Friday, June 04, 2010
Waiting to Exhale
Until the day that summer I turned 12 when a boy, who often made fun of me, held my head underwater until I became disoriented and almost drowned. I've never forgotten the feeling of panic and helplessness.
I don't swim anymore - I don't go in the water - I don't even own a bathing suit at this point. Extreme? Maybe. But since my greatest fear is drowning, can you blame me?
The school year is about to end and for me it can't be too soon. The last 250 days have been some of the most challenging of my life. Teaching in a middle school AND going to the University at least 3 nights a week in pursuit of my doctorate has severely limited my breath-taking experiences. For me I'm about to emerge from under the water of my own accord. I will not be returning to the classroom next Fall. I choose to rise and take a breath!
But a dear friend who has been teaching for much longer than I has spent the past year being held against her will under the water. The poolside bully has made her hate the water she once loved. She's hanging up her suit, refusing to ever dip even a toe in the water again.