*Originally published 1/2/2014
Well, it’s a new year, which means it’s time for one of those poignant, reflective pieces about everything that this past year has taught us and all of the hopes, dreams and aspirations for the year to come.
Awh, fuck it. This past year has been a bitch.
Do you remember in school, there were “cool” teachers and there were the teachers you hated?
Usually the cool teachers were the ones that would let you show up when you wanted, wouldn’t give you shit for sleeping, or talking, or whatever it was you did in class that you weren’t supposed to be doing. They let you use the hall pass whenever you wanted, for however long you wanted. And they gave you a passing grade just for showing up.
Then there were those teachers you hated. They were the ones who were hard-asses. Bathroom pass? Pshh– you could’ve gone an hour ago, at the last bell. Tardy? Your parents will be getting a phone call. Not paying attention in class or not doing your work? Not passing the class.
But when you look back on it- it’s usually those hard-ass teachers that you learned the most from.*
(*Disclaimer: this is a gross generalization for the sake of storytelling. I’ll spare you a rant about how fucked up our education system is, and how not everyone learns the same way, and how sometimes people- teachers or not- are just assholes, and it IS possible to be/have a cool AND good teacher. Yes, I’ll spare you that one.)
Those “cool” teachers gave just as much of a shit as you did, and if you did’t give a shit, then you didn’t learn.
Those teachers that were bitches, they were there to TEACH you and that’s what they tried to do. They tried to teach you even if you didn’t want to learn. Even if they were an asshole about it, they taught you. And even if you were an asshole about it- you learned.
So, as far as teachers go, 2013 has been more like the latter. Mrs.2013- what a bitch! (But god damn, I sure did learn a lot!)
The year started out rather quietly. Then, sadly, I traumatically lost the love of my life, in April.
That changed everything. With that loss an entirely new world opened up for me. Losing my baby girl catapulted me into a beautiful phase of my life, where I was rapidly moving closer and closer towards everything I’ve ever wanted, and even discovering things that I never knew I wanted. Lots of major AHAs!
Then I continued with extraordinary momentum, making prodigious strides, leaps and bounds; LIVING life, loving life, experiencing life as it should be- felt in every cell of my body, permeating straight through to my soul. Fulfillment. Excitement. Enthusiasm. And immense gratitude.
Which all came to a screeching halt on Halloween, when “out of nowhere” I was hit with a panic attack, followed by weeks of extreme anxiety and severe body tension. I put “out of nowhere” in quotes, because, although it didn’t really make sense at first, why I would be hit with such extreme anxiety and panic, when I live such a healthy and peaceful and relatively stress-free life, but knowing my patterns it makes a lot of sense.
Whenever I make substantial progress in my life (thus coming face to face with uncertainty), I tend to find myself sick or distressed in some way. I tend to get anxiety sometimes, but relatively minor. I’ve never experienced panic, or tension and anxiety, like this before. But I’ve also never made such progressive strides before. The experience of the panic and anxiety, in itself, was so freaky that it caused even more tension and anxiety.
And just when I was feeling like I might be coming out that tunnel, that bitchy teacher hit me with one hell-of-a test to end the year with a bang.
One of the greatest men I know, my beloved friend, my father, my daddy, had a massive stroke and when we brought him to the ER on Christmas, I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it through the night. Thankfully he did, and we’re all feeling pretty encouraged, but we still don’t know what the outcome will be and it’s all very touch and go.
Just that situation alone has been teaching me tremendous lessons- too many to account for in this post.
So I rang in my new year, with a man I love, and who loves me- truly- the truest. I spent New Year’s Eve in the hospital, with my dad. And at midnight I kissed this man whom I love, and who loves me.
It wasn’t glamorous, nor festive. It was sober. It was sterile. And quietly in the night my stern teacher tip-toed out the door and into the darkness, handing over her lesson plan to her successor, Mr. 2014.
It’s too soon to tell how well my new teacher and I will get along. I’m hoping he’s the kind of teacher with that magical blend of interesting, engaging, entertaining and inspiring, a teacher who is both “cool” and “good”.
But until I get to know Mr. 2014 a little more, I will continue to reflect on what I learned from Mrs. 2013. Perhaps it’s Stockholm Syndrome, or perhaps it’s just a good old fashioned case of “hot for teacher” but even though she was a bitch, 2013 was also quite beautiful.
2013, one beautiful bitch.