Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Other Graduation

This part was supposed to go into that Brady Bunch post, but it was just getting too long.

I graduated, too.

Yesterday, I graduated from middle school again. I've quit my teaching job so that I can go into the bakery business. It feels like a graduation. Remember when you graduated from high school and/or college and it was all exciting and scary? You knew what you were going to do, but it was so different from what you'd been doing that the unknowns made you kind of nervous? You just didn't know what it was going to be like. This feels just like that.

I used my special education certification to be a middle school In-School Suspension and Alternative School teacher for seven years. Oh, the stories I could tell... and probably will one day. And oh, the things I learned. I learned a lot about myself and the kind of person I want to be. I learned a whole lot about parenting and the kind of people I want my kids to be.

I learned patience.
I learned forgiveness.
I learned to let it go.
I learned how to say no.
I learned to keep a straight face (almost).
I learned how to listen.
I learned what to listen to and what to ignore.
I learned that I can't fix everything that needs fixing.
I learned how to ask for help.
I learned that it's OK to be different.
I learned that it's OK to let people be wrong.

Most importantly, I learned that people matter. Everyone has a story, and every story is important. Maybe not interesting, but important. People matter and deserve to be celebrated. I think that it is this notion, more than anything else, that led me into the cake decorating profession. People matter. I want to make cakes for people that they use to celebrate what's important to them. I want to use this next part of my life to be a part of someone's joy rather than their embarrassment and guilt.

Remember that time I walked into a classroom to borrow something from another teacher and a kid burst into tears at the sight of me? Yeah, kids don't generally do that when you're there with a cake.

It's a terrible waste of the withering glare that I carefully honed over the last seven years, I'll admit.

It's time to move on. But holy cow, I'm going to miss my coworkers.

Thanks for the adventures, you guys.

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