I couldn't help but get misty-eyed standing outside the door to my 6th grade class. This is where my whole outlook on life and the way I saw myself completely changed.
For five years before I entered this class and six years afterward I often heard that I was 'too loud', too boisterous, too disruptive, too talkative or always 'too something' that was never too good of a description.. In a nusthell I'd never amount to a 'hill o' beans' because I could not (Lord knows I tried) be quiet in class.
At eleven years old I never dreamed that walking through this door I would meet the lady that would open up my eyes to a whole new world. The world of writing.
No longer was I 'too loud, talktavie, disruptive'....instead I was 'creative, imaginative, entertaining.' Mrs Tittle not only laughed at my jokes but she insisted I write them down. She encouraged my writing by supplying me with tablets and creative writing workbooks. I wanted so much to please her that I'd write for hours on end and hand my 'masterpiece' in to her. At Christmas she suggested I turn my Santa Claus story into a play for the class.
Speaking of Christmas, she gave each of us a hand-made card with a written poem inside. Mine said, "Reading and writing are her favorite game, one day Kathie Bishop will be a famous name."
It was emotional to stand here after all these years. I wished it was possible to open that door and reveal to the 6th grade me the woman she'd become. Just allow me to make eye contact, offer her a simple smile. Surely she would recognize herself in me and understand that there is a big, beautiful world out there that doesn't care that that she was the last one picked in kick-ball. A world ready to embrace her 'differentness', her 'uniqueness'.
Instead, I walk away. And while I know it's only my imagination, I swear I can almost hear the class clapping - with Mrs. Tittle clapping the loudest - as the 'actors' in my Christmas play take their final bow.
When/What was YOUR defining moment? Did someone change your life in an extraordinary way? I'd love to hear about it.
Til next time,
Kathie (Bishop) Truitt