Two years and four months ago, I typed my first post on a keyboard, sitting at a computer, sweating in the Missouri summer. I suffered strangling feelings of resentment and fear. And I wrote the fuck out of my life, knowing nobody would find it if I didn’t invite them in.
I’m not sure if I was more scared of the impression I’d leave. How can anyone possibly understand how painfully broken a seemingly strong woman is? Or if it was a fear that my job was at risk. Teachers aren’t supposed to be human, even though that’s what makes us good at what we do.
But I am no longer any of those things: typing on that keyboard, suffering those feelings, hoping nobody can find me.
Last week, I spoke using my true identity. I don’t think I mentioned that before, did I? Never once did I mention my blog to the students who listened. Never – not even for a second – did I think to change my name to keep it safe. And the excitement and healing that came from 45 minutes, well, it’s been more powerful than any of the medication I’ve tried, any of the blogs I’ve written, and all of the therapy sessions I’ve wept through.
So I guess it’s only fitting that my stats are showing me that I’ve moved away from being so unidentifiable.
There are people following me on Twitter from my ‘real’ life. While this happened before, with James and company, it’s different now.
To my kiddos:
I am who you think I am. I am more than that, too. What you think you know is false. Stay a minute. Take a long, hard breath every time something I say feels painful. Let those feelings and moments settle into your heart. Because if I can save even one of you from the disasters that you might face, this unveiling is worth it. When you think you’ve hit rock bottom, trust that you could fall further. And then start climbing as high as you can. Make the choice to move. Do it quickly. Also? Never settle. Ever. And most importantly, don’t judge anyone in your life who doesn’t seem to fit into a comfortable, commonplace mold. We all have our stories, don’t we? So maybe it isn’t a coincidence that I KNOW former students are reading my blog. Maybe even some that are still in high school. And I’m, truthfully, feeling okay about it.
My story happens to be one that is only now starting to become good. And by good I mean exactly what the universe has been shuttling me toward for the last three years. You’ve joined my journey at a good time. I’m glad you’re here.
Now go to bed. You have school in the morning.