Rio De Mi Vida

I’m in a writing group that meets every Monday night, and it is awesome! It’s a writing coven, and we write to some strange and spooky prompts. I want to share some of them here, and maybe work on a zine based on everything I’ve written with Rio de Mi Vida.

Since it’s winter break, I have time to myself, and it’s such a night-and-day difference to when I work. I ‘m able to clean the house, take care of my plants, cook, do laundry, walk to get food, play viola, draw and generally take better care of myself. I have to figure out how to do this when I’m working too. It’s so hard — I eat badly, I spend more, and the place is a mess when I’m working.

I told the district today that I will be back for the week after break, then I will be removed from the assignment after that. I think day-to-day is a much better fit for me. School politics are a minefield, and being a long-term sub only makes me feel more out of place. But I feel really torn because I like being with some of the students and adults — it sucks that I have to leave because other people make it so difficult. I still remember and think about some of the students and adults in the previous schools I worked at. I wish I could have continued working with them.

But it’s hard to describe the mental and physical toll it takes on my body, feeling literal animosity, day after day. I wonder how people deal with it for years. I can only handle weeks and months of it. When I have time to myself, like today, I feel so free. I sing and play my viola — it’s so much fun literally letting sound come out of me. I love trying to make sense and struggling through measures. I need to play with more vitality and be more energetic in general. When I record myself, I can hear that I’m on beat, but I need to show more tension and emphasis.

Anyway, the best feeling in my life is probably right now and the month after I left IHCS. I really felt free and could do a bunch of creative things like baking, singing and gardening.

With day-to-day subbing, my responsibility ends when the last bell rings, so it should give me more peace of mind and capacity after work. Tutoring Laila after subbing all day can be kind of draining, but I like working with her. I have to manage that. Tutoring Yusuf and Yahya on Saturdays is fine — I really enjoy doing that. I love working at LibroMobile too. I want to make an effort to actually draw and work on my hobbies on weeknights. It’s hard because being at school and in charge of kids is so draining.

Nonetheless, in 2022 I really want to draw, write, cook/bake, play music and create more. I spent nearly two hours today tending to my plants — it was so much fun just being around them, repotting, watering and looking at them. I really love my garden! Thank you to the plants that no longer serve me — I really enjoyed having you and trying to revive you, and I accept that you are no longer living. Going to the MakerSpace at Crear Studio gave me ideas of what I can create. Also, I love the tutorials on library IGs; I want to craft and use up the materials I have. I just want to feel more at home, and literally spend more time at home. With COVID, I don’t think this will be a problem.

I’m really grateful I’m able to work every day, even though subbing is hard. I’m glad I have income and can do creative things. I also want to work on a campaign in 2022. I also want to work at HipCooks next year! I think it will be a great year.

Shadowscapes Day 23: The Chariot

Today’s card is The Chariot.

“A constant tension of push and pull of air against liquid is maintained, and to ride to victory, one must be able to achieve the confidence and knowledge to walk upon that fragile surface.”

I relate to this because I’m currently on the fence: should I exit a difficult situation, or should I stay even though won’t be easy? The adults and some kids at the school are giving me a hard time, but I do not want to throw away the connections I’ve made with some of them. It is really hard.

But when I look back on the school years past, I still remember the names and faces of almost every student. It is really odd–no matter what my relationship was with them, or whether I even had much of one or not, they are really memorable to me.

On the other hand, I also remember some of the adults being really nasty to me, and feeling shaken by people being territorial and talking to me like I am getting in their way.

What does it mean to really shine? and when do you lay low? When do you perform? I really don’t know. I’m doing my best, but at this current school, I feel like the adults don’t want me to be there. I think it’s 100 percent possible that a lot of white men and women don’t want POC and women to outperform them. There are so many unspoken vibes that I can pick up.

It’s also depressing seeing that racism and sexism start so young. I see it in kids every day. I feel like all of those things are reasons for me to exist in that space, but it is exhausting.

I’m also anxious about going to Florida. I feel guilty about spending money and traveling. I’m also super uneasy about going to theme parks during COVID, especially in Florida. Going on this trip pushes me out of my comfort zone. I’m trying to think about how to use this as practice.

  1. being around a lot of people in a theme park
  2. being in a place with a lot of stimulation (sounds, sights, smells)
  3. going on a trip with people I don’t know (except Sheryl), and who I potentially feel uncomfortable around
  4. being in a red state with no COVID measures
  5. feeling guilty because I’m spending money that could be going toward something else

How do I make peace with myself for going on this trip? I can exercise my muscle in existing in uncomfortable spaces. I can challenge myself. I can write about it. I will come to appreciate home and in my space when I come back. I just pray that I am safe and make it back. I feel really uneasy.

P.S. I relate to Tynisa’s mental health vlog so hard! It’s accessible and speaks frankly about what

Shadowscapes Day 22: Seven of Pentacles

Today’s card is Seven of Pentacles.

“The Seven of Pentacles challenges you to make a choice to cut and enjoy the fruit in the basket, or to leave them to flower and ripen and continue upon the branch? It is about reaping the reward for effort and work. … Now is the moment to appreciate. It is a calm moment of consideration of alternatives and different approaches.”

I relate to this because it’s such a relief being done with a hard task. The relief of the worst part being over is the fruit itself for me a lot of times. I mean, there are certain tasks that feel like torture or pulling teeth. I experience it a lot while socializing or teaching–sitting with the uncomfortable silences, the eyerolls, and having people cringe at you is not easy. But after it’s over, I always feel like I got a little stronger, as in I became a little sturdier. The barbs don’t hurt me as much as they did before.

Knowing that I’m NOT going to fall apart, and that I am not fragile, is a really beautiful thing.