Instead of savoring the delicate juggling act of school and teaching and Tarot and retail like the ballerina dancer in the Two of Pentacles, I’ve been overwhelmed and crying. Not noticing the gorgeous flower of learning being offered to me, like the flower in the Four of Cups. I’ve been staying up too late, drinking too much caffeine, telling myself too many “woe is me” stories. Too many “I can’t do this” stories.
I brought the Tarot to my students yesterday, two classes of college first-years. Some had seen Tarot cards before; others hadn’t. Some were a little freaked out. A couple didn’t show, since I’d warned them the previous meeting that I’d be bringing them. We didn’t do Tarot readings, but rather, I had them each take two cards from a pile of three sets of Major Arcana and study the symbolism. They kept the one that spoke the most to them, and passed the other one to the neighbor. We went around the circle discussing the symbolism and how it related to archetypes. We compared cards when two folks chose the same card from different decks. We talked about how the authors made the choices they did in representations. And then we talked about how they, the students, had those same sorts of choices when they write—when they write papers OR when they “write” themselves. We talked about how there’s no one right way to display information, text, symbols, selves. There’s only the way we choose.
There’s no one right way to move through and understand this crazy grad-school life. But there is a way that will help me feel better, and that’s to choose to notice the beauty around me. To choose to see the stress and observe it, instead of pushing it away. To choose to open my eyes and see the journey I’m on, instead of focusing on the destination. To choose to include self-care in my story. To choose to gift myself the space of amazement while watching myself on my toes juggling this opportunity to learn and grow.
Now if only I could remember that regularly, ha!