Saturday, June 07, 2008

I love my life

My heart was so full that tears streamed down my face. I don't remember the last time I cried, because I was happy. Jaimie and Josh's wedding maybe?

I have never had a group of friends like this. I compare it to my college group of friends, but it's not. Maybe it's more grown-up. Maybe there's just no drama. Maybe because imperfections are embraced and celebrated. I don't know. But I adore it. As Kate would say, It's the sisterhood, boo.

I had a student come by my room every day this last week, and she would hug me and cry. I am going to miss you, she would say. You are like my school mom, she would say. And I could hold it together, until I was in my car alone. And then I would cry. I had a parent send one of the Assistant Principal's an email about me. My son loved her, she wrote. He was a challenge and she never treated him differently, she wrote. She should be encouraged to continue to love what she does so that her students continue to love English and school, she wrote.

I am encouraged. It's not a job; it's a mission. I forget sometimes how much bigger one person's voice and actions are. But I remember now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

live vs. love

I hang out with two women who love their lives. We could be downing margaritas, licking salt off our lips, and one will say, “I just love my life.” And the other repeats laughing, “I just love my life.” And we laugh and we sigh. Or we could be walking out of a movie in the late afternoon on a Wednesday, planning for brunch on a Saturday, glancing at a storm coming, and one will say, “I just love my life.” And the other repeats but louder, “No, I just love my life.”

How do you know if you love your life? Do you just know? Is it the same as loving a boy or a friend or a pair of shoes? I don’t know if I love my life. I live my life; there’s not much of a choice in that. And I love moments. I know I love moments. But my whole life?

So I will continue to laugh with these women and sigh with these women and admire these women, and maybe one day after their chorus of “I just love my life,” I will be able to share their contentment.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

what if

What if I have to choose? God, I sound like my parents, “what if, what if, what if.” For a girl who likes to be in control, I sure don’t like making a decision. For a girl who doesn’t like change, I sure don’t like commitment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

some days

Some days are like gynecological appointments: dreaded but necessary. Some days are stepping out of a bathtub: relaxed, refreshed. And some are secrets to a best friend: cherished despite the faults. And then some days, like today, are like the moment Sleeping Beauty awakes: foggy uncertainty followed by happily ever after.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hip-Hop and Post-its

You never imagined your high school teachers in the girls' gym after school working out to Hip-Hop Abs, but there we were singing along to "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me" and doing moves called "the freak" and hooping and hollering when the men on the screen lifted their shirts to reveal their own hip-hopped abs.

I have post-it notes covering my desk, and they remind me of the apartment of post-it notes of long ago. But these are different. These have notes in bright colored marker that say things like "Ms. Hicks rocks" and "Ms. Hicks is da H.B.I.C." and "Yvonne loves Ms. Hicks" and "Ms. Hicks is a G" and "Markita is Ms. Hicks's favorite student" and "Ms. Hicks likes me more 'cause I'm the BEAST" and so on. And so I like these post-it notes better, and I think I will cherish this memory more.

I am starting to realize any new experience is worth the initial fear.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

last week and present status

So my dad had a stroke. A TIA, meaning there was no brain damage. He hasn't been the same since he's been home. He's now mortal, and we all know it.

So I was the last one hired, meaning I will be the first to go. Why can't the Universe or God or Fate follow my plans? They're nice plans; you should give them a chance.

Despite all this, I'm okay. I'm writing, which is always a good sign. My writing group lets me bring stories and chapters to read whenever I want. I had lunch in Dallas with friends that live far away and plans for trips to Denver and NYC to see them and another dear friend again. I have too much fun with friends from work who like political rallies and happy hour and museums and movies and brownies and inside jokes (God, how I have missed inside jokes!) and laughing and laughing and laughing.

Sometimes you just need to laugh. Laugh at it all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

bright orange penis

It’s one of those days that you dreaded. You knew was coming, but still weren’t prepared. Someone drew a penis on the margin of a page. A bright orange penis. Maybe I am on the wrong track. Maybe I am being punished. What did I do? What did I do? There was no hope in his voice. What does he care? He is leaving. Maybe you will be able to come back. Linda would want you to. Bruce has only nice things to say about you. A bright orange penis on the margin of a page. I want to run out the door. What does it matter? What does it matter? I’m not coming back next year anyway. Maybe I just need a good exit. You won’t leave. We won’t let you leave. You are wrong. I am leaving. It isn’t over until it’s over. Well, it’s over. The bright orange penis told me so.

