Today I met my teenage self. I bumped into my old (he wouldn’t like to be called old, but I left that school 20 years ago!) PE teacher and spent a long time chatting to him. He firstly called me by my maiden name which I haven’t been called for ten years and talked about I girl I recall.
He talked about a sporty girl that was a real go getter. He described a girl, he said, that was born to teach, was always polite and well liked at school. A girl that was always smiling and keen to get involved with everything. He didn’t remember that I sometimes felt uncomfortable in my own skin, that I didn’t feel pretty or clever enough. That I … well that I just didn’t feel how I looked.
It was great to chat with him and get a glimpse of how others saw me. My time at Pittville School was mostly brilliant. I enjoyed school, I went each day with a spring in my step – there I learnt so much , not just academic stuff but way way more. My teachers were supportive and it was them that inspired me to become the teacher I am today, even if I didn’t know it then. Sixth form was a lot less fun. It was hell. Pittville, you see didn’t have a sixth form and we had to go somewhere else. I went from that confident person my PE teacher knew to a shadow of myself in a huge sixth form without the caring support of my teachers.
I wish I could go back to that 17 year old girl and tell her that it would turn out just fine. Because for a long time she didn’t think it would.
Today I spent with my dearest friends from ‘back in the day’ and I looked at us now as mothers and as wives and smiled a little at how we have turned out. We are spread about geographically and only seem to meet at very sad times (like today) or very happy times. We have all moved on greatly, with very different lives but those friendships, like that teacher I saw today have shaped me. They made me what I am today and for that I am grateful. Those friendships are etched into my subconscious and heart and whilst they can’t be recreated now they are what makes me, ME.