A little back & forth

How do you get back to blogging after (another) very long pause? You just do. You sit down and begin, and words flow and you know it was time. Both simple and tough.

It was a full year, 2018, in the oxymoron fashion I’ve grown used to, with numerous moments of sharing, presenting and collaborating, but also with multiples of quiet times in the company of books, notepads and pencils (and bouts of gaming, yes). Couldn’t ask for anything better, honestly. The core of everything was making, reflecting and then going back at everything with fierce determination. My very own challenging way of being.

So, what have we learned this past year, Chris?

We have resumed our love for people.
It surprises me sometimes how many people the quiet and shy me crosses paths with and how significant the slightest moment of something can become. Out of nowhere, literally. You see, it’s not the scheduled, but the unplanned, unpredictable get-togethers that give meaning: the group of parents that greet and join you at the local cafe, the socializing at conferences and seminars, the random stranger that handed me a flower on New Year’s Eve because I looked happy. I say “resumed” because it must be noted that for a substantial amount of time I pretty much hated everything and everyone – but that was just tiredness and a bit of loss of perspective on my part.
I’m back in my all-loving, all-caring state, thankfully.

We have shared and loved it.
Though I keep debating whether everything should be shared, most times this openness on a professional level gives more than you expect. I gave four presentations in 2018, and they have all given back so much more than I shared outwards. Same with our monthly #RP group here in Athens. There is something unique in opening that trail of thought and then just take in the reactions, contemplating how you can learn from all you hear. It has been a different, more flamboyant, form of sharing other than blogging, and it has been rewarding in ways I certainly did not expect.

We have practiced. In all sorts of ways.
I’m not sure how many people know I serve on the Board of Directors of TESOL Greece. Some come and greet me like a teacher they’ve heard of somewhere, somehow (the right approach, in my view) and some address me in a manner most uncomfortable for my introvert self: like someone. The truth is, we have been living through exceptional moments, what with all the preparations for TG’s 40th anniversary, and despite the massive amount of tasks we all have to see through, there is nothing more worth it. It is a one-of-a-kind feeling to be part of a distinguished group of educators and know that your slightest contribution makes a difference. We have a lot in store, and I hope we will pull through it all, but above all, I’m thankful for having the opportunity of learning and working in contexts still unmapped to me.

We have believed.
A big part of my year has been consumed by loss; not surprising, unfortunately, just cannot be classed as commonplace either. I have written it before, and I will put it down once again: loss is a reminder. And it is because I believe in the proper things coming that I urge forward. I believe and I’m glad I do.

I have been #blogreading and felt warm just reading everyone’s yearly thoughts. Keep sharing.

2018 Highlights in Pictures: