A 34-year old note made me cry today.
I live a hectic life Monday through Saturday. It's one of my own choosing so I try not to complain when I'm feeling stressed out with too much to do and too little time. But Sundays are my ME day. I try not to leave the house. It's just me and my cat, alone in a quiet house where the TV is turned off and the only other sounds besides our breathing are the soft calls of the birds outside.
Saturdays are usually reserved for all the household chores needing to be done so all I have to worry about on Sunday is cooking my meals and trying to catch up on some writing. Don't ask me why today was different. It started out like any other Sunday. I was sitting in my magical story-producing recliner, checking my emails, when I happened to glance over at my bookcase. It was beginning to look a bit disorganized so I decided to do a quick straightening up before starting this post.
As I was rearranging things, I noticed my high school yearbook tucked neatly in one corner of the shelves. It had been years since I had given it any thought and I took a quick moment to thumb through the pages of my past. I was an extremely shy person back then. I glided through the hallways like a ghost, only speaking when spoken to. I didn't feel like I had much in common with my classmates and my social awkwardness made me somewhat of a loner.
But there was one person who paid attention to me. My homeroom teacher, Mrs. Serena Williams, took an interest in a certain quiet student and I developed a special friendship with her where we discussed every topic under the sun except my interest in becoming a writer one day. I don't know why I didn't since I thought about it so much. Maybe I was afraid she would laugh at my dream? I kept that one topic to myself and focused instead on my studies.
Glancing at the pictures today reminded me how very different I felt from the rest of them back then so I was surprised to reread those youthful messages tucked in the back pages of the yearbook. My classmates kept saying how nice and sweet and smart they thought I was...something I never realized they felt before It was as if I was actually seeing those words for the first time. But it was a comment written by Mrs. Williams for the whole world to see that shocked me enough to make me cry.
Amongst the typical well wishes and words of encouragement for a young lady staring out into the uncertainty of her future, my teacher wrote these words, "I can't wait until the day I read about you becoming an author". The fact that SHE could see the writer in me back then, even when I spoke of my most secret desire to no one, touched me deeply and I cried.
I fear Mrs. Williams is gone now, but if I could say one last thing to her it would be this:
"Thank you for believing in me when no one else would. Thank you for seeing something in me I was afraid to even name. And thank you for knowing, even when I didn't, that one day I would work hard to make my dream a reality. For all the encouragement and support you gave me, please know that like the old song goes...this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...shine for the whole world to see.
Just look at me now, Mrs. Williams. Thanks to you, I'm a writer."