I’m sure there was an exact moment that it all clicked. The pieces snapped together creating a smoother surface for the well traveled and bumpy road. But I cannot recall an AHA! or a glowing light bulb over my head.
I was born Katy with a “y” and not the “ie,” so I was destined to march to my own beat, especially being a Katherine and not a Kathryn. I was never the student who got the A without studying and rarely found myself excited about learning anything new (other than art). I skimmed through required books and detested math. Today I still avoid word problems or anything unrelated to Algebra.
I think I really only liked Algebra because I had a teacher in high school who actually took the time to get to know me. That’s really crucial, but more on that another time.
Seven years ago, I took a leap and headed for Birmingham. The net appeared. Yvette Faught and Dru Jones, my former administrators, saw something in me and gave me a chance. They took a hefty risk hiring a pretty unsure Florida to Alabama transplant. Seven is basically every other human’s favorite number, but I feel like it is more of MY lucky number that other people borrow. Being liberal, I am open to sharing.
Almost exactly 7 years later, I am beginning to understand why they may have taken a chance on me. No, I am not in the business of saying I have it all figured out now. You only worry when people say they have nothing else to learn. I simply see myself in a new way. A new light, if you will.
I see growth and strength. I feel confidence. I say “no” a lot more. I ask a TON of questions. I love more. I am okay with admitting I do not know all the answers. I read more. I think more (like a freak). Macro and Micro. I am okay with surrounding myself with people who get it. I explore and take risks. I learn from strangers, friends, my family, colleagues, and my husband every single day. I display courage and resolve. I am sensitive. Sometimes too much. I challenge myself to keep going. I wonder and dream in color. I am thankful but refuse to use #blessed. I take time for myself. I reflect.
I returned yesterday from a week in Storrs, CT. Yep, Storrs. Home of the UCONN Huskies and the gifted Ed Mecca. The cows are gigantic and the rustic red barns beg to be photographed as you pass them on the two-lane roads. I flew there for more than cows and barns. #Confratute2015. Google it. It was heaven. For nerds.
I went to this gifted education conference at UCONN with a friend and colleague of mine. We bonded and shared our inner geek with about 650 educators from all over the world. I learned so much in a matter of days and I will never forget how the professors at UCONN took the time to get to know me. Kind of like Mr. Fulton in algebra. See, great teachers do exist. Just like creativity, they have to find you working (or at least actively seeking knowledge). And not the work of preparing for standardized tests. Also, a topic for another time.
There is something to be said about traveling on your own and surviving. 😉 Not that I went on a dangerous classified mission or anything. That is actually for two of my family members who are top secret and kind of a big deal.
Jack was hard to leave but we texted and talked along the way. He got to sleep in our enormous bed by himself (and Roscoe). I rang the school bell for hours when I returned yesterday, so he is probably ready for me to start back to school. That means I talked a lot about education for those who are unfamiliar. For serious–there is also something so exciting about being away from your spouse for a week and then seeing him pull up to the airport with a big smile on his face. Nope, still not using the dumb blessed hashtag but I seriously love him.
Since I have traveled off of the road completely as this point. Let’s recap. I used to think I was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Not enough. I have grown individually and with my partner in crime. My teaching experiences and the people in my life make me a better version of myself. I now know that I am enough. I want to learn more and be more, but I am enough.
Oh and I am pretty pumped that I am finally graduating from THE University of Alabama with a graduate degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education. Not that it really matters, but I will also graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Plenty of people have more impressive degrees from very prestigious schools. BUT it is pretty incredible considering the grades I once received and who I am now. So there’s that. Roll Tide! It feels so good feelin good again. 😉 We will have to play that one on repeat next week, Dad.
Peace and go get your Pearl! #genuineconfetti