- Riding the bus for the first time without getting lost produces feelings of accomplishment. Being confident you don’t look lost, on the other hand, is an advanced skill.
- Potentially falling up the stairs once while embarking the bus does not erase aforementioned feelings of accomplishment.
- Everyone on the bus has a story.
I know I’m supposed to be a cynic. I’m an educated, thinking person. I’ve heard the stories about people who take advantage with their fake signs.
I know I’m not supposed to be moved by the guy standing at the interstate ramp with the sign saying that he and his wife lost everything and just need some help to get back on their feet.
“Hey look, it’s our sub!” One student shouted back to the class from the open door. She held the door open for me.
It was surprisingly comforting to find the class in complete pandemonium. It took me a second to confirm that there wasn’t a teacher in sight to hand over the baton. I was on.
Which personality would the day require? Strict disciplinarian — or witty intellectual — or compassionate adult role model? Or all of the above, perhaps?
Before this weekend, I could confine memories of camping to the next six sentences, plus four sentence fragments: One small, blurry reflection of a weekend in college that involved white water rafting. The Ocoee River. I’m sure I was the weakest link. I’m not even sure how I ended up agreeing to go.
Another memory is with my parents, too many years ago to count. It’s a pleasant enough memory, but the details are fuzzy. I’m sure there was a tent … And, some vienna sausages … I should ask my dad. He would remember.
Despite these faint memories, I remember equating life in India to camping on more than one occasion. You know, no dishwasher. No air conditioner. Mosquitos. Humidity hair. Same, same.
It had been eight years since I left teaching high school for the greener pastures of marriage and a slightly nomadic, freelance life. Eight years is a long time.
When I had the substitute teacher interview, the principal said, “We don’t use a lot of subs.” So, I had sort of written it off as an option for supplementing my income. Chalked it up to interview experience and making a personal connection.
A few days later, I got a call to substitute for sixth grade. Honestly, I didn’t know if sixth grade would be middle school or elementary. Twenty-three years ago in Alabama, it was elementary. Turns out, it is middle school somewhere in between now.
I was so ready for the adventure I forgot to ask what subject it would be. I won’t make that mistake again.
Sometimes it’s better not to think too much.
I am the worst kind of planner — the kind who thinks it’s actually possible to have a perfect plan, the kind who feels a sense of failure when the plan doesn’t work, thinking if I could only plan a bit better,
I would always be in control of everything and everyone life would always be comfortable and pain-free.
If I had thought about all of the things that could go wrong on my adventure in the city, I wouldn’t have met the guy from East Africa who was waiting for bus #36 or noticed that Psychadeli Cafe was selling freshly made masala dosas for $6 (by the way, these cost like 50 cents in India and my mouth is watering just thinking about them). I also wouldn’t have
stood at the wrong bus stop for 30 minutes wondering why my bus never showed and remembering how to assess my safety and considered the challenges homeless people must face. Continue reading “Learning to live”
Disclaimer: I have no body image wisdom. I want to say that I’ve learned to see myself the way the Lord sees me and think of myself as beautifully and wonderfully made, but alas, it can sometimes be a daily struggle not to hate my body. I was a late bloomer to my awareness of body image issues, but I’m right there with the rest of us.
Somehow I missed the day in school when they talk about how you’re going to start gaining weight and feel sloppy after some time if you don’t do something about it — even if you start your life and make it through high school and college without your body changing too much.
Well, I guess maybe I heard older women complain about the dreaded “metabolism,” but they were older. I was younger. So, I figured that was the difference.
Oh, wait. I’m 32 now. Hmmm. Continue reading “Learning to run”