute wedding planning, remembering to do last minute honeymoon planning, getting married, going on a wonderful honeymoon, celebrating our first married holiday season, enjoying a week off of work together, adjusting to being back after the new year, and that brings us to tonight.

Today, my students took part in a poetry recitation contest. Seeing their smiles and nerves as they recited beautiful works of art on a stage in the auditorium reminded me– I love and miss my art of writing. It’s time to be back. It’s time to write. Otherwise, the art of losing (it) isn’t hard to master.

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Suicide is rough.

I hadn’t posted about the deathaversary of Lauren this year because, honestly, I didn’t have it in me. Four years have passed since I received the early morning text message that she had killed her self, and that number was stinging all last week.

Four has always been my favorite number.

I was assigned to be “#4” in 4th grade and I loved the consistency of it. I loved that it was 2×2, the number of sides in a square, and a number frequently used. If you wanted to divide something evenly, you could cut it into fours. Clocks were divided into quarters, and quarters also made up school marking periods, percentages, sports games, and dollars.

Four has always made sense to me.

So why is it, four years later, I’m still left asking the same question about suicide: Why?

It’s also mind blowing to me that 4 years, the suggested length of a college education, have passed. She was my pseudo-mentor in my grad school program for education. This length of time, and its significance, to me, is surreal.

A lot of my blogger friends are grieving, as a well-known blogger from our community took her life last week. News of her death came a few days after the anniversary of Lauren’s, and, even though I didn’t know her, it stung like crazy. So many found themselves grieving as her face was plastered across the internet. God, how I feel for everyone that knew her.

Depression was a big part of my summer, with various people I love coping with depression in various ways. Some wrote about it. Some sought professional help. Some made decisions that led to having to seek help.

Luckily for me, they’re all still here.

Some people aren’t so lucky.

So, in honor of Lauren, in honor of those you love, please reach out and let people you know are suffering know that you love and care about them, and that their lives are worth it.

They might need to hear you say those words.

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This popped up on my time hop last week. Lauren’s words have never felt as relevant. I wonder if she purposefully took her life a few days after Suicide Awareness Week.

 

 

the obligatory #BlogHer15 post

I’ve put off writing about BlogHer15 not because I didn’t enjoy myself, or because I have nothing to say.

I’m not quite sure how to articulate what led me to BlogHer this year.

Professionally, this past school year has been a whirlwind. A few months into my second year of teaching, I was asked to change my schedule and take over a college-level writing course. I struggle with change, and having a change happen so quickly– over the 2 weeks of Winter Break– was difficult for me. I went from 2 junior classes I loved dearly to 2 classes of reluctant seniors. It all worked out in the end, but it was hard. Add visits to specialists, leaving my childhood behind and moving in with V, and planning a wedding, not to mention unexpected popularity with Gay Bride Guide, and I was left in a bit of a state of disarray.

My blogging suffered.

It was announced that BlogHer15 was in NYC, 45 minutes from home, around the same time that I was told I needed to take an additional graduate level English course in order to keep teaching my college-level writing course next school year. I justified attending BlogHer15 by my sudden renewed identity as a student, and thus being able to technically purchase a student ticket.

Still, I wasn’t convinced I should go to BlogHer.

While I enjoyed spending time with a friend last time BlogHer was in NYC, commuting back and forth was draining. So, I posted a Facebook status on a whim, and Sarah became my BlogHer15 roommate.

Then, a few months went by, and I was offered the position of teaching summer school. My bank account has been feeling the effects of saving for a wedding only a few months away, and I immediately said yes. Only moments later did I recognize that I wasn’t allowed to be absent.

For the entire month of July.

During BlogHer.

Oops.

So, I thought about it. I rationalized that my student ticket still paid for itself with celebrations Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a session or two and meals on Saturday. I’d still go to BlogHer.

Then I remembered I was struggling to blog regularly.

I took a breath, and committed to blogging once a week. That failed.

Then, once July began, I forced myself to blog daily. i began to feel less like a fraud.

On the Wednesday before BlogHer, I was at the hairdresser, sending Elisa pics of my haircut process (my BlogHer tradition!), when my phone rang. I didn’t see the missed calls until after my hair was done.

My life changed in an instant.

Without going into details, life happened. I called out of summer school for 2 days. I tried to figure out how to send my roommate my share of the hotel room. I accepted I’d lose the cost of the BlogHer ticket.

Then, life turned around, again, and I was told by my family and V to still go to BlogHer on Friday afternoon.

So, I went. I felt fragile. I didn’t want to talk to anyone but the man serving desserts.

And my tribe found me and took care of me the rest of the weekend.

Forget tech talk. Forget learning things. Forget networking.

For me, BlogHer is the high school reunion I actually want to go to. I’ve never been more grateful for my tribe.

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Featured selfie-ists:

Alexandra of Good Day, Regular People

Sarah of This-Here-Now

Lizz of Am I A Funny Girl?

Deborah of Peaches and Coconuts and VillageQ

Tabatha of So Tabulous and Turn Right at Lake Michigan

Jasmine of Just Jasmine

Katie of KTMade

Vikki of Up Popped a Fox and VillageQ

Laurie of Laurie Writes

Susan of (Well, I knew her initially as Mama NonGrata, but she’s cooler now) SusanLGoldberg.com

Dresden of Creating Motherhood

Elisa, who co-founded BlogHer