Around 1988, I was doing really good wanting to go to college and on a college prep track. I ran track and loved it so much. I worked really hard at it. Something happened and my parents lost faith in me or whatever you want to call it. As a result, I made some difficult life changes and changed my entire future. I decided my junior year that I would leave SW Va and go into the AF and never look back...and that is just what I did. I dropped out of college prep and did the minimum I had to get by. I figured in my young mind.. "why work hard when I'm not going to be effected by this." I made a decision that shaped the rest of my life. I don't regret my decision but over the years I've often wondered how that one fork in the road changed me eternally. At 17 you don't realize how much one decision can shape your future. This is the wisdom I try to instill in my students daily. One thing can change who you are forever.. for better, and for worse.
On to Kasara. I often joke that she is my mirror image at that age. I've taken an interest in her since she was young to make sure she stays on a college track and does what she needs to be successful. Last Friday, I had a rude awakening from a coworker that told me... "Anna it's her decision and you have to make sure that she makes it." He was right. I hate to say that he usually is when it comes to stuff like this, but like me he is one to take a personal interest in kids and help them. Her decision.. "Go away to college or stay in town and go" Like me she has some issues at home with untrusting parents when there is noting to worry about. I often wonder why it's so easy for me to trust my OWN kids to do the right thing and generally i'm laid back because I know they are going to make decisions because that is how I raised them. But when it's not your child, and you have mentored them, what do you?
What I want is for her to spread her wings and fly. To do all the things that she can to make herself happy. To not have any regrets in life. To never wonder what it would be like ... "IF"...
Things I pondered today because of my hour long conversation with Kasara:
1. To feel less than beautiful because someone else has made you feel that way is asinine.
2. Trusting yourself is hard.
3. It's not up to me to decide someone else's life.
4. Being a teacher is a blessing.
5. To be compared to someone else because of insecurity is the worst thing a person can feel.
6. For someone to tell you they are proud of you and really be proud of you is the best feeling and when the opposite is true it hurts like a mother fucker.
7. I don't love the way you lie.
8. The unexamined life is not worth living.
So baby girl, find your wings and don't let anyone clip them ever. East Bay is waiting for you if you want it. It's all up to you.