Friday, February 29, 2008

There are times

There are times when all I see is the future. Blue water carrying me to shore. Words written and rewritten and discovered and loved. Miles in distance but close to home. Fear as preparation for joy. Smells and sounds and tastes and sights previously fantasized. Everything new in respect to the old.

As if holding a newborn baby: cradling, whispering, and waiting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Keep Truckin'

It seems impossible to reach like old age to the young. Steps are never big enough, rarely satisfying. And because I live in Texas, the cliche "I think I can" becomes "keep truckin'." This annoys me and makes me laugh.

The days I fantasize about quitting haunt me on days like this one. On my desk, ceramic stockings filled with candy, candles, cards, and candy canes wish me "happy holidays," and hugs squeeze me, a reminder there are fifteen-year-olds that miss me.

Friday, December 14, 2007


It is not about doing; it is about deserving.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


She no longer wore her seatbelt—unable to take her own life but providing God with invented opportunities.

Yesterday her parents had praised her life, revealing their pride in her choices. She listened, smiled, realizing that on the surface her life seemed almost perfect, like a snow globe: serene, confined, unaware of its own insignificance.

And she sighed, knowing her mother and father would die in her death.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

god of an insignificant life form

I am alone. The only sound is that which I create. I am a god of an insignificant life form. The oxygen pushing, expanding my lungs only flows, because I allow it. The rhythm of my heart only beats, because I demand it. But what if I were to turn my back like the other God I once knew? What if I laughed at the heartache, ignored the pleas, slept through the cries? I am, after all, the god of an irrelevant specie. Or what if I disposed of the life I rule, called for sacrifices to atone for the sinful organs, brain, and skin? What is loss when there is nothing to be found?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Upon visiting a graveyard when I was younger, I noticed how close people die to the date of their births. So as always being one to find the glass half empty, I have this bizarre fear of death around my birthday.

Yesterday I arose to a head cold; always the cheery "good morning" you wish for. On arrival to work and after a brief complaint of my state, I was offered a zinc enhanced "Cold-Eeze," which up until this moment, I had never heard of. But I was desperate. For all I knew, my brain had liquefied and was now draining through my nostrils. I tossed the cold drop around my mouth with my tongue and started wondering what zinc is usually found in. I chewed the candy core and swallowed before considering if people can be allergic to zinc. And fearful my heart may stop at any moment from zinc poisoning and since I have been renting and watching season 1 of Bones, I safely tucked the wrapper into my pocket for evidence if I am found dead later on in the day.

I lived. Obviously.

This morning I awoke, and thanks to NPR revealing the date a moment after the alarm sounded, I remembered it is my birthday. In the aftermath of my Nyquil induced night, I started the usual morning routine without much thought of the day, but with the wish it was Friday instead. As I stepped out of the shower, my foot slid, and I flapped my arms wildly as if I had the ability to fly to save myself from gravity's nagging pull. And the only thought that ran through my mind was "I knew it; it's my fucking birthday!"

Again, I lived. Obviously. But the day is still young.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday, Seventh Period

As I walked the short distance from my car to the side door of Kempner High School, the only thought in my tired, foggy head was “I hate this day. It hasn’t even started, and I hate it.” I didn’t want to walk through the doors. I remember feeling this way when I was the high school student, but now I am the high school teacher. I am the teacher, and I continue to feel trapped within the confines of the school doors.

My seventh period class doesn’t believe me when I note, “I want to go home too.” They don’t get it. I probably didn’t get it when I was in high school. I thought my teachers lived at school. They didn’t have a life or a history or a favorite television show. Well, maybe a few of them did, my favorite teachers. But the awful ones, the bitchy ones, the scary ones (all of whom I completely empathize with now), they never had lives. At least, I never imagined a life for them.

And this was a Friday, when the weekend is cheering me on, waiting to give me a pat on the back. Except, I had to take a five hour test this morning, this Saturday morning.

Once again becoming the student, I sat in the squeaky desk with my number two pencil, bubbling and writing to the best of my abilities. No, not to the best of my abilities, but to the best I could do on a Saturday morning, which was not even close to the best of my abilities. And now, I empathize with my students, my poor, sad students who sit in squeaky desks and bubble and write the best that they can do in the last period of the day.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

in the last two months

planning a trip with my best friend. sonoma. wine. ducks. balloons. pillows. fireworks. i can't wait.
a decision that places fourth to eighth graders in my future.
a visit to fort worth to see lucy. she will be two on tuesday.
a bad cough.
chuy's every thursday night. guacamole with no lettuce on the bottom.
a wedding shower yesterday. a couple more in the coming months.
the realization of friends becoming old friends.
talks with audra.
audra buying a town house.
an interview.
an acceptance letter.
a couple trips to the beach.
a lifeguard class. stupid high schoolers. funny stories. five certifications.
house sitting. stuart and walter.
stomach virus.
and today, today is easter. happy easter.

