I have about 40 minutes before this year is done in my part of the world. I have shied away from writing for a couple of months for several reasons.

At first it begun with the fact that one of my students discovered my blog. I panicked. If the students were reading it, I had to present a certain Kuukua— the Ms. Yomekpe they knew who was respectable and respected authority and tradition. Although come to think of it, I never gave them that illusion. Nevertheless I didn’t write for weeks.

Then once I turned in my resignation I didn’t know when would be an appropriate time to inform the students. I also could think of nothing else but how they were going to feel once they found out. I didn’t realize they had become such a part of me—that I had come to care so deeply for them. Because this was all that occupied my thoughts I knew any writing would betray this before we had officially informed the whole school.

This reason rolled into the next one of not having time. Once I had decided to return to the US I realized how much there really was to do in getting ready. I had conveniently forgotten the stress of moving to Ghana.

I must say I had respect for my teachers in the past but now I bow down to them. End of semester reports, tallying of semester grades, make-up assignments whose owners were now all of a sudden concerned, setting of exam questions, grading a mix of excellent and atrocious freshman high school essays and poetry analyses…the list goes on, and I bow ever so deeply to all teachers everywhere. I barely found time to eat during the two weeks of crunch time. Of course right before this, I had successfully launched the Writing Center I was hired to found, I was running around trying to get visas for my two American friends who were visiting Ghana, and I was trying to remotely plan a transition back to the US.

This reason rolled finally into total overwhelm and inability to discern what to write about. There was so much going on, that I couldn’t choose. I started a couple blogs which I will post over the next couple weeks but nothing felt complete nor did I have the energy to edit any of them well enough to post it, so I gave it up. The idea that if I am to consistently call myself a writer, I must consistently produce words strung together to create sentences (those that make meaning are a must; the witty ones are a bonus). So I made a commitment two days ago that I would begin 2012 writing. This meant that I gave up my dream of ringing in the New Year in New York and opted instead for a small country town known for its love of horses. I am holed up in a cute corner B&B watching old movies in between tapping away at my keyboard and sipping on a glass of Manischewitz.

You will be hearing more from me about my 6 months in Ghana slowly as I unravel the journey. In the meantime, know that I am no longer panicked nor confused about what to write. I know I must write or my T-4 herniated disc will remind me (that’s where I store all my stress). I know I must make time to write and that when I show up at the laptop or paper, what I am supposed to say will come out. I write for all my students, those who hated writing and those who loved writing, and I hope that my 4 months with them and my words this coming year will be an inspiration to them. I write for myself so I can hurt less.

2011 had its challenges with break-ups and deaths and friends moving and a return to the continent for an extended stay. But I am stronger for it and ready to take on 2012.

Join me in taking her on!

Thank you for coming along for the journey thus far.


10 thoughts on “Goodbye 2011

  1. And it was an amazing time for me during your Ghana visit, getting to know you and watching your passion for writing. You have left a legacy in SOS, I can tell you – the fruits will surprise you. Happy New Year.

  2. I look forward to reading more work from you. It was great to meet you, and have a our few small interactions. We will miss your physical presence, but who knows what the future holds. All the best for 2012

    1. Oh no! The Vice Principal himself?! Now talk about real pressure… 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement and for always having a hug and a smile for me while I was there.

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