Yesterday my first guest blog post was published and I wrapped up my first writing class as the only teacher for a group of educators in my district. Then, I witnessed a former student sign for our local community college to play soccer. I was on a high!
This morning, I opened my email and my high crashed down on top of me. The leader of our local Writing Project emailed to say that because of funding issues, we would not have our summer leadership institute. National Writing Project had their funding slashed which means grant funds don't exist. State help isn't possible because of budget cuts here too. I was shocked. I had to reread the email. I was sure I had read it wrong. Nope. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I couldn't move. All I could do was stare at my phone as tears pinged off the screen like spring rain drops. Big, fat, never ending. No rainbow at the end of that shower though.
I told my husband. I texted my mom and a friend. They all know how much Writing Project has changed me as a teacher, a friend, a wife, and a writer. They know how much I adore the people in our Writing Project and how much they have supported, challenged, and taught me. They tried to console me; I wasn't ready to be consoled. They tried to make me smile; I didn't want to smile. They told me I would be alright; I didn't know how that would be possible.
All day, I contemplated why this was happening, how to feel, what to do. Writing Project became my second family. Why would the government not fund it? Why isn't everyone as excited about writing as I am? How can I get them to be? I was so sad this morning. By lunch, I was better but still so uncertain. Now, I have accepted it. I reread the email again and saw that there may be a retreat for teacher consultants. That gives me hope. I also accepted that this may be God's way of helping me to slow down this summer. I will keep writing. I will go on solo writing marathons around my town. I will write in my backyard. I will go camping alone and spend time writing in the mountains. I will work on a new research project on my own. I will share what I learn with my colleagues and my writing tribe. I will be okay, not the same, but okay.