Friday, February 03, 2006

saw me in half

i continue to receive emails from the modern museum in fort worth. and it makes me a little sad. i want to get in my little car and drive all the way to fort worth and make my way down university drive and park and hide in one of my favorite places to hide. and walk around in one of my favorite places to walk around. and sit in one of my places to sit. and think and imagine and dream and smile in one of my favorite places.

"i'm in love with illusions, so saw me in half. i'm in love with tricks, so pull another rabbit out your hat." --jenny lewis with the watson twins

my head aches. stupid head.

audra wants to do something more "involved" tonight. i am still not quite sure what that means. i guess i will see.

i already have my favorite kids at work. the silly ones. the crazy ones. the ones who laugh at my jokes. the ones that say they see dinosaurs on the ceiling. the one named brian who says he "sees brians in my eyes." the ones that are missing teeth. the ones that try really hard and are still awful. the ones who sing along.

to do this weekend: sleep. buy birthday present. have silly fun with silly friends. read. run. swim. veg. laundry.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

week under water

again, i thought i wasn't going to blog anymore. and again, here i am writing.
i smell like chlorine.
i have met a lot of new friends this week. some are short and some are even shorter. one is a hispanic woman in her fifties with bright red hair and seven sons. one is a man who lives from paycheck to paycheck who likes to tell drunk neighbor stories and enjoys burping. one is a woman who compares dating to reading (but i am not completely sure why) and she has a tattoo of waves around her thigh and likes to tell stories about her psychotic ex-girlfriends. one is a tall, young, asian man who walks out with me every night and shows me the bamboo growing outside the building and we fight over the time sheet and watch out for flying tennis balls. there are others. the girls at the front desk who smile and yawn and smile some more. the girls who lifeguard and complain about being hot. and then, once again, there are my short friends and my even shorter friends, all of whom complain about being cold.
i have spent over thirty hours in water this week.
did i mention how i smell like chlorine?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

but in a good way

my eyes are sleepy.
now, i am the wimp.
the thing about work is that it is quite exhausting, but in a good way.
just like people say i am weird, but in a good way.

i wish friends understood.
it wasn't that many days ago. and now, the change.
i wish they got it.

audra wanted to celebrate with me.

i need to learn how to not apologize for my life and the way i choose to live it.
i need to be proud of who i am and the skills and qualities i do have.

not any ol' person could do this. not any ol' person could excel at this.

it doesn't make me lame or stupid or boring or unaccomplished.
i am just not you.

i hate that there is this rain on my parade.
i hate that i just used a cliche.

my muscles need to stretch.
yoga, here i come.
the thing about silence is that it is quite distracting, but in a good way.
the peace is addicting, definitely in a good way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


talk. talk. talk.
see the light.
i think i can. i think i can. i think i can.
silly me. silly me. silly me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

not great, but not so bad

so i had a bad day. and then another. and another. and another. and another.
and then a day finally came when it wasn't so bad.
today my sister, mom, and i were startled when we witnessed a blimp flying over our backyard. a big one. and extremely low. and it had "outback" stretched across its side. before today, i never realized how funny blimps actually are. i like blimps.
i like yoga, too.
and high school talent shows.
i like my new friend--koala mitch.
and walking when i am talking on the phone.
i like my brown shoes with pink polka dots.
and chocolate chip cookies.

i don't know if i should send something. i don't think i have anything to say. i think i said it all. and it wasn't received well.
a lot of friends in love.
it's tiring to be happy for them all the time, when i feel so unloved.
st. john's wort.
no drugs.
no doctors.
blah on drugs and doctors.
i have trust issues. you know, the i-have-a-hard-time-trusting-you sort.
i have self-worth issues. you know, the self-worthless sort.
he or she wouldn't say anything i don't already know.

i am a bfotb.
bfotb=best friend of the bride.
i am also a flwwngm.
i'll let you figure that one out for yourself.
i fold down the corners of the pages i like. if i could have one wish come true, it would be to do more than fold down the corners of pages.
imagination is my best friend. and my worst enemy.
so is the lie.
so is the pinch of hope continuously haunting my waking moments.
that last sentence was a wee bit over-dramatic--even for my taste.
i didn't think i was going to blog anymore. but i guess i am.