Here we are! Journey’s end. Another chapter done. At the time when my colleagues asked me to slice, I had the pressures of lesson planning, MTEL-taking, grad-student living, and adulting on my plate. But looking back at this experience, I cannot think of one negative aspect from it. Sure, I have clean laundry unfolded in the hamper next to my little futon and clean dishes still in the drying rack (operative word: CLEAN), but I’ve wanted to write more than do those chores.
This process has allowed me to air certain grievances, find reprieve in various situations, and even had me give my number to a complete stranger (who, by the way, texted me back today!!) And I loved every minute of it.
More importantly, though, this experience allowed me to enter a community. When I arrived in Korea in the fall of 2012, I simply needed to go to a weekly trivia night and BAM – I had my social circle. Birthday parties, weddings, and Korean festivals inundated my life all because I established myself in this trivia community. Upon returning from Asia, I intended to do the same, but met so many barriers. Nobody liked trivia, running, dancing, nothing! And, since funds are tight, certain activities just didn’t seem feasible.
But with Slice of Life, I have finally found that sense of camaraderie (even if I was a deplorable commenter…). I saw snippets into the lives of people I admire, respect, and genuinely enjoy being around, and felt like all the previous barriers crumbled away with every letter I wrote. A community of teachers welcomed me into their lives and within days, we would chat about recent posts and related topics. They’ve helped me in so many ways (including saving me from a dreadful lunchtime routine).
The encouragement from this community has certainly spilled over to many other aspects of my life – something I never expected to happen. As a student teacher, too many times I felt lost or questioned my decision to pursue education; but this community validated my insecurities and assuaged any fears I had. Like bumpers on a bowling lane, these people helped this bowling ball toward the pins and steered him clear of the gutter.
I truly hope that this event brings us together again next year, especially if I am not convening with them on a regular basis. So I leave you (for now) with a quote from my favorite show, Doctor Who:
“We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one (and write them!)”