A wintry mix

by tamarjacobson

End of the semester arrives, and with it the beginning of phased retirement leave for the spring. Mixed feelings: on the one hand, exhilaration to be free to write, walk, read, discover who I am becoming as I get older; on the other, I will miss the students and coming into the sacred space of my work office with all its precious posters and nick knacks collected over the years.

The freedom feeling wins me over. For having just signed a contract to write a book on a topic I have been reflecting about for a couple of years, I am excited to get going with that. As is my way, I will give teachers, or any other adults who live or work with children, permission to explore their own psychological development and emotions, by sharing mine. And this topic, children needing attention, while near and dear to my heart – also breaks my heart. So many children need our attention in the form of authentic relationships – so many do not receive it. So many teachers overwhelmed not knowing what it feels like themselves, having never received it either. So many of us learned to accept being invisible, repressed, filled with feelings of longing and desire for attention, or acting out just to be noticed.

Are we forever confused, ashamed or guilty about even wanting attention in the first place? Are we numb to the longing?

At a very young age I know I learned to lower my expectations to become unaware of how much I longed for attention.

Since I started thinking about the how’s and why’s – the ways I received attention as a young child, I have started to feel less and less needy for it. This, in itself is a phenomenon that intrigues me. Am I giving myself the attention I did not receive as a child simply by thinking, remembering, and allowing myself to feel the deprivation – now, as an adult?

Much to think and read about as I formulate chapter upon chapter. Am excited to explore the topic but fearful at the same time as I know it will give me pain to remember my own childhood. On the other hand – what catharsis and healing!

I have some goals for my New Year. They are part of my wintry mix: writing the new book, sharing my emotional life with others, allowing myself to face more and more of my uncomfortable or frightening feelings, and becoming more healthy – physically and emotionally.

Winter’s darkness and cold will inevitably bring forth warmth, light and rebirth, and accompany me on yet another journey back in time to hopefully emerge more enlightened than before.