Two Horses

One of my favorite pieces of movie parental advice comes from Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon’s Melanie Smooter/Carmichael finds herself caught between two men – each of whom represent pieces of her essential self. Her father, Fred Ward’s Earl, says to her “you can’t ride two horses with one ass, sugarbean” and I think about this embarrassingly often.

When haven’t I been riding two horses with one ass? I guess the most important point here is that I’m finally . . . over it? Ready to trade in my double-saddle? I’m realizing that I’m a late bloomer in a lot of ways, and I’m so happy that I have figured this out, finally. I don’t have to do everything! I don’t have to stay busy to be happy! It’s okay. How will this work out while finishing my nursing program and continuing to teach? I’m not sure.

I’m wrapping up a summer nursing course that is easily the worst class I’ve ever taken and cannot imagine I will be in a place to do this again in one short month. I’m breezing through another pre-req in a class that is so simple and drawn out that I’m just frustrated I had to spend the money and mental energy on it. I’m learning a lot, still, about how our choices as educators impact students and it’s heavy to reflect on my own choices through this; I hope I never forget what this felt like.

It’s gorgeous out and I had a quick planning meeting with one of my teaching colleagues – the only one I really interact with throughout the year because I’m adjunct and remote, a double-whammy of isolation. We managed to squeeze a social catch-up, departmental review, and course details into thirty minutes. I left giddy with attention and intellectual stimulation and absolutely floating on what it felt like to be treated as a professional whose presence has worth, who has value. At 8 am I had been ready to quit, wholly convinced that I had nothing to contribute. This is a feeling that I’ve been coexisting with since the changeover, and that shift is so dramatic. When I move from nursing student to humanities educator, novice to professional, one campus to another, I wonder if this is a symptom of simply starting from scratch that will be remedied with time, or if it is a reminder that I am supposed to be in one world and not the other.

However it shakes out, it felt great.


An aspiring one-horse gal


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