Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 19 2010

Okay y’all…

Many things have changed. First, everything about Teach For Us (this platform) has had mondo changes. My side, your side, every side. This is very good, however I’ve yet to find the time to customize, customize, customize. It will happen eventually.

Also, I realized while walking today that in the month I’ve been part of Teach For America, I’ve learned to be surprisingly comfortable wearing heels and/or a knee length professional skirt four out of five days a week. I was walking to orientation in little cozy black heels when I remembered my first day walking to induction (refresher: training goes induction, institute, orientation) and how awkward I felt in the same shoes. How sure I was that I should not have chose those shoes; the prepared girls, the truly professional girls, knew to wear flats. Today, though, I felt fine. Professional dress isn’t so awkward anymore. Being comfortable with myself has branched into more things than I can list here, but clothes are one of them.

I’m also slowly realizing how impossible it is to try to become who a certain person wants you to be, or wishes you were. (I had to read that three times to make sure it was what I meant to say.) It’s possible to try for a little while, or to try for your whole life. Possible to try so hard you don’t remember who you are or what comfortable felt like. Or possible to try so hard you just lose it. You lose who you are.

I think the past year was so hard for me that I spent a lot of time trying to be things other people might approve of, other people might understand, other people might love. I had (still have) such a hard time figuring out who I am or who I want to be that I thought they might have a better idea for me. Ridiculous to reflect on, but not surprising for a freshly-motherless almost-graduate 22-year-old. Glad I’m not that anymore…

So now is reconstruction. After falling low and surviving on the kindness of others, the invisible indestructible force that is family, and the thing I cannot understand that is called faith; after that low I am rebuilding. I want to cry every time I think about doing so without my mother, but this is how it happens. Hard gets tolerable, gets comfortable, gets easy until something else hits hard. We keep living.

Anyway, I had no intention of being so sentimental, but it’s fitting because tonight is the last night we have at Delta State. My last night in this dormroom with roommate Lucy who I love, on this dirty mattress. My last night before going to Dumas for the next two years. It’s strange, but timely.

Also, DO NOT SEND ANY MORE MAIL until I have a Dumas address for you. But feel free to send it to Novi or Kalamazoo, because I’ll be visiting both during my anticipated trip to Michigan July 24 – August 1. Can’t wait for Great Lakes, Great Times!

4 Responses

  1. Cindy

    Summing up life in just two sentences:
    ” Hard gets tolerable, gets comfortable, gets easy until something else hits hard. We keep living.”

    Nicely put, Caroline! Onward towards your next adventure . . . I can’t wait for you to have an address! Have great lakes fun for me – I don’t think I’ll get up there this summer at all.

  2. Sharon

    Caroline-You are amazing and inspiring. I hope that my daughter gets to meet you at some point in her lifetime. You will be such a great example for her. Keep the faith!

  3. Auntie Sue

    Geeeezzz…I just get used to the way this worked and now it’s different. Old doesn’t like change. And if your teaching life goes like mine, you will be teaching something different every year. I have to rely on family to remind me to see the purpose and joy in it all. Keep smiling and walking proudly in those shoes. My bf and I are praying for you.

  4. Keep your head up! Life is sometimes a never ending battle to discover yourself. As soon as you do, your needs, wants, ambitions, circumstances change and you must “graduate” to that next level of life and transition into the “new you” (for lack of a better term). You’re doing great – may you succeed in everything you set your hand to!

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