When I was a young girl, my mom told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, so I started dreaming…..
Memories; the good and the bad……
I have many wonderful memories of my childhood, like growing up on a farm, being around animals, reading under the weeping willow tree, eating fresh strawberries from my mom’s garden, and roller skating from the house to the barn. I loved living on the farm.
I loved helping my mother work in her garden. In fact, I remember picking beans for her, then eating most of them, before returning to the kitchen, with an almost empty pot. Mom just laughed and told me to go pick some more, or the time, Dad tried to teach me how to ride a used, old looking, riding mower, and I ended up going around and around in a big circle. Dad laughed so hard, as he chased the mower to rescue me.
I loved telling the kittens stories, and singing along with my favorite singer, Connie Francis; holding my hairbrush, and swaying around my bedroom. The farm was a place that allowed me to be me.
I also have some sad memories of my childhood, like being bullied in school because I wore the same outfit three or more times a week; because I was short and chubby; because I had a freckled face; because I sported a yearly tight perm; because I ate the same lunch everyday, and because I was not very good in math. The more I tried, the more mistakes I made, which always ended up, with me being called stupid.
I am not afraid to say, that school was not a happy place for me. It was a place that changed me into two people. A quiet shy girl who rarely raised her hand, even when she knew the answer. A girl who was falsely accused of the cat, having her tongue, and the girl who never volunteered for anything.
I rode the bus in silence to school and home. The only good thing about the ride home was that the big yellow bus took me to my safe haven, where I could be the real me. Where I could sing and dance, talk to the animals and be with my family. I talked from the time my foot hit the last step on the bus and stopped when I closed my eyes at night. I loved my family and I never let them know what was happening to me at school.
Dream a little dream…….
When I was little, I loved to play school. I would line up anything stuffed to be my students. Mom, once told me I even tried to get the cats to sit still for a lesson, which lasted all of two seconds. She shared with me, how much she enjoyed listening to the one way conversations, I had with my pretend students. I remember playing school a lot all through my elementary school years. It’s funny, math wasn’t hard in my pretend classroom and I never made any of my pretend students feel stupid. I dreamed of being a teacher someday. I kept that dream, my secret.
As a child, I love to make up stories about the animals on the farm. I would tell those stories to Mom, and my two much younger sisters. Of course, the cats, kittens and the animals on the farm were my sounding boards for the adventures I conjured up. I dreamed of being a storyteller and writer someday. I kept that dream my secret.
I dreamed of being a mother, just like my mom……
As the story goes……..
I was happy when I left elementary school and went to junior high, then high school, but honestly nothing changed. The bullies were still there, just older and bigger. They were still cruel, and I was still the quiet girl. I worked hard in school and earned pretty good grades. Back then, I knew my parents would not have the money to send me to college, so I took business classes, in which, I did quite well. But, I knew that my dream of being a teacher was not going to happen.
As the story goes, I worked after high school, got married and raised four children. When my youngest child, was in high school, the dream of becoming a teacher, tugged at my heart. I was 35 when I had a conversation with my husband about my dream. He gave me his blessing. I was on cloud nine until, some folks told me that I was out of my mind. But I was grown-up now. I had confidence in myself. I knew it would be hard work, but I was not afraid. I had to try.
My next step was to talk to an advisor at our local community college. They welcomed me with open arms as did, East Stroudsburg University. I was thirty six when I started. It was not easy, but, I was determined. I was doing this for my dream. I wanted to be a teacher that would make a difference, one that would encourage not discourage. I needed to prove to myself that I could accomplish something positive, unlike, what I heard throughout my school years from my peers, and some teachers.
Something wonderful happened to me at college, I enjoyed it! Every minute of it. I made friends, laughed and never felt alone. I always made sure to treat everyone with respect and kindness. However, the best experience, was when I graduated. I made it, Honors and all.
I taught for twenty-three years and enjoyed every minute of it. I loved my students! The year I retired, I started on my next dream, writing. It is my hope to make a difference with my words. I am a published author and am now working on my first novel.
I will never stop dreaming and neither should you! The sky is the limit. Go For It!
My heartfelt prayer…..
Each day, I pray that the bullying will stop. The pain and memories can last a life time. We are all important, and we all have dreams. We are all in this life together. Let’s reach out to one another, and build relationships that grow and inspire, all those we love, and know; encouraging not discouraging. So dear readers, always remember; when we help others, we help ourselves.
My question to you: How can we change a bully’s heart?