New Layers.

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While studying for the GRE last fall, my vocabulary coach of a podcast led me towards a rather disgusting sounding word: molt. Though not entirely uncommon in the English language, I suppose its lack of use on the regular has something to do with its unnecessary harshness.

In my reduced definition, molt is most often used as a verb, meaning “To shed layers…”. These layers could be skin, fur, hair or a week old spray tan. While said word never made an appearance on my exam (…can you sense my eye roll?), it has resonated with me most recently in an unexpectedly beautiful way.

This summer is a unique one for me. I am temporarily and voluntarily unemployed – accepting an excused absence from the adult world for a few months. I left a wonderful teaching job I loved recently in pursuit of a masters degree beginning next school year. For those keeping track, school ended in May and graduate studies will not commence until mid-August. Cue: three months of free time and nagging guilt.

As band directors, we are used to summer rehearsals and clinics all leading to band camp in mid-July. To match my previous summers, I thought through many temporary employment opportunities to fill my time, but came up unfulfilled. The canvas of this summer was hauntingly blank. After speaking with many close family and friends, a common theme appeared from the ones I trusted most: be thankful for the time and take advantage of it.

I already believe in truly filling each day with meaning and intention. One of my biggest goals of the past year has been to reduce the guilt I associate with my decisions. I have a wonderful opportunity to experience and grow this summer. Honestly, the only thing I believe could be worse than the guilt of giving myself this free time would be the guilt of not taking full advantage of it!

Going back to our ugly word of the day, molt, I intentionally left off the second half of my definition. Molt (v.) To shed layers in order to make way for new growth. My last few weeks of school were filled with shedding layers. And now it is time for the second half of the definition:new growth. I have plans! So many plans. My calendar is filling. And I have challenges for myself! And ideas to discuss. I can’t wait to share them with you.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for over a year, but never felt confidence in my timing. I think today can be a decent start. There are many things I hope to talk about: womanhood, Kansas City, style, careers, and the smallest parts of our day that make them special. In combination with my challenge to better document my memories and personal growth, I think this could be a very fun space. I would love for you to follow along, even if it’s really only one person (hi mom!).

See you soon.

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