Dear teacher, dear classmates!
Our primary school IX.A class reunion took place on Friday. Looking through photographs – smiling faces, hugs – it seems like you spent nice time together. I remember all the people in photographs, I recognized you. Luckily, my memory still works quite well. Sometimes I feel really old, especially when 3 years old B. manipulates with a smartphone more skillfully than me. Visually you almost have not changed, some faces look a little tired, some a little tensed. Our faces reflect what we went through and how we went through it…
I was not with you on Friday, so I decided to write about it. My intention is to reunite with you on my own, later and remote. I dressed up in the morning and I think about all of you all day long. How are you doing? What do you do? How do you live through events that come into your life? What are your goals? Do you live your life as you wish? How would you like to live? What aspects of your life would you change? How have events in your life changed you? Do you like these changes? Do you like yourself?
Before the reunion
When I received an invitation, I was happy that I will meet you again, although I hesitated, whether it will be safe regarding to pandemic situation. At first, it was the only thing why I hesitated. As the reunion day got closer, I was not sure about my attendance. The main reason for not coming was finally finished illness that we spread among us for a month.
Three days before the reunion I felt funny, I had a stomachache. I assigned it to us eating mainly bread with something that day, as we were busy with many things and did not have time for cooking. The next day at lunchtime an awful headache, neck and nape pain and nausea added to the stomachache. In the evening I decided to refuse to attend the reunion because I had just two possible explanations. Either I am pregnant, which seemed to be improbable regarding the phase of my menstrual cycle, or it is related to the reunion. Few minutes later these thoughts were coming through my mind:
I am allowed to say no. I am allowed to say no even when others expect to hear yes. And I am allowed to say no even when I am asked to say yes.My night-long sentences.
I started to pay attention to them. I mindfully repeated these sentences in my mind, thought about them. And suddenly everything clicked. Sickness was a clear and unignorable signal of my mind through my body that I am not ready to attend the reunion. My hesitation was about me worrying to refuse because I am learnt to fulfill other people’s expectations and overlook my own needs. Slowly and gradually I felt better.
I repeated sentences, that appeared in my mind, all night. I recalled various situations from school and tried to process them through my current understanding and knowledge. Mostly negative memories came to me – bullying, loneliness, high expectations combined with my perfectionism, fear of raging classmates, gender-stereotyped education, the first and following menstrual periods in school… These are just few of the memories which swallowed me. My body, after everything what it survived, having a very low tolerance of troubling events, warned me about the necessity to pause and process. As a child I did not have a capacity, knowledge or skills to deal with it, so it awaited for me. It happened few days ago in the safety of our home.
I also recalled situations when I was not behaving ideally. I could hurt someone else’s feelings too. Maybe I hurt someone with something I did not even now it was possible to hurt with. If something like that happened, I am sorry and also – I would like to know about it.
Now, after at least partial processing, I am able to have also positive memories: team work during a nature competition and preparations for it, support among girl classmates, admiration of some classmates for their knowledge and bravery, fun during our school trips, grumbling about teachers, “different” approach of some teachers…
I wish emotional competence, emotional intelligence, cooperation and creativity are one of the priorities of educational system…
Shortly about me
I assume that you had time and space for talking about your life journeys during the Friday reunion. So I will join you here.
Currently I am on my pandemic parental leave with 3 years old B. My biggest success I achieved in last few years (and probably in my whole life) is that I am still alive, I survived postpartum period with mental health issues and other physical conditions. I still look for ways how to be useful for society. One of the ways is this blog which I use as a form of therapy. I also spend my time with my son and as a kindergarten teacher I prepare educational activities inspired by Montessori approach for us. I still learn new things and introduce them into our household. We try to be the most ecological household we possibly can be now. One of my goals is clothing self-sufficiency – I sew new and alter old clothes. I am also interested in permacultures what I try in small steps in our loggia garden. All three of us improve in respecting each other, empathy and working with emotions. We strengthen family bonds and look for ways how to fulfill our dreams, goals and how to live a peaceful life.
Dear ones, it would have been very difficult for me to meet you, so I chose another path. I hope I will be able to join you during the next class reunion. I wish you love yourself the way you are and I also wish your life journeys take you towards fulfilling your aspirations.