Is this what happens when your dreams meet your reality? You feel all floaty and like a bubble about to burst? You sit in a room and talk about the weather, the latest political crap and inside you think, “Hello, what the hell? Don’t you know I am dying here to tell you what I am gonna do? I am dying to get in and just do it.” But instead, you smile, shake your head and say the “right” things.
I did all of that. I sat and played the part. I added words where I thought I should and could. Inside, I was the little school girl that just got her first love note from the boy she liked, her first peek at a sonogram of the baby she has longed for and the woman who just landed her dream job after a long fought for education. Add all three of those together and you got me.
I worried, “Maybe I am not saying enough.” And then I thought, “No, that is what you do. Stand back gather info, take it all in. Think about those words and their meaning. Speak when the time is needed.” Honestly, I was overwhelmed and fighting back the urge to tell myself I am inadequate. I have spent most of my life never feeling like I was enough.
I didn’t live in the right part of town, I didn’t have two parents who were married, I didn’t have the right last name, or go to school at the right school. I couldn’t afford the right clothes, I didn’t talk right, write right. I just wasn’t right enough. I spent the majority of my life trying to be right and accidentally along the way I found me and realized all along what I thought was right was all wrong for me.
Me the goofy book nerd who’s gpa in high school left a lot to be desired. If it weren’t for English I would have surely failed. Back then I pretended to be dumb when it came to writing and reading. I have no idea why. But inside I dreamed about sitting in front of the classroom and teaching all that I was taking in. But I knew it couldn’t happen. That life just was not meant for me. I am always afraid people will see those inadequacies. Today I was worried they would throw me out or discover my secret. Instead, they want me to go to my room and plan it out and let them know what I need.
I walk fast because what if they say, “Wait, we were wrong.” Instead, I spent over an hour in there designing where classroom desks will go and I looked at my teachers desk. It was mine. All mine. No one came in there and called me a fraud. A few moments alone I shared a fist pump with the air. A few more moments alone and I grab for my phone. I gotta snap a picture.
I forgot, I left my phone in the car. I knew earlier that I needed this moment to realize I earned this. I worked for this. I belonged there. I knew I could share it with the world later. This was for me. Then I packed up my teacher edition books, reading lists and paper work and I headed out the door. As I left I heard, “See you later Mrs. E.”