Hello, my lovely readers! Hello! It’s been months since I last blogged and I’m sure many of you thought that I probably wouldn’t ever blog again. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog anymore … for a number of reasons.
For the past year I’ve been struggling to keep up with all of the responsibilities associated with my first full-time teaching gig here at Texas A&M. I never taught on-line classes before. I needed to quickly learn how build and maintain the classes, provide effective and engaging teaching via the on-line platform, and keep some semblance of personal time and sanity. On-line teaching has been one of the most challenging and time-consuming things I’ve done thus far as a professor. I’m getting better at it every semester, so much so that I’m revamping my courses for the fall … but that’s for another post. I’m also teaching very large classes: my on-line courses have 70 students and I’m teaching my first 150 student class in the fall. faint I’m currently working on pedagogical strategies that will make a large classroom feel smaller, more accessible, and student-driven.
Besides teaching, I’ve been juggling my LiveLab (committee) work and personal research/writing/publishing, while desperately trying to have some sort of downtime. I failed miserably last school year and this is why my blogging, like other creative outlets, was pushed to the side. This semester I’m making an effort to carve out time for my own work, creativity, and downtime.
How’s Texas? Well … I’m not sure. I really like my job, the people I work with, and my students (oh, my students! GUSH!), but I’m not fond of the state, its politics, or where we live. Oh don’t get me wrong, my house is awesome and it’s always wonderful to be home with Ed and my fuzzy kids … but Texas. Let’s just say that this NYC gal is having a really difficult time adjusting and, from what my doctor says, it’s showing up in my health and well-being (more on that in a future Bat Fit post). I knew adapting was going to be challenging, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be. Going back to NYC for a month this June made me realize just how homesick I really am. It also made me realize how much of a “city girl” I am. I actually thrive on the pulsating, chaotic energy! I love being able to walk or take public transportation everywhere. I love the diversity of NYC … everyone is from everywhere and the food reflects this diversity. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get used to Texas? Maybe I won’t. The summer heat and relentless sun isn’t making it any easier.
I also haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m happy being truly and utterly me. I turned 45 this June and it’s true what many women say: you reach a point in your life when you dress for yourself, you do what you want, you say and think what you want, and you are who you are without the labels that others put on you or that you take on for yourself because there aren’t any other words to describe the kaleidoscope that is you.
My 45th birthday was magical for me. I’ve come to realize that I don’t owe anyone an explanation, an excuse, or an apology for being unabashedly myself. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of my decisions, desires, wants, needs, changes, growth, etc., and I certainly don’t owe anyone an apology for taking up space and living my life the way I see fit. Hell, I don’t owe anyone the right to have a conversation about my life choices! I’m ever-evolving, ever-changing, ever becoming more of who I am deep inside. I’ve stayed away from blogging in order to cultivate this very powerful energy because I didn’t want to discuss it with anyone. I wanted it to build and grow organically from solid roots. I’m heading into a new phase of my life and I’m ready to share it with you, dear readers.
Onwards and upwards!