Birthday. Taking stock.

I celebrated my birthday last weekend. 
With this poorly-lit restaurant bathroom selfie and other adventures.

I'm pausing to take stock.
To think about growing up. It looks different each year.

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I'm working on confidence.

I used to feel like I was only pretending to know what's going on, and this year I've learned that:
a.) everyone's doing that.
b.) I usually do know.

I bought into fake it 'till you make it and didn't notice when I stopped faking it. When I wasn't paying attention my job turned into a career that I not only love, but am actually decent at most days. The kids tell me so, and teenagers are harsh critics and lousy liars.

I sell myself short. Mostly to myself.
And I feel like I have to prove things.

Who knows, maybe I will.

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I live with my favorite person. 

We love being married and talk all the time about what it means.
And how many roles we're asking the other person to fill.

It's an impossible amount of person to be.

We make each other better, even when it's harder.

We laugh ourselves silly.

Our littlehouse doesn't have a dishwasher, which is the worst, so we spend most evenings washing and drying and listening to music in our tiny kitchen, which, even though it's the last thing either of us wants to be doing in the moment, is the best.

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I'm really good at alone time. 
As in, I rarely feel lonely.
Even when I miss my people.

The people I'm closest to don't live nearby.
I miss seeing them and having my tribe, and I don't make a great effort to fix that.

I have one friend who uses a telephone. She calls me and we chat and it's wonderful.
Sometimes for a few minutes. Other times for a lot of them.
She's usually the one who dials.

It's not complicated.
It doesn't require a ton of effort.
It's an obvious win.

I can learn from this.

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Most days I think, Dang, this is everything.

With fleeting thoughts of: Dang, is this it?

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My mom is the happiest person you'll ever meet.
It takes practically nothing to bring her exquisite joy.

She's also the most grateful person I know.

These are undoubtedly connected.

She taught me the same.
And it really is everything.

Larissa Ignites

I work with incredible educators. Check out this talk by my amazing colleague in SLA's English department about Philadelphia schools and why we do the things we do. It's worth it.

Instagram Collaboration with T2T

I was so excited when the lovely folks at Teacher2Teacher reached out and asked me to collaborate on the T2T Instagram page. This fall I'm sharing about my classroom, my teacher feelings, and the self-care tidbits that keep me afloat in the tougher parts of the school year.

Read about my bright pink door at the end of the hallway and follow along for more in the coming weeks!

In My Brain // 13

I'm in the belly of the October whale. It kills me that my favorite month is so wholly consumed by schoolwork. Here are some goodies I've managed to think about with my remaining brain cells:

To The First Lady, With Love // Four essays (from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gloria Steinem, Jon Meacham, and Rashida Jones) about Michelle Obama.

Jolene at 33 rpm // This slowed-down version sounds amazing.

City Of Women // Everything Rebecca Solnit writes is solid.

I want to go to there // The secret apartments of the New York Public Library

I used to remain politically neutral. Not so much in 2016.

This is what I'm currently reading (besides student essays) and loving so far.