I'll warn you that this is a personal post, not herbal or mystical or wisdom offering.
I run a wilderness school, well a part of a wilderness school that provides nature based programs for about 50 homeschoolers, two of which are my own kids.
It was in August that I began the role of coordinator, after teaching there for a year and a half as the herbal/botany teacher just a couple hours a week.
The former coordinator warned me how hard it was. I was convinced I could turn things around,
And for the fall, I did. We had record enrollement and everything exceeded our expectations. The staff, the days, the kids, everything was wildly successful.
Now I sit here in January, and the programs are as desolate as the weather. They were slated to begin last week, and we've not been able to hold one of them yet. Only one out of four main programs got enough participation to run.
What is going on. I keep asking this question. I've set everything up with consideration to what I thought parents had asked for, within the boundaries of what the school can offer. Flexible time, not too much time in the freezing cold, familiar and well qualified instructors, interesting topics yet with experiential content.
And no none is coming.
I don't understand it. And while listening to the parents gives me plenty of insight into their particular need or preferences - they are all so different - that I cannot detect any additional common denominators.
My freind tells me I need to try something different. The parents tell me I did try something different, and they don't want that - they want the same programs as usual. My guts are telling me I am failing and that there isn't any solution except to just cancel the programs and work on other stuff, like goods to sell and the summer schedule. Like grants and program development. Like recruiting enough staff for the spring. But see - I am the middle man now, and if programs are not running, my paycheck isn't supported.
It just absolutely sucks. When this whole thing started I felt open and creative and inspired. Now I just feel weighed down and angry. I spend so much time on this job and not enough with my kids.
But I have to work.
I wish I could get back to that centered place where it just flowed. Where I was driven by my joy and excitement and people responded. I never have worked well under deadlines and pressure and it usually drives me to quitting my jobs. It's half the reason I left dance, all of the reason I left marketing my herbal products for sale, and why I quit gymnastics when I realized it was actually a competitive sport. I don't like the pressure - it freaks me out.
I want to crawl in a hole and hide. I want to quit my job. I hate feeling like all my energy is pouring into all this PR stuff ( did I mention I am a plant lady - not a marketing major?). The fact that it is not working so much, really makes me wonder if this is what I am supposed to be doing at all. Is this really what I want to do? Or am I merely doing it for my kids, or for a little money.
Ultimately I beleive in this school. I love the land, I love the experiential learning, I love the staff I have worked with, and I love that I am creating a place where children learn about and connect with nature, and that carries on into the future. But I do not love the feeling that I don't know what I am doing, and what I am doing sucks. That I am speding so much energy on plans that no one wants.
If only I could figure out what I really want.
It would save me so much grief.
I used to know....back in my adolescence. I knew with irrevocable certainty that I was born to dance. I was on this earth to be a dancer and nothing else mattered because I knew my purpose.
Who am I without that title? Lost is what I am. With daily tasks filled up with emptiness and dispair. I feel like I do not have a gift to give.
I need my purpose because it gives me meaning. A reason to do the mundane things that are otherwise miserable. A current of gratitude and a way of living that is valuable to me. And although I would give my life twice over for my children and I love them more than anyone or anything..... they are not my purpose. And I hate those responses like "you are here to be a spiritual being in a human body" or whatever. The fact of the matter is that humans don't stand still all day.... they function. The DO... they create, cycle, and live a life, which means we require tangible means to express our soul. Not some abstract comment. I know I am a spiritual being........ and so I will take that liberty right here.
I am putting a plea out to the great Goddess:
Give me strength for I am weak.
Give me eyes for I cannot see
Give me heart for I am hurting
Give me purpose so I may come home
I ask thee great Goddess, my Self, the center of my life force
Please illuminate this life for me so I may believe in myself again,
and offer my gifts without doubt.
So mote it be.