steel balloon//

My mind rages as I sit in the middle of my classroom floor, surrounded by desks only holding the ghosts of old and new kids I have probably let down. I am cutting out a baby bluebird colored piece of paper into a map of the world and cannot stop saying to myself, “What am I doing here?” over and over again, albeit in my head. The head can be an exhausting and crazy place to find oneself, but more than usual, the ghosts of last fall come back and fill my stomach like a concrete pit.

All I can say is that, as humans, I wish we had the ability to bounce lightly, to float in the breeze. We cannot. We hold onto the past like a steel balloon, trying to be buoyant but knowing we leave pieces of our heart in a million pieces scattered in all the lives you tried to live.

I’ve never told anybody this, minus a few people, but when I moved back to Georgia last fall- it was a moved that has never stopped haunting me. I wish I could somehow mend the past without wishing to change it. God is so faithful and has blown my mind with the way He works our mishaps and scraped knees into a pathway still. But I can’t help but remember the days when my brain felt the most isolated and alive and ready for new and scared shitless. And then I ran away and those faces and lives never left me and I feel like I’m still just yelling, “I’m sorry!” into the wind.

But then there were the new kids with messy lives and hearts and I latched on and wished I would do anything but let them down too. That’s the worst part of chasing your own dreams is feeling the responsibility to hold up the dreams of all the others and younger ones you meet. But you can’t do that. You are just you. You can’t hold up the world when you are still piecing together your own.

And now I sit on the threshold of the next, the new first day. Scared beyond reason, not because I’m not prepared or competent. But because hundreds of new faces and names and hearts are about to walk into my life and I’m scared out of my mind to let them all down too. Sure, it’s easy for anyone to say, “NO! NO! That won’t happen!”. But it will. I’m a human and I’m sure I will let them down. Maybe not all of them, but at least one of them. I know I can’t fix the world and every little bit counts. But what scares me is knowing that “I’m sorry” into the wind can’t fix poverty or wrecked families or educational inequality or fights or gangs or abuse or even just the hurting hearts of a teen breakup.

Heart like a steel balloon, stomach a pit of concrete- can you even imagine the break of a Creator’s heart looking upon the mess of the world.

And here I am– looking for the magnet that lifts the steel balloon high above the trees.