Conscious Letting Go

Since the big move I’ve found myself, on and off, in a big mental hurry to return to the things I was doing before. I thought, I have to get back into an art space, I have to get a job, I have to find a winterguard¬†to instruct, and I must do all of it immediately. I didn’t stop to think about how any of these things did or did not add quality to my life, until the past few days. I’ve done a lot of reflecting and mediation on the state of my job/career at this point, which I think I’ll save for another post. One of the biggest shifts, and one I did not think I would end up making, had to do with the winterguard part of my life.

I’ve made a decision, once and for all, to give up coaching.

For anyone who has known me personally at any point during the past five years, this probably comes as a surprise. I’ve raved/complained/joy wept about the winterguard and the kids involved in it. I’ve squealed for my students as they performed, I’ve gone home hurt when I felt like I didn’t reach them, and I’ve suffered some financial difficulty from making room for the activity. Why would I decided that such a passion driven activity wasn’t worth pursuing further?

I don’t think passion equates happiness. After all, crimes can happen out of passion. Google the word, and the second definition comes with some fairly negative connotations. Just because this thing was arousing such strong emotion in me, did not me that it was healthy for me or that it was serving me.

There was a three year gap between my high school graduation and my one year of performing with an independent group. I. Was. MISERABLE. I was pretty rusty compared to other members that had kept spinning right along, and they made it clear that I did not fit in with them. No matter how hard I worked, or how much my instructors praised my progress over the season, I felt so out of place that it just plain hurt. I was ecstatic when we performed for the final time, and the season was finally over. I went to the banquet out of politeness, and I was the first person to leave.

Two years later, I started instructing in my old high school program. At first it was great! I got to reconnect with my old instructor on a totally different level. We became friends. I got to translate some of the things I learned in the independent program back to my beloved high school program, which was really cool. I thought, yes! I can enjoy this activity again but in a way that rewards me, and rewards others.

Here’s the thing: after five years of instructing, I have the same frustrations and self doubts as I did during my final season performing. Not having an upcoming season to think about has been liberating. I have so much more head space to devote to other things. I don’t have to walk on eggshells consistently asking myself if I am good enough at this.

I thought for sure that I would miss it, that I would be eager to find a program to work with after the move. The thing is, I’m not. I didn’t see that coming. At all.¬†This decision did not come without some serious back and forth, some serious ups and downs, and doubts abound! I’ve attached so much of my identity to this role, I’ve assigned such worth to the time I spent doing it. I’ve cited it as changing my view of what I wanted to do with my life, and I guess it still has. However, it has served it’s purpose, and I can walk away now.

I appreciate the memory for what it is. I appreciate the lessons that I learned, not only about teaching and co-learning, but also about myself and my goals. I wouldn’t change the experience that I had for the most part. However, I’ve become very comfortable with this chapter of my life being closed. I don’t want to go back. I’m done trying to force something to fit into my life that doesn’t seem to want to. I’m moving forward with things that enrich me, and respectfully leaving other things behind.

(I’m still leaving the patches on my yoga bag. That took a long time!)