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I’ve been thinking about going back to school. I already went back and then stopped and now I’m thinking about it again. I stopped when I got sad and ran out of money.

“New York, as it turns out, is very expensive, and I ran out of money.” – Pam, or me about school and not new york

Anyway, now there’s this dread that I will go back to school and be in the same position I was in last fall. Just unable to enjoy the studies, unable to grow, caught in this emotional whirlwind.

I got really lucky with my professors at the end of 2020 and have been thinking about that.

So I had an assignment due the weekend of my grandma’s funeral. I was planning on doing it, so I just emailed my professor asking if I could have an extension since I’d be traveling and everything.

His reply? He just waived the assignment for me and told me to take as long as I needed and not worry about pretty much anything the entire week. I remember being really blown away by that kindness. I was grateful for a light during that time. I loved his class already and that was the cherry on top.

So I’ve been reflecting on his response and how my other professor had a similar response. My reflection is… That seemed like an abnormal offer. To allow me time to recover. To not immediately expect me to get back into the grind and being productive.

This feels like a larger conversation as far as mental health in American, family and sick leave, healthcare, paid support and more, but… For now, I’ll just keep it simple.

Time keeps going. Full speed. Everyone else keeps living even when part of you dies. You grieve and you go back to work or whatever you do and deal with seemingly small problems compared to what’s going on in your head. It’s just wild, isn’t it?

There’s not a perfect answer because the world has to keep operating. There’s not really a way around it. I just feel like my professor’s response should be the norm. It’s one of grace and understanding. There are quotes that circle social media about treating everyone kindly because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives and it’s a great quote, but maybe it isn’t applied as much as it should be. I’ve worked with the public for many years and the most understanding clientele I’ve had were probably the toddlers I taught in daycare. Talk about a group at peace with expressing their emotions.

I’m kind of just rambling, but sometimes that’s just what my brain wants to do. Get the words down, make sense of them later. And it may not make sense later either. I’ve deleted a lot of drafts months later after reading them and being like ???

So maybe I’ll just end this with… let’s apply that quote more. I read this piece from Time about the pandemic making people more rude and it’s kinda weird. I just assumed we’d go through this grief as a society and come out for the better, but maybe not. We want to get back to normal too much. But maybe you don’t have to go back to normal after grieving. Maybe you just keep going and it’s a new normal and you change and grow with it. I don’t know. All I do know is I’m coming out of this grief being kind.

p.s. if you missed it, i’m talking about grief now. welcome in

Featured photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

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