Part of me thought that made me strong. Independent. Unique. I wasn't part of the girl troupe who had to go to the restroom with someone else.
Over the years I've done many things alone. I've always convinced myself that it was because I preferred it that way. Now, at 33 years of age, I'm not sure I can tell the difference- do I enjoy being alone because it's what I'm used to, or is it something that was part of me from the beginning?
What I do know, is just last weekend, I was celebrating going to the theatre on my own (read the "Joseph" post), and after the events of this week, I'm just not sure anymore.
When Grandma passed away I was teaching at Turner and my mom called and told me while I was at work. Of course they were wonderful about allowing me to leave immediately, but the drive home was full of tears. It would have been nice to have someone then.
At her funeral, I watched as Angela's husband, Jimmy, took Grandpa to the restroom, helping him in such a tender way, you would have thought Jimmy was a nurse, or that he was a "blood" relative. Angela is so blessed to have a husband like that. Of course, I remember Shawn's husband (now ex, thank God) showed up to the funeral about 15 minutes after it began, and because we'd been seated already, he didn't even sit beside her. Polar opposites... instead of wishing I had someone like Jimmy, I congratulated myself on not having someone like Phil. Looking on the bright side of things or simply jaded?
A couple of years ago a former student from Turner, Allen Davis, was killed in a motorcycle accident. That was hard. Once more the drive home was full of tears. It would have been nice to have someone then.
And now I've lost a current student, one who I thought the world of. This week has been hard. The most nightmarish part was walking into the school Wednesday morning, after finding out Lynn had shot himself the night before. Mr. Parrish told us that, despite our own grief, that we, the staff, were to be the rock the students would have to lean on. How? My own grief was so deep. I kept thinking of all the wonderful memories I had of Lynn: him being the only boy on my academic team the previous year and us always talking of being supermodels; of his "Darth Vader" voice he was going to use for the play this spring, as a favor to me; of the text message he sent me one weekend when he'd finished reading a book and had hated the way it ended so badly that he'd punched it; of all the different books we'd talked about, especially the Midnighter series, and the way he'd still remember random thirteen letter words; of assigning him 'Cassius' in Julius Caesar because it was the longest part and I knew not only would he read it well, but his deep voice would do the part justice; of his playing the role of Obama in a school-wide debate the week before elections, and though he was in McCain territory, he had been masterful...
And I remember things I can't talk about too, because it would violate a students' privacy, but things that I want to talk about... I remember how it felt when I took roll on Wednesday, and there his name was...
I've just had an unemotional day, and yet here I am with tears streaming down my face again. If you're not a teacher, you probably won't understand this, but Lynn was MY kid. He was a student that I connected with and adored. I love all my students, but there are some who you just get and who you know that ten years after they've graduated that you won't forget them.
Tuesday, after I heard the terrible news, I wanted to be alone, because that's just part of me, I guess. But as I laid in bed trying to sleep that night, I wanted nothing more than to be held by someone who loved me, who got me, who cared about my pain.
Sex in the City addict, which happened after I saw the movie. During the night, Tuesday, when I couldn't sleep, I watched episode after epidsode, and finally the movie. In the movie, Carrie gets a personal assistant- Louise from St. Louis, and she admits going to New York to find love. She even carried a key chain that said Love. She said, that despite her heart being broken, she was still going to look fo love.
Not me. I had love once and didn't think I was ever going to get over it. Over him. I still wonder, sometimes, if I'm over him, though I know it's probably just a girl thing to not be able to let him go. Funny, though, how I've been able to let go of those who've come after him...
So, as I've dealt with the debilitating pain of Lynn's death, I've longed for love to wrap me up and take care of me for once. Do I have what it takes to be like Louise from St. Louis and put myself out there again? I don't know, I don't know... Students ask me all the time if I get scared, living by myself. I don't. They think I'm brave because I'm not scared of being by myself... when really, it's the other way around: I'm scared of being hurt again.