Living in Courage: Three Vignettes Vlog

“Most often, after you have completed something you didn’t want to do, you wonder why you were so worried in the first place.”

~Madisyn Taylor, Daily Om

I feel like I live a double life – the life of an introvert forced to become an extrovert. As a teacher and leader at school, I’m constantly expected to stand up, speak up, and innovate. I love experimenting with lessons in my classrooms, integrating new technology into my teaching, and finding exciting, experimental ways to jazz up my teaching. Not much phases me in my work life. After 24 years, I’m comfortable with who I am, what I do, and that I can get the desired results. It doesn’t take much courage; it’s natural.

 In my personal life right now, it’s a different story. I feel most comfortable in old routines, sinking into the safety of the predictable and sure thing. I default to pattern, to embrace only the tiniest amount of change. This year has tried me to the core, pushing my acceptable comfort levels to the bursting point. I breathe in change and exhale a need for consistency, but it’s slow coming. I’m parenting differently, I’m living differently. Some days it feels almost normal; others, I wonder how I landed here. It takes extraordinary courage some days just to make any sense at all.

Last month, about two days before the deadline, I took a deep breath in and hit ‘submit’ on a live spoken word production called “Listen To Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone”. I’ve wanted to audition for years, but always found it too inconvenient to commit to something that big at this time of year – normally a time when I’m in and out of the snow, driving up and down the state to ski races on the weekends and watching track meets during the week.

But this year, all that changed…so I decided to change, too. I went with courage.

And to my absolute surprise, my essay made it through the first cut, and I passed the in-person audition. No excuses anymore – it’s official. I am part of the 2015 Listen To Your Mother cast in Plumas County, California. You can read all about LTYM here, but for now, I need to get comfortable in front of a microphone; no hiding behind the keyboard now. I’ll be reading my essay, Extraordinary in the Ordinary, live on April 30, and it will be taped and broadcast on the LTYM You Tube channel this summer. Ack!

In an effort to embrace change and live in courage, I’m stepping out into new territory today…my first attempt at vlogging. This piece was originally written after I read the book The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver. The book was about survival, and how we create stories to help us muddle through life and make sense of the world around us. It reminded me of three distinct times in my life where the theme of power was prevalent: in my childhood, in my twenties, and recently, as a forty-something mom.

Step one complete. Less worried now than I was before…and luckily, I still have a month to rehearse.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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