Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Magic of a Meltdown

Well people…it’s time.

My mom says, “You’re in transition.” My husband says, “Here we go again. What dinner should I bring home?” My non-teacher friends say, “Just don’t go to work! It’s still summer!”

My teacher friends say, “Let’s go eat queso; I had mine yesterday. Or five minutes ago. Or both.”

This will come as no shock to those who know me well, but I have emotional, um, freak-outs tendencies. I’m a crier. I feel things deeply and then the depth of all the feelings about SEEMINGLY DUMB THINGS make me bawl. Maybe it’s in a Hobby Lobby. Maybe it’s when a song comes on in my car. Maybe it’s when I’m standing in the middle of my classroom or in the shower or in my kitchen or ANYWHERE I AM EVER STANDING.  It’s who I am. It’s what I do. And I have finally decided to be OK with it.

Here’s why.
A meltdown means it matters.

I’ve melted-down (yes, that is now a verb) at my kitchen table filling out ADD paperwork for my son. In a staffing with administrators and other teachers over a student that was struggling with his place in the world. In my car when my best friend of 16 years drove back to her new home to her new school in her new town to be with teachers each day that ARE NOT ME. And last year…sweet mercy. Suffice it to say a grade level change shouldn't seem like a huge deal, but I pretty much cried my way through the entire school year because it was important and hard and scary.

The upside, if there is one, is that an emotional release can be cathartic. My dictionary app even said, “psychological relief.” Yes, please. I always feel better after I cry. I look like I’ve been stung by bees on my face, but I feel better on the inside.

I’ve decided it’s OK to be emotional. I’ve battled with this one for most of my adult life. My personality could be described as passionate at best…manic at worst, but I’m not going to apologize anymore for always getting so, “worked up.” One friend of mine calls it being, “emotionally present.” Isn’t that FANTASTIC?!

I have also determined to really look deeper from now on. People that don’t know me well are usually confused when I’m doing the Lamaze breathing-shelf tears-quick blinking-trying-not-to-cry-thing because there is seemingly no clear reason for the emotion. But, it’s not the paperwork, it’s the feeling of inadequacy that maybe I didn’t do enough to help my son. It’s not the meeting that’s making me cry, but the feeling of helplessness that there may be a student or a situation that I just cannot help. It’s not that I’m not THRILLED for my sweet friend and her new adventures, but the selfish feeling that I will miss her being the only one that can recognize my post-meltdown state. “You have cry-eyes…tell me what happened.” It’s not the song on the radio, but what it reminds me of…

I have decided to embrace the meltdown. I have decided to surround myself with people I love and that I know love me. To eat queso and have girls’ nights and binge-watch Pretty Little Liars. To listen to music that I know will make me cry and then to play music that is SURE to make me feel better. (Please download All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor and your life will be better. You’re welcome.) To teach my kids that it’s OK to be, “emotionally present” if you can learn from the feelings and use them to help others.

To all my friends who need to have the meltdown…I hereby grant you permission. Then, please call me and I’ll take you out for queso.


Anonymous said...

This is great and rings so true. Being emotionally present keeps life in touch and real. You are loving your son well by doing the paper work and not looking the other way or being in denial. You are helping him learn the way he needs to learn and giving him tools to help him overcome an obstacle. I regret not doing this very thing for one of my own. Love this blog post. God bless you as you live your good life.

It's just me... said...

You. Are. Wonderful - just the way you are! Over the last three years, I've seen numerous examples of the magic you work in kids' lives. I feel so fortunate that my baby was able to be under your educational guidance not once but twice! There's no one alive who is youer than you, so embrace every single bit of it. :)