My sweet friend Cassidy text me last week with a heavy heart and a full word document. She shared this with me, a beautiful piece that she wrote from her heart, and I couldn’t help but want to share it with you. I hope it touches your soul like it touched mine.
“When people look back on college, they remember friendships and freedom mixed with stress and confusion. Everyone remembers sleeping at odd hours and trying to master the impossible balance of finding yourself while also trying to find your keys, your essay, your homework, your work uniform, and maybe your best friend who AGAIN followed that awful boy home. I have these memories along with one that I hope you’ve never experienced.
If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I am an idealist. I plan, and I dream, and I do not often relent when I set my mind to something. This has always been the case.
My senior year of college, I was fortunate enough to be matched with a veteran teacher who gave me a lot of freedom during student teaching. Being the admitted control freak and idealist that I am, I took the opportunity to create constantly. I created activities, and games, and worksheets that my kids adored, and I also gained a sense of confidence as a teacher that had me on the edge of my seat at graduation, ready to run into my own classroom. I loved teaching from the moment that I was allowed to experience it. I loved the feeling of being able to plan a lesson that I just knew would allow children to be led to success. I loved the idea of kids remembering the ways that I helped them through trials ranging from breakups to parent troubles to insufferable hunger at 2 pm (sometimes you eat all of your snacks before lunch).
One afternoon, about a week into my last semester, I walked into the office of one of my professors at college. I wanted to show her this absolutely incredible (in my mind) binder I had created for interviews. I had gathered testimonies from my professors, lesson plans, letters from previous students, pictures of my creations, examples of my teaching philosophy- you name it. The thing was 3 inches thick and bursting with passion. You could open it and probably be knocked down over the sheer volume of my excitement. I wanted her to look over it, and I wanted her to be proud of me. She took one look at the table of contents (yes, I am ridiculous and proud), and she laughed. She laughed, and she said, “Just you wait.”
Just you wait.
“Just you wait. You have all this fire now, but come see me in 5 years. The kids just eat away at you. I had to get out while I still could. You’d be a great college professor, so let me know when you get tired of the classroom, and I would love to have you as a grad assistant.”
Why do we feel the need to cut down the excitement and anticipation of those who have not yet experienced what we have? My first year teaching was phenomenal. Did I have days where I sat in the floor of my classroom in absolute heartbreak for my kids? Yes. Did I have days where getting out of the bed seemed like the most difficult thing I may ever do? Absolutely. But the hardships of teaching are mere scraps compared to the blessings. This field allows us to name hundreds of people we directly influenced. It allows us to personally take the hand of the future and guide it towards progress. The teachers that I encounter who try their best to radiate positivity are far more influential than those who are content with their contagious misery. I am blessed to teach among teachers who LOVE their kids and spare no emotional expense in the matter. I am waiting. I am waiting and excited to be a veteran teacher that will show younger teachers that with age brings wisdom instead of bitterness.
Just you wait.
I was told this in regard to motherhood, as well.
“Oh, it’s fun now, but just you wait until you haven’t slept in three days, the house is a mess, and you haven’t spoken four nice words to your husband in a week and a half.”
Why are we so set on dampening the excitement of those behind us? I am excited for the mess because my beautiful child will make it, and that means that she has learned to walk. I am excited for the sleeplessness, because that means that she is hungry, and therefore, she is growing. Will there be hard days where the entire house looks as though we have been invaded? Oh, yes. Actually, on the day that my husband was to return to work after the baby was born, he found both my daughter and me covered in puke and tears, and he decided we needed another day.
I am excited for the mess because that means that I have been given another day. I am blessed by the frustrations of work and family because that means that I have a job and loved ones. I will not tell those who have not experienced what I have to “just wait” because I would rather them be excited than afraid.
“Just you wait. While teaching is hard, you will have the chance to make such a difference that it will blow your mind.”
“Just you wait. While marriage is hard, you will love that man more than you ever thought possible.”
“Just you wait. While parenting is hard, that baby will show you what is important in life.”
“Just you wait. While life is hard, these days will be more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.”
This year has the potential to be your best year yet.
Just you wait.”