I wrote this today in response to a prompt through #TeachersWrite. This happened to me a couple of years back but it was one of those pivotal moments in life that you never forget. One that changes you and your journey forever…
It seemed like I used to know you but that must have been a long time ago. Things have changed with me now and it almost seems as if I have lost my way. But, it was you who sauntered into the room and decided that I was worth your time and that my dreams should no longer be deferred. You looked me in the eyes and I asked me was I happy. I couldn’t understand that you didn’t notice my smile and my laughter. But, you saw past it and asked me who I was. I went into a long detailed speech about how I am an educator, wannabe writer, mother, youngest sibling in my family but, not until I retreated back into my own solitude did I realize that wasn’t the question you were asking me at all.
How could this stranger notice what so many I have surrounded myself with did not? How could this stranger ask me the one question that I have tried to avoid for quite some time? Or maybe I had been waiting for someone to finally call attention to my pain. It is funny how those who seem to want to be nonexistent, really want to exist and those who smile really want to cry. For all of the charades that are put on, I think mine was an Oscar winner.
That stranger forced me to really look at myself, where I had been, where I was presently, and where I hoped to go. It forced me to determine who I was and how that was in sharp contrast to who I wanted to be. I took control that night after the tears and the stages of denial passed. My days became truly brighter and more purposeful. I am on a journey and have not yet reached my destination but, I am loving the route there. I accept my challenges and do not rule them as my terminal fate. And it is all thanks to the stranger with eyes that could see beyond what was in front of her.