Tonight we visited friends that live in the same town as my first teaching assignment, Pottsboro, Texas. Driving by the intermediate school where I taught my first three years coupled with going through pictures and notes from that time (this past week while packing up) really sent me into a deep nostalgic mindset.
My friend from our hometown in Missouri to landing in Pottsboro together!
As we drove by and I pointed so my children would look, the thought that I may never drive by this iconic place again, really stuck with me. This place, town, friends, former colleagues who meant so much to me at one time…. So many have, like me, moved on to different places. But those memories of them, they were real again, thinking of the track I walked miles around, halls I walked up and down, the spot where my homeroom and I planted flowers one Earth Day, and mostly the people whom I shared the time. I imagined my first classroom and science lab that were more home to me than any place I rented, just inside the building walls.
No one in the car had the same powerful connection to the place my adulthood began and started to blossom. And yet, had I not started blooming there, I most definitely would not be who I am right now.
Here I am, 38, mother of five, wife of one, and forever an educator who is staring down the road to another adventure…one taking me to another starting point, another cast and crew, and another place to bloom. But I wouldn’t be able to had I not traveled other, transformative adventures, first. Had I not made lasting memories and important friendships and connections….
I coached softball, basketball, and volleyball those first three years.
So much can change in such little time. My children are growing so quickly, my husband and I are graying and getting older so much faster than when we first began. Here we are, 12 years later….
And, well, I’m just grateful for my memories. I’m grateful to be able to look back with gratitude, a prayer of thanksgiving, and more hope for the future than I’ve ever had….
The many connections and deep friendships made will not die in the time and space that will surely grow between us, but onward we look to bloom and create new memories that will also forever change us into the people we become. It’s such a sweet and temporary spot that time allows us to remember, grieve the quick passage of time, but then press forward. I don’t know that looking back is a positive experience for all, but tonight, I remember I am who I am today for everywhere I’ve been, everyone I’ve known, and everything I’ve learned along the way.
This box was made for me by a former student my last year in Pottsboro. Inside were pictures and notes.