26 September 2013
I Used to Be Effie Trinket
I’m kind of dumbstruck that I am getting ready to put that picture on the i-n-t-e-r-n-e-t. Onward.
It took me a little over an hour to get ready for school that morning. I waited to put on the wig until I went through the line of cars at Starbucks. Avoid eye contact. Avoid eye contact. Resist the urge to complete order with, “And may the odds be ever in your favor!”
I almost didn’t go through with the plan because I felt like a first class weirdo. The kids would get to enjoy our new unit whether I dressed this way or not, right? But that little nagging voice which sometimes reminds me I only have this one little chance at life and dares me to make things happen reared its head. Done. I was on my way down I-75, latte in hand and dressed head-to-toe like Effie Trinket, or at least my best version of her. It was the opening day of a Hunger Games unit, which was scheduled to conclude just as the movie would be released to theaters. Brilliant.
From the morning bell until the buses drove away, I spoke like Effie, ate like Effie, lectured like Effie. I mean, I really went for it. Every class heard about how they (the students) had rebelled against the Capitol and would be forced to pick two tributes. We drew from a glass bowl to see who those tributes would be, who would get “stung by a Tracker Jacker” if one of his/her classmates was caught falling asleep while we read the novel. By the end of the day, each student had background knowledge on the book and enthusiasm to begin the story. They were handed “survival packets” with various study guides and projects to complete along the way.
Fast forward to today. I changed ten diapers, almost completed one load of laundry, and should have filled the dishwasher. Just to clarify, this isn’t about being a stay-at-home mom. I chose to be a stay at home mom because I want to be home. I love, love, love that I get to snuggle this little person all day, take naps with her on my chest if I want, and be totally drained at the end of the day because I took care of her each need. These days are sweet indeed. Nope, this isn’t about my life as a mom, it’s about looking for identity in my new daily tasks as well as the desire to create. I imagine this is how anyone would feel with a job transition.
Sometimes I think about my days in the classroom. I smile every time because those kids and the magic that happened was just beautiful. (Of course sometimes I have nightmares about it too though, like the reoccurring nightmare where all my students lay on the floor and refuse to get up the entire day. Ooh makes my palms sweat just thinking about it. Ha.) All this to say, I knew who I was in those four walls. I had a clear purpose and I had a canvas for creativity. I was comfortable, maybe too comfortable.
I guess I’ve been feeling a bit aimless with out my old job, with out being able to say “I am a teacher.” But then I got to thinking that maybe it isn’t the times of mastery and titles where we are most profound, but maybe more so in the times of meandering and seeking. I believe I am made in the image of a Maker, and because of this, something in me wants to get my hands on something I can make. I’m just in the middle of looking for what that might be and taking this season to find my identity/value in simply being the created. I’m grateful for this season. Maybe I just needed a reminder that my life is valuable because I belong, not because of what I make.