And yet- this morning as I sat waiting for the lady in human resources to process me I noticed a picture of her daughter in a bright blue dress grinning at me with a toothless smile. “Is this from school?” I asked. She nodded. “My school used that background as well” I said smiling. My supervisor ,who walked in as I said this, smiled at me “That is who used to be. You wear a different mantle now.”
Used to be? It’s strange to comprehend that I used to be a teacher and that I no longer am. For so many years teaching defined who I was, woven inextricably to my very person as natural as breathing. Though three years of grueling graduate work was done with the intention to be where I am today, somehow actually shedding my old skin and embracing the new seems to be more bitter sweet than anticipated. Somehow I can’t escape the memory of Demba’s beautiful smile as he learned to read before my eyes. Somehow talking to teacher friends about lesson plans and learning centers still brings me joy.
And yet I’ve left the world of red apples and Roald Dahl stories and traded it in for fast paced lunch meetings and trial calenders. Though I hope I will make a broader impact for children through this avenue, and hopefully this new career will be rewarding and meaningful its scary to say goodbye to a career I knew I loved and excelled in. Will I be good at what I do? Will I succeed? Was I really meant to be a lawyer? Was I really meant to be a “used to be teacher“? Was this leap of faith into a whole new world worth the deep sense of loss I feel today as I begin a new journey into completely unchartered territory?
I hope so.