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10 November 2010

Happy

Six months ago, I was a very lost individual. I was sinking under the weight of depression. Every post I wrote was sad and full of despair. I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't see light at all.

The kids I loved had moved away, I was unable to find a job, my aunt had been gone less than a year and the world was crashing down around me. If I hadn't had this blog to turn to and twitter to rely on for support through the rough times, I can't imagine what would have happened. But things were bad. Very bad. Very bleak.

And then I heard a song from Lady Antebellum. A song whose lyrics I posted way back then I'm pretty sure. Tonight, that song made me cry again. For a completely different reason.

I look back at the first time I heard Hello World, and I think about how much that message affected me then. How I decided that I was tired of living in darkness and depression. "Sometimes I feel, as cold as steel, broken like I'm never gonna heal." Yeah. I was there. I've been there. But at the same time "I see light, a little hope in a little girl, hello world." Yeah. I did.

Living with the kids was the right decision this summer. That little girl was my world for so long, I needed that time. I also spent a lot of hours in tears. Tears no one knows that I was crying, because it was after we'd gone to bed. I can't tell you how many nights I cried myself to sleep. They are too numerous to count.

I finished the summer MAD. Mad because even though I was coming back to a substitute teaching position, I couldn't fathom why none of my sixty job applications had even merited a response.

Today, I admitted aloud what I've known for a couple weeks.

I HAD to come back. I NEED these kids in my life.

"All the empty disappears, I remember why I'm here, I fall down on my knees, surrender and believe, hello world."

The empty I was feeling when I decided to run? Isn't there anymore. I've been put into this position for a reason. These kids need me, but I need them. More than they will EVER know.

I've been told to expect to be in this position until Christmas. There's also always the chance it could go longer than that. One way or another, I'll have changed. For the better. So much.

I cry less. I'm truly happy. An emotion that was lacking for so long has come back to me. Although I claimed it way back then, I think tonight I can truly say:
"Hello world. How you been? Good to see you my old friend"

07 November 2010

A letter to "the boys of fall"

Dear boys,

Today you taught me another lesson about football.

After a long, hard battle, you lost your first game of the season. A season of success. A season of growth. A season of bringing new fans to a game.

I have cherished every moment watching you grow. I have enjoyed every second of every game. (Even when I can’t breathe, because things are that intense.)

This loss means you won’t be playing for the championships next week. It means your season is over.

It does not mean that we are not all super proud of you. In fact, in this game, you managed to do what I have watched you try to do so hard all year. Throw passes for completion.

I know how hard you’ve worked for that. Now that you’re 10, you can’t just sneak through the line of scrimmage with a pass off every time. You practiced on the playground. You practiced at home with dad. And you practiced every night of the week.

The passes you threw today were incredible. You and another student from our class connected for the longest throw I’ve seen from someone your age, in your league.

After the game, you all walked off the field in tears. One mom took her son aside to calm him down, but your parents had coaching business to take care of. After telling another student “good game” and getting a smile out of him and his mom, as well as consoling a student from a different class, I looked for you.

You have been insistent on me learning this game. On me attending this game. On me enjoying this game. Seeing you cry about it? About killed me.

I told you that you had NOTHING to be disappointed in yourself for. You nodded, but I’m not convinced that you really believed me. There’s a ton of pressure on a quarterback, and I think it’s easy for people to forget that you are only ten. You expect perfection from yourself in every aspect of life; not only on the field, but off the field in class and at home. And when you don’t achieve perfection, you become frustrated with yourself.

I told you that if anything, you needed to be proud of yourself. For accomplishing what you’d been working on all year. Those passes were beautiful. And perfect. And next year? You’ll just be bigger, stronger and better.

All three of you need to know something. In life, there are losses that crush us to the core. This may be one of them, but I know that you will walk away as better individuals. All three of you need to know that our community is full of pride. You three need to know that next year? I plan to coach or become involved in some other way (photography perhaps?). This is something I would NEVER have expected to say. Until six weeks ago, football was a sport I didn’t understand. And was determined I would never enjoy.

Thank you for changing my opinion and teaching me to love something new.

~Your teacher for now, who is dreading the day I have to leave