I peeked outside between the dusty white blinds, admiring the angelic effect the diffused light had on the room. The desk beside me was cleared of debris and relics from its previous occupant, yet it did not look barren or depressed. It laid stretched out invitingly as if waiting to receive a new friend. I raised a finger to touch the laminate wood but stopped myself. I was being watched.
Her blue eyes met mine, and I smiled sheepishly, still unsure how vulnerable I should be. I walked back over to the door where she stood, and she opened a cupboard for me casually like she was showing someone an old lawnmower instead of the manifestation of a life-long dream. I noted the soft blue of the cabinetry and sighed in relief. The airiness the color lent to the room was beautiful and spa-like. I imagined a salt lamp on the counter beside a stack of my favorite books. Jane Eyre, The Three Musketeers, Pope Joan, East of Eden. Then, just as soon as I was ushered into the room, I was invited out. I could feel my eyes grow hot with longing. I did not want to leave.
My blonde companion closed and locked the door as we entered the hallway. Though she had been nothing but kind and helpful, I desperately wished she were not there. I knew it would be months before I was allowed in that room again, and I needed more time. Alone. I had spent three weeks trying to process the changes occurring in my life and found myself unable to until I stood on the pale pink carpet, surrounded by glossy desks and blank bulletin boards.
I am going to be a teacher.
It seems strange to admit, for though I am not superstitious, keeping this news to myself feels safe like I am protecting this precious infant thing from all that would harm it. My usual proclivity to overshare has been tempered by the incessant, nagging fear that I’ve stepped into an alternate universe where dreams come true and dragons exist. Me, a teacher? Suddenly, every bit of confidence I have spent years accumulating has gone up in smoke as I consider the implications of my new title. Am I smart enough? Am I brave enough? Will my students love me or dread coming to my class? Can I reach the unreachable? Can I uplift the downtrodden? Will I be able to balance work and family? Will I ever sleep again?
I have scoured Pinterest, studied the school website ad nauseum, picked the brains of my fellow teacher friends, created spreadsheets, read books, watched TED Talks, and still found time to stare blankly into the abyss of my imploding brain. I never thought I would reach this day. Every time I had to take a break from school, every child I bore, every move that took me further from BYU and the goals I made there seemed to push this goal just a little more out of reach. Times and seasons, I reminded myself. There are times and seasons in our lives where we must assume certain roles and put aside others. For the last eight years, the role I have assumed with full gusto has been that of a mother, and I would not change one moment of the time I have spent at home with my children. But as my children will both be in school this fall, a new season begins where my role as a teacher extends beyond Annie and Sam. Until now, that season always seemed so very far away, but suddenly it has a start date. August 13.