Friday, May 14, 2010

In the End

Picture a petite blonde girl in a somber black dress, shiny high heels, and well done make-up pulling into the 'Circle K' in the Spanish only speaking district. There is never a shortage of guys hanging out at the corner in that area, but they looked surprised that I stopped. "Please tell me you know where 'Queen of Heaven Mortuary' is," I said. The clock was ticking and I had five minutes left to get to the funeral. Of course, I was ten minutes away. My cell phone was ringing with calls from people wanting to know where I was.

I made it just in time to hear my friend speaking about his mom. She really was a good Christian woman. She was so positive and she knew what mattered when she was living. She had a lot of hard things in her short life, but she lived with grace. I had a fleeting moment of perspective as I was watching a slideshow of pictures of her life. I realized that in the end...

*it matters who you loved and who loved you--not who you got in stupid arguments with
*it matters what you did--not what your job was
*it matters how you use what you were given--not what you didn't have

All of these things sunk into my heart as I was standing in the back of the mortuary, but it didn't take me long to sink right back into my little 'education world'.

I got a text-message from a friend that Principal Sadie came by and visited our school. She went in every classroom. I was so happy NOT to have seen her, I was jumping up and down. All that stuff with her was a bump in the road, and things are better now, but I am still really mad at her.

Then, I got into an argument with my brother over that stupid proposition. He told me he was voting "no" and I said, "That is crap, and you are screwing over you're own family!" It is not like his vote decides the election, and I never act like that to my family.

I have gotten so embroiled in the specific parts of teaching and my job that I have lost sight of the "why". I don't just mean the "why" of teaching. I mean the big "why".

I have a lot of mental energy. At the end of highschool, I thought really hard about how to put it to use. I wanted a job that taxed my brain (God knows I got that). More than that, I wanted to know that when I came home mentally exhausted that I did something that matters. I get challenged every single day, and I feel that I do something that matters.

Yet, teaching has also grown in me a new character flaw or at least one I didn't know that I had. I let a lot of the negative input that comes with the territory go straight to my heart. Then that poison comes out in ways I've never seen. I don't know why I am still so mad at Principal Sadie. I don't know why I would be upset (genuinely) with my brother over politics.

I wanted to be a teacher because I want to live a good life that matters. I can't do that if I let the bad stuff become a part of who I am.

1 comment:

Ricochet said...


I gave my students an assignment, part of which was to write 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses about themselves and a short blurb about why they are strengths or weaknesses. Now I am going to do the same over the weekend.

I love this post.