This post is dedicated to my children, like so many of them are.
Quite frequently, I dream about going back to school, and I don’t mean dream as in “oh, I wish I could go back and get my teaching degree or do a few years of architecture school” because as my cats know, I’ve already done that…as an adult…with three children both times…and it was no freakin’ picnic.
Word of advice for anyone willing to listen: finish your education before you decide to become a parent, or wait until the kids move away from home for good – like when they are forty or sixty or whatever. That in-between stage is nuts.
No, my dreams are more like nightmares. It’s usually me running to get to a class that I never quite make. I am late – always, always, ALWAYS late.
Or it’s me struggling to write my name on the top of a test and my fingers literally won’t work, or I can’t remember who I am, or both.
Or it’s me giving a presentation in front of a room full of people, and my pants keep falling down and I’m not wearing any underwear.
Or it’s me being put in charge of taking a combination horse/dog-type animal for a walk as some sort of “let’s see how smart she really is” assignment, and I just can’t get the damn thing to move past the door – as it neighs and barks loudly, and makes me look like a complete incompetent. “Just go already,” I yell. “Get your hooves/paws in gear.”
And then the teacher calls over to me – “Mandy, you get an F – a big fat F! It’s exactly what you deserve.” And I cry and go stand in a corner somewhere.
But you know what they say – dreams can be a person’s way of dealing with their insecurities. So it’s not that I’m actually stupid or inept, it’s just that I feel incapable of handling all the complexity that the world throws at me sometimes.
But therein lies the sparkling jewel. If you think you’ve already made it – that you’ve succeeded, that you are on top, that you’ve got a lock-down on life, that you’ll NEVER have to hide in the bathroom and eat chocolate – then there is nothing left for you to do. You might as well die.
And I don’t want to die, ipso facto, I am quite happy admitting that I’m functionally impaired at times.
If there’s one thing that I learned in the aforementioned “architecture” school – besides how to draw a blanket in a box, (for perspective’s sake, of course) – it’s that nothing is ever really finished. Everything is a process. Every single fucking thing in the world, including that drawing that took me twenty hours to sketch, that then got a 1/5 and needed to be redone three or four times just so I could pass the damn course, or that model that I painstakingly glued together out of pieces of wood the size of my thumbnail that apparently gave off the impression to my professors that I had my head stuck up my ass while I was designing it – just fun stuff like that.
Sure, sometimes you have to stop and hand something in, or call a certain thing done and be content with getting a C, or say that a particular shirt looks “pretty good” with a pair of pants even though it’s wrinkled as hell but you don’t have time to iron it and you’re next in line for presentations in front of your entire first year class, a whole slew of teachers, AND the dean. Make no mistake: there is ALWAYS room for improvement in life, and you need to fully admit it, embrace it, savour it, and shout it from the rooftops.
Thus, I will never be a genius; I will never be perfect; I am a bound by all that is good in this world to be a lifelong learner, thank you teacher’s college for instilling that catchphrase into my full-to-bursting brain.
And when my kids ask why I can’t properly type in my pin for the G.D. car door on the first try, I’ll tell them it’s because I’m normal.
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