I remember when my principal told me I got the job of 5th grade math teacher. I was so excited that I had the opportunity to do math problems with students all day long. She said that I would be teaching math to 3 classes and teaching reading to my home room. Although I would have loved to do nothing but math, I was ok with teaching reading. I love to read myself and I didn’t think it would be too difficult to teach it. When I reported to the school on my first day, I was told there was a change and I would be teaching writing to my home room. I felt like there was a brick deep in the pit of my stomach. How am I going to do this? I’m not a writer.
I recall my mom and her best friend having an annual tradition. They would get together for a sleepover, drink some wine, and read each other their diaries from when they were young. I remember hearing them up all night long, reading and laughing until they were practically crying. My mom used to get so excited for that night, but her friend has since moved so they haven’t done it in quite some time.
A few months ago I stayed at her house for the weekend while my dad was away on a trip. We were going through some boxes of items from my childhood when I found a couple of old diaries. She asked if I wanted her to pull out hers and we could read them to each other. I saw the look of pure excitement in her eyes. Not only was she going to be able to have her diary night, she was also thrilled to get into the teenage mind of the most difficult of her three daughters throughout those years.
I watched her pull out a stack of journals with almost each page (front and back) filled in with her bubbly teenage handwriting. I pulled out two journals – each with only about 5 pages (NOT front and back) filled.
Total. Fail. Sorry to burst your bubble, mom. I’m not a writer.
The idea of writing has always intrigued me. Maybe it’s from being a child of the 90’s during the “grunge” era. We had bands like Mazzy Star, Nirvana, Beck, and Radiohead (just to name a few) that expressed their thoughts and dreams in such deep and poetic lyric form. I wanted to be like them. I’ve tried countless times throughout the years to write poetry, short stories, or even keep a simple journal. I would start out with a blazing fire but just a few days later it would completely fizzle out.
If you give me a beefy math problem, I will spend days trying to solve it. I can talk about that problem, or math in general, for hours if I had someone who would listen to me. But write? Meh.
I am not a writer. It’s not in my blood. I don’t have a passion for it. I never have.
When the Slice of Life Writing Challenge came around again this year, I tried to avoid the subject as much as possible. I had friends and colleagues trying to push me (oh, I mean encourage me) into participating. No, no, no. It’s not for me. Even our Assistant Superintendent (who is all things literacy and not all things math) asked me numerous times to participate. I told her I would do it. I would write every single day if she solved a math problem every day. Who does that? Don’t people want to impress their bosses? This is how adamant I was about not doing it. I’m a math person, not a writer.
But as the days went on and the deadline to sign up was getting closer and closer I thought about it a bit more. Maybe I SHOULD try this. Life is about changing and growing to better yourself, right? In order to do that, one must push herself. It has been awhile since I’ve done something outside of my comfort zone.
I took the time to set up the blog and register for the challenge. When I finished, I felt sick to my stomach. How am I going to do this? You have to write every single day. How am I going to find the time? More importantly, what could I possibly write about? I feel like I am the most uninteresting person at this point in my life. My days consist of my daughter, my husband, and my job. Who wants to constantly hear about that?
So I apologize in advance to anyone who happens to come across this blog on a daily basis. You will be reading about Lily, Howard, math and maybe my cats.
Because as I’ve already stated, I’m not a writer.
Dana and Crystal – I already know what you are going to say. My response to that is you’re my friends and you have to say that!
Carrie – Keep an eye out for your first math problem. I’ll be sending it through interoffice mail!