When I was younger, I pretended I was a superhero. I tied one of my older brother’s t-shirts around my neck, stood on the top of the couch, and jumped off. The momentary flutter of the cape made me feel like I was flying.
This belief in my own strength carried me through difficult experiences with family, moving to New York and then Dublin alone, helped me cope with depression, and ultimately guided me away from relationships that were stifling. Belief in my own strength was at the core of my self-image.
As I approach 26, I’m not the way I thought I was. Graduate school and teaching have proven to be so difficult that I left my position at the high school and am now seeking a new placement or another path. I love teaching, and working with children draws out a joy and compassion from within that I hardly knew existed.
It was my choice to leave, and maybe it was preventable had I exerted the strength I thought I possessed. For the past few months, I’ve been reticent about identifying what I need and asking for it. I suppressed the inner voice that tells you you’re struggling; I believed too firmly in my own strength that I neglected fostering it.
I’m not sure why that is, but I’m sitting here in an ugly purple hoody with a large cup of coffee and Ryan Adams blasting on the stereo, trying to reconcile the memory of myself as a strong girl and the image of myself leaving the school yesterday in the pouring rain, crying, discovering a $50 ticket on my dash and muttering an expletive under my breath.
Not the best of weeks. But thanks to my friends, it hasn’t been the worst of weeks either. lv, molly