I picked this word in January after lots of prayer and consideration. It was the word to challenge me, the word to catapult me, and I can tell you in the beginning of 2017, I didn't know what it meant. While this year hasn't been at all what I would have expected, I can say with certainty that it's changed me - grown me. The season of my fierceness is nearing it's end with the close of 2017, but I don't think that spirit will ever leave me. I have learned and am still learning who I am. Sometimes, I look out at the sea of teenagers I teach with some sad realization that we search for the continual evolution of self for years and years. They look at me like I have the answers. My mom once told me, you'll always be the same as you are right now, and she was right. Of course, we all change, and we all grow. When we are shaken, tested, and pushed, the same root of our core is what emerges time and time again. It takes a constant and consistent decision to be the changed version, the better version, the mature version of self. I wonder if there will ever come the day that I wake up and actually feel like a "grown-up" instead of an imposter of one.
For now, I have started praying about what the word in 2018 will be. I don't know the direction that I will be called, but I know that whatever it is God will continue to call me to stretch me, to test me. I know that new grand adventures are on the horizon. There are so many opportunities in the paths ahead; remembering to surrender those choices to God will be something that will be tough, but worthwhile in the long run.
Recently, one of my students asked me to read some of her personal writing, and it made me think. It made me remember. I remember being a sophomore in high school filling the pages of journal with words, with pain, with insecurity and doubt. I remember being in college and filling the screen with words of intrigue and mystery to get the spotlight. I remember that I miss the way that words feel when you get them out, the way that they release you. Her style, my student, was so carefree. It was refreshing.
This year, I have been working on my Masters degree, and a huge part of the degree is about reflecting. In the effort of my continual and never-ending process of reflection and reflecting on those reflections, I will leave this here....
Words. Words. Words.
I stutter and stumble over what to say.
I smile again. Pep in my step.
I will conquer.
Prudence is lost in her own misspellings
laughing at an ending never found for that life.
I type. Delete. I type. Delete.
Writing is an elusive art form
No one pays for nonsensical poetry books
No one pays for poetry anymore.
I don't write endings
I get lost in the story
But I don't know how to get out
Maybe I just don't want the story to ever end
Am I unfinished business?
If I finished it, where would that leave the world
Words. Delete. Words. Delete.
Is there a deeper meaning?
Students love to say,
Ask the author.
But she can't say.
You can trust that prudence doesn't know.
Is it a gift? a curse? to have a way with words.
Find the pep. Find the smile.
Say the prayer.
Do the work.
Slay, you say. Slay all day.
Words are hard.