Wow. As I leave my office, at the archaic Pinellas County High School for the last time, I am filled with mixed feelings. First I want to run back to my office and check for the 100th time if I've left anything valuable behind. There's nothing there, just some paper clips and empty binders in ancient desks. The metal and formica desk I used has already been replaced by a much older, heavier, solid wooden one.
But I leave slowly, hoping someone will call me back for one more hug and fond farewell wishes. This is the end of a program which ran for over 10 years. Although I have only been part of it for a mere 4 years, I feel sad. I wonder how the students I have met over the years will fare next year. I wonder how quickly the the suspension rate will double, and how quickly the administration will realize it. I also wonder how the former superintendent of schools can sleep at night...
Then I come back to reality. This is a new day. I believe things happen for a reason, so it's time for me to think of my own future.
I think about the words of Marianne Williamson in The Age of Miracles:
This is not the end. It is the beginning...
Growing older just happens; growing wise is something else again. The challenge of age is not to skip life's disappointments, but to transcend them. We transcend them by learning the lessons they have taught us, however painful...
But the miracle of change is that nothing that happened before this moment has any bearing on what's possible now, except that what you learned from it can be fuel for a magnificent future.
My apologies to Marianne for changing the word "midlife" in the last paragraph to "change."
2 years ago