Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Series of Unrelated Vignettes

One of the yoga classes I teach is located on a college campus. I don't work for the college, but for a local fitness organization with an on-campus branch. Recently, I walked into my class and discovered another instructor had already begun teaching! Not only was he teaching my class, but his style was bombastic, confrontative and overbearing. He'd yelled at and insulted several students already.

It took some time to get through to him that this was the fitness yoga class, not the college credit yoga class, and that he was in the wrong room. I did so kindly as I could, but he kept interrupting me to rant vaguely about the corruption of modern-day yoga. As he finally began to understand, I could see the embarrassment dawn on his face. He stormed toward the exit in his socks, and I spotted his leather loafers in the corner by the bin of blocks, about to be left behind. I stopped him to hand him his shoes. He thanked me. The moment was deeply uncomfortable.

The man was in his late-60s or early 70s. His head was wrapped in a colorful, printed turban and his tunic and pants were crafted of the same fabric. His skin was bronze and slightly craggy, his posture yoga-regal, his mouth down-turned in the corners in the manner of a man who perpetually frowns. He moved from bombastic to embarrassed before my eyes, shuffling defiantly from the room in saggy yellow socks. I wasn't sure what to make of this character who'd appeared so unexpectedly before my eyes to act out this surprising scene.

It felt as if I'd suddenly walked into a Zadie Smith novel.

* * *

My son would be starting kindergarten tomorrow if we weren't homeschooling. My facebook feed is full of first-day-of-school pics, and people are beginning to ask me questions about curriculum. It ought to be a milestone of some sort, I suppose, but it barely registers most of the time. There is so much else crowding for space. For being such a big and life-changing commitment, would you believe homeschooling is the easiest part of my life, by far? I barely need to give it a thought; the boy is learning deeply and broadly, and the environment is rich with inspiration. I wish the rest of my life were as easy as homeschooling.

* * *

Sometimes I sit on the couch late at night and marvel at my luck, in being able to work for myself, in a field I'm passionate about.

Other times I completely fucking hate working for myself.

Unfortunately, there are more of the latter moments than the former, most recently.

I have put my heart and soul into this business over the last year, and I'm just exhausted. There's no one to share the load, no one to bolster me when I'm beaten down by the endless demands. There's no one to help! Ever!

So, while it's technically a success: my nursery school is officially open, enrollment numbers look great, the kids have fun and get along, I enjoy the company of all the parents, I feel as if I've just dragged myself over the finish line after having completed a marathon and all I can think is: never again, never again.

I'm sure the energy will shift and change. It always does.

But for now, I just want to sleep for a year.