Using your rearview mirror

My research has led me to all things reflection, which naturally (to me) leads me to reflect about what I’m doing. It is so easy to dive into the academic world I’m living in. Writing the implications chapter is exciting (the beginning of the end!) and it is easy, because I have books and theories and my professors to direct and guide me.

But this, this sweet blog I get to share with you, is hard. There aren’t theories I can reach for when life is hard- when my writing is hard. There isn’t a checklist for the chapters of my life. AND! Because of what makes writing and sharing and being vulnerable in front of you hard, it also makes it beautiful.

Kathleen Blake Yancey is blowing my mind with her book, Reflection in the Writing Classroom.  Aside from being a keystone in my research, it’s also given me a new awareness about the different projects in my life. Learning from the past makes it easy to move into my future.

While I was walking my dogs yesterday, on the first legit day of fall in Texas, I couldn’t stop thinking about my research. And to the rhythm of their 12 little paws hitting the pavement, I realized that my blog is better because of my thesis. Sure, there’s no checklist or deadlines (that aren’t self-imposed), but there is accountability and… reflection! Sitting down to write about my goals, and encouraging you to take action towards your own wouldn’t be possible without reflection. We learn by doing. And while you can’t drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror the entire time, a short glance now and then let’s you know you’re headed in the right direction.

So let’s move forward together- while continually asking ourselves why do I want this? What do I need in this moment? What helps (and hinders) my work? And how many Chihuahuas can I fit in my lap?