Here’s what I know:
- I am healthy. Despite my best efforts during my adolescence and young adulthood, I have not done any permanent damage. I can walk at a respectable clip and still touch my toes. My bones are strong and I seem to have a solid immune system, likely from years teaching middle school and, alas, negligent hand-washing habits (that I have since corrected).
- I know how to manage my business. I know how to do the things I am expected to do. In school. At home. Driving my car. I know how to take care of all of that and all the details in between. I know how to take care of my shit (I wish there was a better word, but sometimes profanity wins).
- I have people. A select few people who see right through my walls and know my heart. A few of them even know what’s hiding before I can see it clearly myself. It has taken me a lifetime (well, half of a lifetime) to gather these folks and secure them to me. There are a few I had to circle back around to my childhood and re-find, and a few that found me when I thought I was fully formed. There aren’t a lot of them, but I have people.
- I am a teacher. I have been a lifeguard, a waitress, a secretary, a stock broker, a receptionist, a job coach and the director of our local Boys & Girls Club. I have loved and hated each of those jobs and only really considered one as a “career” path. But the hours were terrible and the benefits were non-existent. So, I finally became a teacher. I had always wanted to be a teacher, long before I ever stepped foot onto the other paths and even when I was failing at being a student. Teaching was always a part of how I moved through this world.
- Laughter is my most valued activity. Gut-busting laughter that leaves you gasping for air and holding your sides is better than any drug I have ever taken. I wish I could laugh like this every day, but I have done it enough to know that it is what I crave. This kind of laughter, though, can only happen when I am totally vulnerable and at ease. It can only happen with my people.
My choices, the big Life Choices that seem to be lurking around every corner these days, are easier when I stop to remember what I know.