"The thing I realize is that it's not what you take, it's what you leave."
-Violet, via Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places
It's no secret that I love books. I am a librarian, after all. The past seven years I have been working with elementary school-aged children, and I have loved (almost) every minute of it. However, the time has come for me to move on to something different. I am moving to our district's high school, so my student body and thus reading material has had to change considerably. There's a lot I have to catch up on. The quote above is from Jennifer Niven's book All the Bright Places. If you read this post about making your mark, you know my approach to this goal has changed since my illness. Making my mark is about what I leave, not in the "when I leave this world" sense, but in the "what can I do today to make the world a better place" sense.
For me, this quest to make the world a better place includes my quest to become a better human. Professionally, I constantly work on improving my craft and bettering my students' educational experiences. Personally, I strive for self improvement. As my career progresses in time and in responsibility/success, the line between my professional self and my personal self not only becomes blurred, but it is starting to disappear entirely. In other words, I present myself honestly and consistently across the different "categories" of my life. What you see is what you get. My colleagues, fellow library trustees, social club friends, etc., all know the same person that my family knows: ME.
I'm pretty sure I was the same way before surgery, but I was perhaps a bit more guarded than I am now. I'm honestly not sure. I'm the now me, as I ever am (as we all ever are). As time moves me further away from my illness, surgery, and recovery, I reflect less on how this experience has changed me, which is evident by my lack of writing on this particular blog. I spend more time reflecting on how to do better, how to be a better human. If you'll stay with me, I'll continue to write about my quest. Not as a documentation of the things that I do that I perceive as "good," but as a challenge to myself to "put my money where my mouth is." This week I've been all about reading inspirational quotes, so look forward to that- hardy har har.
And now, one of the most confusing quotes from one of my favorite pieces, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland:
"'Be what you would seem to be’–or if you’d like it put more simply–‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'" -The Duchess