Eventually...is NowFirst Day of School
AUGUST 27, 2018 | The first day of school. Honestly I thought my next first day of school would have been years ago, getting my teaching credential. And then every year I’d post a cutesy picture of the first day of school. And back to school season would never end! (Yes!) But well, that didn’t happen.
Each year in the middle of August (or earlier every year) Target starts putting out the notebooks. The pencils. The markers. The index cards. Backpacks. Lunch pails. Pencil cases. Sticky notes. And on and on. And every year I walk around and must look like a crazy person wishing I could splurge on all of the school supplies I definitely didn’t need because well I wasn’t going back to school. I have always loved this time of year. I know that’s not true of most people; but back to school season is one of my favorite times of year.
First, it’s because I love learning. I love school. It is where I have always done my best work and been my best self. This is a place I can excel in and therefore am excited when I can get back to that. Second, it was the beginning to every other favorite time of year. Fall. Apple picking. My Birthday. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Winter. Christmas. Rain (sometimes…) It’s the best.
Third, though this may sound a bit out of place, I loved school because it was perfect for me as a depressed and anxiety-ridden introvert. I realize that in school you are surrounded by people all the time, so why would an introvert like me enjoy going to school? Frankly, I’m a terrible friend outside of school, church, forced meetings, etc. I think too much of what you’ll think of my text, so I don’t send it. I dont want to bother you, so I don’t call. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out; it’s that I don’t want to inconvenience you. Anxiety is stupid this way. School was a forced get together of my friends. There was no questioning over whether we would hang out or not because we had to be there, so of course I’d hang out with my friends. I didn’t look like a terrible friend because I could talk to you face to face in the moment. It is the being proactive and conversational on my own terms that I struggle with. School was a relief because I could take a break from trying so hard to be a good friend and not feel like I was the worst friend.
And the only friends I’m still friends with from school are friends that either understood this about me or simply put up with it regardless. Believe me. If I’m your friend, I would do anything for you. Call me when you need me and you’ll be my first priority. But reaching out to you is a struggle and sometimes an impossibility.
After my miscarriage, realizing that I could not simply wait for life to happen, school was the decision I made. I am going back to what I’m best at: learning. Learning so I can help others learn. I have always said that eventually I would go back to school. After I had my kids. After they were old enough to be in school, then I’d go back to school. I’m sure by that time, I would have come up with another excuse. But now that I’m sitting at the precipice of this new life, new career, new degree, I’m so excited that I am not making any more excuses. I’m excited to finally be moving forward into something I can’t wait to do. And yet I’m terrified. I’ve never gone to school not knowing anyone. Not having one friend to be able to latch on to and follow around until I find my way. Even in Kindergarten, I had already been to preschool with/played soccer with some kids. In high school, friends from middle school and old soccer teams and my brother were all there. In college, one of my best friends happened to transfer to my school the year I started. But this is different. I chose a school in Florida. A state where I know very few people. And it’s an online school, so people are coming in from around the world. I feel inadequate and terrified.
One of the best parts of online school is being able to sit on my bed, eat snacks, and close my eyes without the teacher noticing/caring. Half of my class today was spent in a group activity. And though I felt inadequate, young, inexperienced, I didn’t in this group. They don’t know how old or young I am. I don’t know them. We are simply names in a chat room. We can talk to each other, but they don’t know that I don’t know anything. And I can fake my confidence until I do. I felt empowered to make this work. That maybe I can make it through school having known no one at the beginning.
So far 2018 hasn’t been anything we thought it would be. And frankly, it’s marvelous. I’m excited for this life we’re making, a bit overwhelmed in the moments, but overall happy to be here. Happy that eventually is now.
And I’m ok.