This teacher teaches himself to be more in control. Control of what? As much as he can. More balance is the goal. At this age, I teach myself as I do my students at the junior college, to stay at it. I institute this new lesson for everything. Yes, for my career, but as well for my family, my kids, people around me just in passing. When you’re younger control is a priority, I guess, but it’s more an adding and insistent aim when you’re in your late 30’s and want to shift gears a bit, start your own business, take things in a different direction.
And who says it’s too late? Don’t most Americans change careers like 7 times in their life, or something like that? I haven’t hit that number yet, but I’ve changed my own mind about several things more times than I can inventory. That has to change. It will. I enforce more control over the self. The more control I exercise, demonstrate and bring to fruition, the more the story will fall in my favor of favors.
Sometimes I ask, “Why am I just realizing this now, at this age?” What does it matter? And why the fuck am I so focused and fixated on a number? How does that really even matter, or determine anything? I have the control, not some number. I apologize if I seem self-deprecating or excessively critical, but this is the age where you have these kinds of thoughts, I suppose. Not sure why I say “I suppose”, ‘cause it’s definitely happening. Control, I’m starting to experience and exercise it. Control over self and what I say, what I write, how I react to certain situations and people, negative people that I’m forced to see daily. I’ve even gone so far, since I am a teacher, to write up little lesson plans for days and what I want to experience in moments and how I want to react when confronted with something. Show control, don’t get so emotional. I stress to students, “Be composed so you can compose.” I’m a writer, right? Need to start really showing people that I not only write daily and that I write with an (I hope) admirable unfetteredness, but that I’m in control.
Balance as a result of this control… I’m getting there. I know I am. I notice the positive progress. Just this morning, for example, I went for a run, and almost as soon as I rounded the corner, not even .2 miles into the run I wanted to stop, turn around and go home. I wouldn’t let myself. This was the lazy self trying to take over, exert its control. I wouldn’t let it. I made myself keep running, get to mile 5, then 8, then I said “Why not do a practice ‘half’?” I did. I controlled everything— emotions, thoughts, aims, breathing, my form, my pace and splits. Everything. I would even go so far as to say I was in “total control”, which many would argue doesn’t even exist. Well, it did this morning.
Still in my course, my self-instructed program of discipline, so I can continue this new control. So I can feel and appreciate balance, peace. You don’t have to be a teacher to do this. Anyone can. What I have learned is that there’s more to see and learn, when you’re in control of your words, thoughts, self. The world is more generous, understanding, not as harsh or tyrannical. Happier now than I’ve ever been. Maybe I have a good teacher. (Laugh)