Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have what some professionals might call a "control" issue. I'm not sure where exactly it comes from, but it sometimes creates problems. And by sometimes I mean pretty frequently. And by issue, I just mean that I like it.

I like control. I like having control, I like being in control, I like taking control. And because of this, I live in fear of being a "control freak." I know the part of my personality that lies deep within, and I smush it down farther and farther. I don't want to be that person, that overbearing, over-intrusive, constantly annoying person. THAT is something I do not want to be. So I make choices.

I chose a career (none of this "career chose me" bunk- I am in control :) which most people think is about control, but really is not. Teaching is not about control. There are some aspects of the job that may seem this way- but when it is really fleshed out, teachers shouldn't have control. Controlling a classroom is not something I want to do. I like to think that I can create order in any situation. I can quiet a classroom and engage minds and draw attention. But is there anything more beautiful than the organic process of learning in a classroom? The natural, inspiring, uncontrollable movement of thought and energy and resource into the very being of a little person? Friends, there is nothing more pure- and so I chose a career where control is something to be shaken off.

I have relationships that I have no control of. Certainly I have input and insight and choice in relationships, but I consciously choose to interact closely with people in a way that allows me to be passive. I can practice not being in control, and these people temper my spirit and ground me. In a desperate attempt to keep them close I change little bits about myself. I become better as a person, more balanced and whole, when I work on the loss of control.

For someone who is still in complete control even of the practice of being uncontrolled, I am pretty proud of myself for what I am going to do next year. The plan thrown out the window (or at least filed away neatly in the "save for later" folder), I am abandoning my control issues and living as an unreserved person! I will be spontaneous and fun! I don't care that I have no information on where I will be living! All cares are in the wind when it comes to packing! I have no problems with my lack of information concerning my classroom or students! It matters naught that I don't even know what my salary will be! I will be a free spirit, moving where the winds of fate take me! RIGHT.

I push the control down farther and farther. And sometimes, the pressure is just too great, and I crack, and teeny bits of me leak out.

Don't worry. I try not to let the control seep onto other people. I keep my messes pretty much to myself. But a mess I am. Here are some things I am currently trying to have control over:

1. How much sleep I will/will not get on the plane. My mom pretended to fall asleep when I talked about this today. Nothing like that to show you the true importance of such matters. Is this truly something I should spend time thinking about? Probably not. But still my time is filled with thoughts of how long the flight is, and whether or not I should stay up the night before, and if I should take a sleeping aid, and how groggy I will be the next morning, and how terribly embarrassing it would be TO take a sleeping aid and do something stupid in a state of deep slumber, and, and, and...

2. Lesson planning. I KNOW that I don't have any idea what I will be teaching. But do I still have a lesson plan all ready for the first... um... month of school? Yes. Do I know I will have to scrap these plans? Yes. So long as I know, right?

3. Arrival to airport. We are 4 weeks and 4 days away from my departure. My parents will be dropping me off at the airport in Chicago. No, I haven't looked up our airline approximately 12 times. No, that wasn't me who searched the international terminal website, despite having flown through the EXACT terminal twice in the last 15 months. No, I certainly did NOT mapquest directions to an airport located IN THE CITY that I have called home for a year. No, it was not me who created contingency plans in the case that the car breaks down.

4. How I will look during travel. This one is particularly ridiculous. Spending time reading tips and techniques for how to "stay fresh" during international travel is probably a little bit absurd, right? Yes.

5. Boredom on the airplane. I have 4 times flown over the Atlantic Ocean and never once died of boredom. In fact, I don't even recollect being bored. So please explain to me the countless internet searches regarding "how to survive a long-haul flight." Please explain the thought and energy I am putting into what books I am going to bring and letters I can write and music I can listen to.

6. My personal life. Haha. Hahahahaha. Hahaha.

Control I want, and control I have none of.

Brought to you be the word of the day: control.

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