As I was running errands (something I never do on a show day), I heard Angela Yee on the radio talking about how she always looked forward to the first day of school, because she wanted to catch up with her friends, find out what everybody was up to over the summer, and rock her back to school outfit. Her memories brought back some of my own.
Sure enough, I looked forward to going back to school, but in a much different way. I enjoyed the smell of the hallways, on the first day. Maybe it was the smell of new books, or cleaning supplies. Whatever it was, it was welcoming. My favorite part was the newness of it all…a fresh start. Brand new notebooks, pens, pencils, and never-before-cracked-open-books excited me.
Once the newness wore off, I was faced with the anxiety of being called on to speak in front of my classmates, or worse — to read out loud. I particularly did not enjoy trying to find a group of kids that I fit into and attempt to make friends. In grade school, especially, I loved those rainy days, or the days when the class was so bad that we lost the privilege of doing anything “fun” for the day, because we weren’t allowed to go outside.
Those days, I wasn’t forced to go run and play (or in my case, walk around awkwardly counting the minutes until the teacher blew the whistle for us to all line up and go back inside). No, on those days, I was in my happy place: sitting quietly writing or drawing, minding my own business.
Whenever the teachers handed out crisp, clean sheets of paper, I was game! I didn’t know what we needed to write about or do with it, but a blank sheet of paper excited me. Something new. Something would soon be created on that paper.
As an adult, I enjoy many experiences of that back to school feeling, because I surround myself with new sheets of paper that I turn into notebooks. I purchase pens that make me smile, and I have none of the anxiety and discomfort of my grade school years, because I play by my own rules now. What a blessing.