Sunday, February 5, 2017

Blossoming Again . . .

Almost ten years ago, a handsome man dressed in a pinstriped suit showed up at my classroom door with a vase full of partially bloomed roses and a life changing quote. He'd swept me off my feet during a whirlwind romance, and as our relationship grew more serious, trepidation and fear threatened to choke the life out of hope. In his signature, all-caps handwriting, Chris penned the words of the famous French writer, Anaïs Nin.

This powerful phrase swirled and danced and echoed deep inside my soul. In time, I allowed love to bubble, build, and bloom. Just a few months later, he asked me to marry him and we tied the knot on a California beach littered with rose petals. The last decade has been full of exhilarating twists and turns, and I've experienced moments of sheer joy I never dreamed possible. 

As the flowers of life continue to unfold, I'm faced again with another risky venture. Six weeks ago, I whimsically applied for a new job as an ELAR consultant at Region XI. They called me for an interview over Christmas break, and all the sudden I found myself on the edge of precarious possibility. After intense second-round interviews, they offered me the position, and once again apprehension left me feeling fragile and uncertain. Lousy timing mixed with crippling concerns about leaving a class of students mid-year caused anxiety to soar. 

You see, I'm a safety girl. I crave stability like an addict craves his next fix. After fifteen years in public education, I know how to run a classroom. Established routines and procedures are like a thread-bare security blanket. Stepping out of my comfort zone feels dicey and dangerous. Yet, underneath all these fears a quiet voice whispers, "Tenille, it's time. You're ready to bloom again." 

After breaking the news to my super supportive team and tearfully telling my students goodbye, I must now step out into the great unknown. Although remaining tight in the bud still seems like an attractive option, I will spend the next five days turning over the reigns to an eager young educator full of promise. To borrow a phrase from my sweet friend Marly, I'm braced for lots of FEELS this week. 

My oh-so-sarcastic team bought me a cookie cake that said, "I hope your new job sucks!" We all had a good laugh.

The journey ahead will be unpredictable, and I know there will be days I wrestle with change, but I'm hopeful this blooming process will bring with it treasures untold. I'm looking forward to serving teachers and students from all over North Texas, and I'm especially excited about having a chance to partner with rural school districts. I plan to sprinkle my passion for curriculum, literacy, and book evangelism around like confetti, and perhaps I can inspire others in the same way staff developers have nourished me during the last decade. Let the unfolding begin . . .

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