In August I will be unpacking my boxes in a different classroom in a different building, and while I have been waiting for this time to come for literally the last two years, now that it is here I want to both jump for joy and crawl under my covers to cry for a while.
When I came to PHS six years ago to complete my student teaching, I had no idea what an impact this place would have on my life. At the time, I really believed that I would finish my 10-week student teaching gig and then either move to Seattle to be near my sister or move to Ellensburg to be with someone who shall remain nameless and who, to this day, reminds me that sometimes heartache is a blessing in disguise. Needless to say, neither of these moves happened mostly because 1) I fell in love with the students here, 2) they offered me a job immediately following my student teaching, and perhaps most importantly, 3) divine intervention does indeed exist.
Divine intervention, you ask? Yes, my friends, DIVINE INTERVENTION. And I can prove it. Dim the lights and cue the music...
- Because of PHS I met Bonita Flanagita, who quickly became my partner in crime and just as quickly became a part of my internal makeup. She simply has become a part of me. We have been there for each other through every loss and every gain and I truly cannot imagine my life without her.
- Because of PHS I met Natalie K., who came into my life EXACTLY when I needed her. She embraced me fully into her life and brought back laughter into my life, which I so desperately needed. Plus, she led me to Alissa S., who has become my sounding board on life, love, and politics. I don't know what I would do without her.
- Because of PHS I was "reunited" with Tony and Melanie. We had always kept in touch and would occassionally get together for a dinner once we all were living in the T-Cs, but it wasn't until Melanie started her student teaching at PHS that we became inseperable. I don't really know how to say it, but when I think of Melanie I just feel so proud because she represents all that I want to be - passionate, empathetic, driven, strong, and beautiful. Our bond is stronger than friendship. Really, what we have done is become family. I, for one, cannot wait to grow old together. It won't be pretty, but it will be a hell of a lot of fun.
- Because of PHS I stayed in the T-Cs which means that I was finally able to meet the love of my life. I still find it fascinating that both Trevor and I moved back here during the same month of the same year. While we didn't meet until five years later, I often feel like we were living parallel lives and it was only a matter of time before our paths were supposed to cross. Trevor reminds me everyday that HE is EXACTLY why I was supposed to stay here. As Melanie has often said, he is the ying to my yang, and life without him is unimaginable..
- And of course because of PHS I learned that people are inherently GOOD. I saw this everyday in my coworkers (Cathy, Phyllis, Marty, Sarah, Tom, Stacy, Rachel, Brad...just to name a few) and in my students (Mayra, Marcos, Vernice, Brandon, Jose, Celeste, Jesse, Cynthia, Brittany, Eric, Emmanuel, Yuritzi, Adriana, My, Sofia, Dimitri, Dominic, Daniel...I really could go on and on...). These people have touched me with their modesty, their humor, their grace, and their integrity. I have to say, when I went into teaching I only thought about the difference I would make. I never imagined that the difference I would make would be miniscule in comparison to the difference these kids would make in my life. They have made me a better human being, and for that I owe them the world.
Do you believe me now? This life that I am leading now is the life I was always supposed to have. It is the life I dreamed of as a child - one in which I look forward to going to work everyday, one in which I feel like what I do matters, one in which I am surrounded by friends and family who love me and support me, and one in which I am walking side-by-side with a man who brings out the best in me.
Goodbye, PHS. What a ride it has been...and thank you for preparing me for the next one.