After a week-long immersion at 502PY for the second week of Teacher Training (TT), the transition back to the “real” world has been a slow and interesting one. Our last day was March 28th, and it is strange to not feel the intense connection with everyone I interact with in my daily life like I did in TT. This has opened my eyes to seeing something I didn’t know I was missing.
I spend a lot of my day talking with my co-workers, responding to work related emails, answering questions on the phone, etc. but I don’t know that I would consider those interactions. Interaction–it is such a meaningful word; I would say most of my interactions are words that fill the space. Those times where my words make an impact, cause an effect, I feel those. I wish I could say they always made a positive impact, but I have seen the way my interactions can knock the wind out of someone.
In TT, we were so immersed in life-changing transitions and deep self-work that we did not have a lot of simple conversations, we had interactions. I was seen when I spoke and I was heard. I was understood and intentional; purposeful, powerful words were spoken back to me by both my peers and leaders.
I have been in touch with my fellow graduates and there seems to be a common string in a lot of our reentries to our “normal” lives – there is a feeling of being a fish out of water. Of feeling inauthentic. Of being called to something else. And maybe that is because some are ready to take this new training into a full-time career, but I think a lot of it comes from being reintroduced to constant empty conversations and few meaningful interactions.
What would happen if we were all more intentional about what filled the space around us, what entered our minds and our hearts, what we put out into the world? Maybe we would see more eyes light up. Maybe more people would feel heard and understood. Maybe more people could be hurt by words that cut you to the bone. Maybe we would all feel just a little bit more. And in a world as far removed from personal interactions as ours, that could start a revolution.
The transition back to the real world has been slow, but the change it has created is lasting. I’m looking forward to using the connections I made in TT throughout my every day, and interacting with the people around me intentionally.
Written by Becca Washer