Today marks my last day of freedom (at least until next May, when school is let out for the summer). As I go back to school next week, I know I will be bombarded with questions of how my summer was. No, I did not take any exotic vacations. No, I did not get engaged/married/have a baby. No, I did not go out every weekend and paint the town. In fact, I think the best way I could describe my summer is that it was a period of maturing and discovering.
Here are a few things that I learned:
- 23 years old is really not that old: I always prize myself on being very mature for my age. At 23, I have accomplished so many things: survived my first year of teaching and actually got asked back for the next year, planned a golf tournament, won state championships, graduated college. But, this summer has taught me that I still have a far ways to go and I still have so many things left to learn. I have spent a majority of my summer reflecting on who I am, where I have come from, and where I want to go.
- Our parents are not always who we thought they were: I think this has perhaps been the most difficult lesson for me to learn. I have always held my dad on a pedestal. He has been my role model, my anchor, my advice columnist. An event occurred a few months ago that caught me off guard because it was something I did not expect from him. One of my mentor teachers told me, “You know, the same thing happened to me. I had a situation with my parents where I realized they are not who I always thought they were”. I think this is just a part of growing up. Our perceptions and interpretations change as we continue to learn and grow ourselves. And this is a completely natural thing to occur. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my relationship with my dad and, while it may forever be different, I have accepted that perhaps I am the one who was misinformed and that I need to be accepting for who he is.