I’m mad at myself this week because I’ve gained a couple pounds. BOO HOO, I went to restaurant week 3 times and over-indulged. I am annoying. I’m mad that I scheduled hosting my book club the day before I was supposed to leave for DC for a weekend getaway. Now I’m stressed having to cook for a party of 7 AND pack. And now I’m mad that the iminent snow storm may cancel my plans.
As I’m sitting at my desk avoiding grading papers and eating my yogurt with a fork (I’m out of plastic spoons), I started to hate myself. When the hell did I get like this? Wtf is wrong with me, that all my problems are privileged problems?
I have a good job, that allows me to indulge in things like trying new restaurants. I’m educated and part of an amazing book club. I have a home of my own in which to host my friends. I have the fortune and the funds to plan a weekend getaway. Yet I’m “mad” about things.
I am a brat. I dislike people like me. I’m pathetic. These thoughts have been going through my mind this morning. You know why?
I don’t need new kidneys, like one of my students does.
I don’t have to stay after school and run my own forum to explain to my white teachers why I don’t feel represented at my school, like the Black Student Union does.
I don’t have to understand what it’s like to have a baby and become a mother half way through senior year, like a girl in my class does.
I don’t have to show up late to first period everyday because the bus that picks me up was late and my wheelchair got stuck in the snow, like a student I’ve taught for 2 years does.
I don’t have to get redirected or reprimanded every 20 minutes because my ADD makes it almost impossible to sustain attention in class, like half my kids do.
I don’t have to go through life feeling different and isolated from my peers, like some students with Autism do.
I don’t have to struggle to communicate my wants and needs, like the students in special education classes often do.
Teaching has done a lot of things for me. For one, I get to do something I like (most of the time). I feel challenged everyday, and my brain likes it most of the time. I get to work with good people, both teachers and students. And it keeps me grounded in what matters.
Being stressed because I have too many good things to manage isn’t what matters. Trying to manage travel plans in a freaking snow storm doesn’t matter. What matters is caring about the people you interact with everyday. And supporting everyone you encounter, because they may be fighting a battle you know nothing about.