There are days when I wake up feeling like there is a curtain of dread hiding behind my eyes. Some might blame this on my profession, teaching teenagers. It would be tempting to accept this and go though my day expanding and festering on this reasoning as each fifty minutes a new group of girls walks into my domain. But they aren’t the creators of the gloom ridden curtain I was peeking out of this morning, and I don’t want to be miserable old stick-in-the-mud teacher who only teaches apathy.
One, I am not old, despite my students’ concern over my being unmarried and without a human child of my own. (I work at a school for teen mothers.) Two, the students already have apathy down. More importantly, I in no way enjoy being depressed or sharing my depression with others. Sharing is not always caring, folks, and T.M.I. is a deadly thing.
The chemicals in my brain and life just don’t always agree. And let’s face it, sometimes life just sucks big time. Writing helps, reading as well, but sometimes I need another escape. Yes, I just implied that books doesn’t solve all my problems.
Last night, I felt the dread pass over me like the wave that hits when you aren’t looking. It was sudden and rough, sending me tumbling into the rough places of my mind, seemingly originating from nothingness. My weekend was been long, but not sad. Still, there I was, feeling like a slimy lump on a log. I didn’t want to write or read or even, for a moment, be. I was just blah… there was no rhyme or reason… just the blah swishing around my brain.
So I reached out, contacted a friend, and then did something that has always helped, I asked the universe to provide. It wasn’t something specific, just a call for assistance. For the religious out there, I prayed. I texted the same friend I had contacted earlier for movie recommendations, and after a brief debate we decided on “Captain America”, explosions and violence always being a cheerful thing.
Curling up in my favorite pjs with my Uli bear I allowed myself get caught up in some movie magic with my furry son, Bogger; it helped. (It is a shame when we grow up so much that we forget the simple comforts of a teddy bear.) Along with a good night’s sleep, the warmth of my coworkers helped; I was feeling more like myself as I walked into my classroom. It is my second home; then with the ding-a-ling of our makeshift bell came the girls.
They weren’t their normal Monday cranky, they were subdued; diet cranky, if you like. In those first five minutes of class, I had a decision to make: do I let the gloom curtain surround them and allow it to spread, or ignore it and be who my students expect me to be, their crazy teacher who doesn’t let them get away with squat. The one who expects complete sentences even when they have had two hours of sleep and returns tests ungraded if they didn’t answer all the questions. The day progressed and while the curtain remained, I didn’t mind it so much. There was now a breeze blowing through it.
One of my students wrote me a note in her journal asking for advice. Another came into my room wanting to know if I had found the book she wanted to borrow. A third girl came in to tell me she was moving to New York to be with family, which meant that she would be missing my class to go home and pack.
At lunch, the science teacher noticed hints of the curtain and let me talk. Others shared my joy as I related to them the stories from my West Palm adventure.
As corny as it may sound, I truly believe that if you ask the universe will provide you with what you truly need. It may not be what you want, but it does provide if you are willing to at least open the window. Come to think of it, I may have read that last bit in a book.