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Behind the Scenes

WARNING: A moment of transparency, and a rather long post ahead. 

Yesterday, I had my 3rd teaching evaluation of the year and the administrator asked my students a variety of questions, one of which was "Does your teacher demonstrate enthusiasm in her job?" One dancer laughed and said, "She has more energy than the rest of us every morning." Since this was a student I've known years, I later confessed that I'm usually faking my 6AM energy, but that by pretending I'm excited in beginning of each day, I usually make the energy become a reality. (With the help of my 9AM dose of caffeine and B vitamins, at least until it wears off.) She was surprised that she didn't know how I'd really felt all this time.

 And I realized several of my mostly-on-line friends have mentioned similar ideas recently, with kind words about how fun or funny or happy my life seems to be.  (Although those who know me best can attest to what you're about to learn...And I offer you all a HUGE thank you for supporting me, or for even putting up with me.)

 So here it is: I'm EXHAUSTED.

I don't have a perfect life and I don't pretend to. Yes, I find beauty and humor and inspiration all around me in life.  I take pride in my work and I want my students to have the best experience I can give them, so I try not to show when I'm tired or sick or emotional. But that doesn't mean I'm immune to fatigue, frustration, depression, anxiety, or stress. 

My sleep disorder has not gone away, even though I don't often talk about it. Sometimes, I'm not sure which is more painful--the nightmares or trying to wake up from them. My house is often messy because I'm too tired to clean it and my make up often looks less than picture-worthy. I'm still figuring out what to do with my grownup body image issues. I'm working two wonderful jobs which I love dearly, but which each take a lot of time and emotional investment practically every single day. I know it's possible to do both of these jobs with less time or energy, but I sincerely value my opportunity to invest time in my students and coworkers who need it. That means I sometimes sacrifice the time and care I should be investing in my loved ones or in myself. I struggle to say NO when people ask for help or favors, so I overcommit myself then struggle to succeed. I worry obsessively when I'm not meeting expectations in my work or when I'm disappointing people who know me behind the scenes.  Sometimes I make dumb decisions that I later regret. I'm far from perfect. 

When it comes to posting on SOCIAL MEDIA though, I figure we could all use a little more positivity on our newsfeed so that's what I try to focus on. I'm not trying to create an unrealistic image of the blessings vs the struggles in my life; I just know it wouldn't do much good if I shared every little negative experience on here. I guess from this post, I hope you appreciate that there's more to each of us than what you usually learn on social media, and I hope that you appreciate the positive, thought-provoking, inspirational, or amusing things that we can share with each other online. Even if it's a super tired picture of me trying to take a nap on a messy closet floor at work. 

[Insert evidence of exhaustion here.]