It’s hurting me too…

This post is a recreation of an opening thought I shared today with my students. It felt like one of the truest things I’ve said in a while, and so I’ve written a version of it down to share here.


Good afternoon, guys.

We have a bunch of things to get to today. There’s a whole plan I spent this morning creating, because everything is new and it’s all happening on the fly. You should have an email in your inbox with links to reference what I’ll be screen-sharing with you in a moment.

But before I begin, I wanted to take a little space here at the top of class.

It feels like I haven’t had any space these past few weeks. Not for myself, not in my creative work, and most definitely not with you.

I miss it, space.

I miss being together. Even now, as you’re with me, hearing my voice, I miss you. I feel so impossibly far away from those last few classes we had together before spring break and the entire world broke apart.

The past few weeks, I find myself weirdly rushing, behind all the time and on everything. I’m rushing to catch up to usefulness, to meaning, to things mattering as much. I’m rushing to catch my whole life up to the way it was before, despite knowing deep down that I can’t. I feel so forcibly that I am less connected to my purpose, creative work and to all of you, and I know that no amount of speed will catch us all up to what mattered that’s been lost, but until today I suppose I haven’t been brave enough to let that reality in.

I’m sorry about that.

This morning, I was thinking about this class and about all of you and it made me very sad.

A big part of me wants to give you a motivational speech about how lucky I am that I have you, remind you that before all this happened we forged something that matters. That you are special and capable and adaptable and that you will survive this. That you are the thing that makes me most excited to get up in the morning, even when so many things that used to matter do not.

All that is true. If all this had to happen, I’m glad it happened with a group so able to adapt, able to stay flexible in this weird and strange situation, able to find grace in the tragedy. I’m lucky to have a group of students that are such a pleasure to be with in this way.

But I’m also sad.

I’m sad and I’m angry, because our last few weeks together, the culminating the arc of two years of collaboration and learning was something that mattered to me. It was something that used to feel tectonic and inevitable. It’s something I’m now so starkly seeing the necessary of in my day-to-day. And though I am telling the truth when I say I am excited to see you here – for these weird/not-weird dumb/not-dumb Zoom classes have been one of a very few bright spots in the ongoing slog – as we head into what would have been (and still sort of is) our final moments together, I’m grieving.

And this morning that grief finally caught up with me.

So at the top of today I wanted to take a few extra seconds of space to grieve without rushing to cram something useful into every online second just to prove this isn’t hurting us.

It is.

I think there’s no point in pretending otherwise.

It’s hurting us.

It’s hurting me.

It hurts me not to be with you.

And I see you’re hurting too.

 

 

 

So, that’s it for housekeeping, I guess.

Just know that if there’s anything I can do to help you in the coming weeks, I’m open.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it now, I have office hours.

Just email me and we’ll find a time.

 

– A

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