The Great Unknown (Kenz Hall)

I took the long way home
Into the great unknown
And every wrong turn was a lesson that I learned

I watched the storm go by
As tears filled up my eyes
And I looked for a sign but it never did arrive

So I keep moving

There’s a part misplaced
Losing color in my face
A ghost, just space
My name, it’s weight
Drags my body through the wake
Below
Just space
Just space

And as my world came down
I didn’t make a sound.
But it twists and it turns, I still pretend it doesn’t hurt

But I keep moving

There’s a part misplaced
Losing color in my face
A ghost, just space
My name, it’s weight
Drags my body through the wake
Below
Just space

Where will I go, where your world won’t haunt me
Where will I go, where your world won’t haunt me
Where will I go, where your world won’t haunt me
Where will I go?

There’s a part misplaced
Losing color from my face,
A ghost, just space
My name, it’s weight
Drags my body through the wake
Below
Just space
Just space

I took the long way home…

There you go thinking again.

I thought I would change. I thought I would open my eyes to the ugliness of the world and let it swallow me whole. I thought I would lose faith in others, hope for a better future, and strength in my own tenderheartedness.

Well, there I go thinking again. I was wrong.

My Vice is that I expect the best from everyone. I trust easily and invite others into my life. Although I don’t share my “deep dark secrets,” I certainly share experiences as they share with me, and why not? That’s the key to building a life that overflows with potential: developing personal relationships with the world. As humans, we thrive on those connections regardless of our personal dispositions. Even the staunchest hermit builds a relationship with his environment; it is undoubtedly personified by his own imagination and survival instincts.

(Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly people in this world who irritate me so much I would rather stub my toe every 10 minutes for 10 years than spend an extended amount of time in their presence. But! They are no bother because I keep my distance 🙂 )

My Strength is that I bounce back like a rubber band. No one can ever say I crumble like a withered leaf in the fall. The world knocks me around from time to time, but I always – always – bounce back. The height at which I soar may vary, but not my elasticity. Different weights cause me to stretch to different lengths, and the reverberations of the movements eventually calm to stillness.

My Outlook on life is open. Shit happens. My vision is not dulled, clouded, or weak. There is no more to say on that matter.

My Hope lies in my Faith, my Family, and my Friendships. What else do I need to stay the course?

And so I say one more time: I thought I would change.

There I go thinking again.

I’m glad I was wrong.

Why I Let Him Go

This is big for me, and it is not easy to say or talk about. I will keep it vague.

Why I let him go.

When you find that you’re unhappy, you begin to self destruct. You concoct ideas and plans in your head that make sense to you, and you miss the big picture. You forget others and think only of how you are feeling… and how you can make other people feel. But the aftermath of your storm can be fatal.

I let him go because his storm was killing me. I was dying, but I didn’t see the symptoms. I didn’t see the forecast. I didn’t hear the thunder.

I let him go because when someone wants to leave, they will. Instead of fighting back, I opened the door. I left it swinging in the wind.

I let him go because I was breaking. My heart was heavy, and my mind was turning against me. I was so full of self-contempt and guilt for things that weren’t my fault, and the clouds rose above my head, enveloped me, and crushed me.

I let him go because I knew it would make him happier. He was ready to move to bigger and better things, and I was trapped. Rather than play the game of crabs in a barrel, I gave him the out. I gave him a boost. The stormy waters sucked me in but took him to shore.

I let him go because I allowed myself to be hurt.

I let him go because… I’m happy again.

Gossip, Gossip, Gossip

What a deeply exhausting activity. It doesn’t matter who you are, denial that you have ever gossiped is a lie. Even the best of the best slip up from time to time and drop a negative line about someone who has frustrated them, albeit the good ones always feel remorse and regret for the negativity that exits their souls.

And that’s the thing, gossip in my eyes represents that negativity held within one’s soul. We can be righteous, courteous, and kind all day, every day, at any time; there comes a time when we feel the pangs of anger that lead us to saying ugly things about someone. It’s life.

But it’s exhausting. Think about it. Think about a time when you spent a prolonged conversation trashing someone else (for some “prolonged” could mean two minutes or two hours, that’s relative). By the end, you probably felt tired but relieved, or tired and guilty. For those who are professional gossip queens and kings, there is a sense of stamina that can be built by years (and years!) of practice. For what? Why do we choose to gossip? To “talk sh*t” if you will?

Honestly, I don’t know myself. There are probably articles upon articles on the internet describing the reasons why people choose to talk trash about some people to other people. Personally, I only feel the weight of annoyance and anger lift off my shoulders when someone has completely jacked my nerves and sent them off to space in a ball of rage. There is a small step between frustration and hell-bent hostility in my book. On other occasions, I really just want to express my perceptions and ideas about people. The problem with gossip is that it is judgmental. It can be harsh, it can be cruel, and it can be irreversible. You have to track what you say and to whom you say it; you have to decide if your gossip has a malicious purpose or if you just need to vent; you have to decide if you can live with the consequences of your idle chatter.

Can you? Can you decide why you talk?

When I get in a really bad mood and turn to wagging my tongue, I remember two things either before (which is good), during (not good but could be worse), or after (bad, bad, bad). These things lead me to reflect and make different decisions in the future if I can control my annoyance long enough.

  1. If someone is willing to gossip to you about someone else, they’re willing to gossip to someone else about you.
  2. “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23.

Today, I got flustered while waiting for my car to be cleaned. The people around me were painfully obnoxious. So I stuck my nose in my book and drowned them out. Therein lies my solace. If I can ignore what bothers me, my judgments, and my haughtiness, I think I can avoid the gossip without trying to be self-righteous. I’m not perfect, and everything is a work in progress.

Summer Time Lows

Not low, but certainly not high. The toughest part of summer for me as a teacher is I actually miss school. I miss the students, I miss the hustle and bustle, I miss the positive stress. Suffice it to say teaching for me feels a lot like an athlete feels with a runner’s high. The momentum of teaching, editing lesson plans on a whim, and interacting with so many kids in one day never truly leaves me run down or burned out. I just get a happy kind of tired that can have a recovery time of two days (the weekend). That classroom is my second home, and those kids are my second family. I guess no matter how self-conscious I get about my profession when I’m surrounded by doctors, lawyers, or dentists, I go home everyday and smile to myself without every regretting my decision to be a teacher. 
So now, I don’t feel low anymore. I feel good. 

🙂

Invisible Man

This short post is inspired by a blogger I follow, MakeItUltra (TM). On his particular entry I shared a quote from a poem I love that would be inspirational and make someone find light in his or her life. This quote, however, is something completely different for me. It is what you might say motivational to a particularly aggressive, or passive aggressive, state. Although I do not solely live by this, I think of it often when I am stuck around people who have more control or power than I do in a given situation.

“Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swoller you til they vomit or bust wide open. – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The context of this quote comes from the narrator’s grandfather giving him advice about how to deal with “the white man.” Obviously this is not my purpose, though it gives sharp perspective into the feeling this quote implies. As an educator, I have had to work with many people with whom I fundamentally don’t agree, yet I’ve not been in a position to do anything about it. Instead of getting bent out of shape, I think about doing the right thing for the students in my classroom, and I “agree” to make it through whatever the situation calls for me to do. Even now, after the start of state testing, all I can do is smile and say, “Good luck!” to my students. There has been one situation where even this mindset couldn’t get me through, but that is a story for another day.

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