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.