by Taylor Vogel
Hey, I’m Taylor Vogel and this is Now That I’m Not Your Teacher. Each week we’ll explore an aspect of adulting that you might have missed in school. Since I used to be a teacher, I’ll structure it in ways that are proven to help you retain information. But since I’m not your teacher anymore, I can approach it in a way that’s honest and sometimes inappropriate for a classroom.
In this pre-release bonus episode, Look it in the Eye, we’ll explore how acknowledging the terrible thing can be an excellent first step in gaining power over it.
Before we get to our episode, I want to invite you to be a part of Now That I’m Not Your Teacher’s Launch Team! A launch team is a group of people who share the good news of a new thing in the world. The NTINYT launch team will complete four tasks throughout the month of December leading up to the podcast launch of January 4, 2021. All four tasks take no more than an hour total, and you’ll have the chance to win coffee! Or tea. Basically, if you win, I’ll send you a cozy beverage by way of a gift card. To join the launch team, send me a message on Instagram or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and just say, “I want to join the launch team!” I’ll take it from there.
And now, our pre-release bonus episode, “Look it in the Eye.”
We’re reaching the end of 2020. And while “2020” has been used synonymously with “pain,” “annoyance,” “terrible,” and “the absolute worst,” it’s important to not just brush by the annual call to reflect on our year. I don’t know how often you do this, but without implementing calendar moments to reflect and acknowledge, I personally tend to let allllllllll of my feelings build up, take over, and make me into a terrible, inhuman version of myself. So, if you’re willing to dive into mindful contemplation about what this year has held, I’ll walk equally warily beside you, holding your hand, and acknowledging that this practice is particularly important this year.
Pretty much any time I have a feeling that things aren’t working well in life I want to look away. This was my practice seven years ago when I was struggling to financially make ends meet while working literally four jobs. I just looked away and went to get drinks at an overpriced bar, thereby making my problem worse. I’ve looked away in romantic relationship, completely denying that the problem I wanted more than anything to go away was still there, and would probably never change. I’ve even had these moments in my professional life when I realized I wanted the opportunity to grow, and there wasn’t an opportunity where I was at (and I was really, really comfy and good where I was at). Very much a Dory “Just keep swimming vibe” when things are broken. And while soldiering on is a really valuable practice in some situations, I wasn’t able to improve any of these situations by avoiding. It wasn’t until I made the budget, talked to the therapist, or revamped my resume that I improved. I couldn’t have done any of those things without looking the problem in the eye.
What’s been your biggest enemy of 2020? Get really specific about this. Mine has been the absence of constant laughter with my best friends who I have hugged fewer than ten times this year. These are women whose hugs and kisses I didn’t know how much I really, really needed until I couldn’t have them. And now we’re three hours apart, living in different cities, and my heart is really broken by it. I love laughing more than I realized. I love being playful and I shine brightest when I can participate in organic conversation where timing is the primary element of humor. It doesn’t come through on Zoom, and I’m frankly, really, really angry that I’ve been missing that for nine months. And this is just a small and selfish thing. I have a long list of grievances from the year that I’m not willing to share publicly because it’s either empathetic pain for my loved ones’ losses or because IT’S GRIEF. And those wounds are still being cut at. And I’m just not ready to share it yet.
But, in finally taking time to actually write down what has been making my body and my mind and my heart feel so terrible for months on end, I’ve looked my enemies in the eye. And my mind went instantly into problem solving mode. I was able to ask for a birthday breakfast Zoom with my girlfriends that was silly and full of life before our families all needed from us that day. I am able to call my family more often and connect about things we mutually love. I’m listening to comedians on Spotify again and trying to resurrect my dark sense of humor, intentionally.
This might be a practice that you need to engage in with the help of a licensed therapist. So don’t let it tip you over the edge. But if you’ve been avoiding for a big chunk of 2020, it might be wise to take an hour, bust out your journal, look 2020 in the eye, and remember how strong you are. That you can have power over some things. And while you can’t fix it all, you’re always a step ahead when you know what you’re up against. Look it in the eye.
You can do it. I’m here to help.
If you want to share of your experiences and support others in our growing little community, reach out on Instagram @nowthatimnotyourteacher. And don’t forget to let me know if you want to be on the launch team. I’d love to get to know you!
Finally, be sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss out on any other pre-release bonuses!
Now That I’m Not Your Teacher is a product of Cardigan Media Group. Music by Reed Mathis. All content is Copyright 2020.
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
Click "Read More" to access the full transcript for each episode, and be sure to leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts!