Sometimes something happens in life that is so big that you can never fully get back the person you were before it happened. In short, the event changes you. If the event is epic enough it can hit you like a tidal wave even from three or four degrees of separation (instead of the ripple you might feel after an event of a smaller magnitude.) It has been said that teachers have to be more flexible and adaptable than most. I don't know if that's true. On my worst days I can be downright rigid and unmovable in my demands (I know, *gasp*) It is probably more apt to say that GOOD teachers are adaptive and flexible when it counts.
Out of so much respect for someone near and dear to me, I won't divulge the epic catastrophe that lead to this post after such a lengthy summer slumber. I will however say that in teaching, just like in life, we are faced with obstacles. Some are insurmountable, whether it be because of an unyielding administrator, a student's home life that we can not control, or a need for resources beyond our grasp. Sometimes the challenge is great and we are so very small. In those times we are in dark days, persevering by rote if nothing else. It is in the days after when we wash back up on shore and are given a chance to rebuild that really count.
The question to ask yourself: What did I learn from it? (or) How can I change? (or) What will I take with me to make myself/the situation better (or the outcome different) in the future?
In short, all of those college professors who annoyed us with their continued demands for "self reflection" were not wrong. But that is only half of the component. Sometimes I am SO in my head about things after they occur and I get a million ideas about "woulda coulda shoulda." But then I sulk in my afterthough and call it a day. The impetous is the call to make a change. Because something inside of you has already changed. You realized that things were not good/right/fair/awesome and that if you had the chance, you would invoke a "do-over." Well friends, after you realize that, you gotta put your chips back on the table and DO OVER. Jump into life again with your new knowledge and wisdom and show everyone you actually learned something.
In summary: Process it however you like. Blog it, tweet it, text it, journal it, verbally rehash it, whatever. Just reflect AND THEN MAKE A CHANGE. Because if you don't learn from it, then all of the pain and heartache that you experienced in your moment of trial was for nothing. And some things are just too big to have occurred in vain.