So, I’ve just had one of those moments where I started writing a text to someone then realised half way through that the glorious combination of a 17 month old starting the party at 2am this morning and my second (and very large) glass of wine (after swearing off wine on weekdays and so it hits me that little bit harder anyway) was not a good basis for sending said text.
The person I was texting was a now-friend-but-I-once-taught-her-in-my-first-year-of-teaching person. A dream I had last night (pre-party) which reflected on my first class as a young teacher prompted the text, as it got me thinking at random intervals throughout the day about who I was 7 years ago and who I am today.
And then I got to reminiscing, and then scrolling through Insti and Facebook and seeing pictures of students-turned-adults wearing pretty dresses and holding glasses of wine, and thinking about what I am currently doing. Holding a glass of wine, yes, but wearing my most comfortable and, now, forever-go-to, much preferred leggings, maternity singlet with the built in bra (I don’t even breastfeed anymore, but this thing is so incredibly comfortable!), and daggy old grey cardi.
It’s Saturday night. I have been on the couch watching Kath and Kimderella with my darling husband after devouring a delicious roast lamb (prepared by the great hunka spunk that he is) with a glass (or two) of wine and a block of dark hazelnut chocolate chaser. I then somehow motivated myself to take my wine into my studio (who am I kidding, it’s the smallest sunroom in the universe that, even though it’s classed as a third bedroom, wouldn’t even fit a cot), do a bit of painting (art, not house. Pfft!) and scour the internet for a bit more inspiration. I landed on facebook and Insti and the aforementioned pictures popped up.
The reminiscing started again, and then the text, which brings me here.
I managed to convince myself that it wasn’t good to send such a boring, wine-and-lack-of-sleep induced text to someone who is probably having a really great time being all 20-something and what not and completely ruin her night, so I turned the text into this and now I’m probably boring all of you to tears.
Seven years ago I was a fresh new teacher, ready to take on the world and change the world of every person under the age of 17, graduation certificate hot off the press in hand. I landed in a small (biggish for the region) town where I was the favourite teacher, the one whose class every kid looked forward to. I had nicknames like “Captain Awesome” and “Princess Sparkles”, and it became a school-wide ‘thing’ to say “bags it” about my outfit as I walked by. Oh yes, I had a wardrobe so extensive that some items didn’t see the light of day twice in a year.
I was healthy and thin with perfect skin, possessed a principal-impressing ‘can-do’ attitude and an attempt at the touch football team (and tripped over air on multiple occasions), in a job that most graduates only dreamed about.
I craved a social life (which, in this town, was a bit hard to come by in terms of “going out”) and so would make the 3 hour trip back home most weekends just so I could stay out late for something other than a school concert. I would make my own fun outside the house and school, regularly exploring the region around me and frequenting the next major town that had a shopping centre with more than Big W or Target Country with my Dalby gal pal. On most weeknights I would invite myself over to the house of the only other people I knew in town who could drink a glass of wine without being judged. I would stay as long as I could until I had to drive myself home (all of two minutes) legally.
The funny thing is, I would see my friends getting married, buying houses and having babies. I would yearn for that and would often try to convince myself that, because I was getting on (just about to turn 23!) I would die a lonely old barren spinster, and so I would get my glass of wine and top it up.
Ah, those were the days.
Anyway, back to now. So I was looking at the pretty fashion choices of this student, thinking about the days where I looked somewhat decent in a hessian sack, and then started writing this text. But then I realised that I had a lot more in me that needed to come out than could be said in a simple (almost 5 page) message.
These are my days:
I love my boy. I spend every day with him. I’ve had one night away from him and it was because I was in hospital.
I love my husband. I choose to spend my weeknights on the couch with him. When we were first married, such nights would happen once a fortnight. A home-cooked meal was almost unheard of, but now one of our favourite things to do is cook meals together.
A Saturday night at home is a blessing, because it means I get to spend time with my family after a whole day of spending time with them.
I don’t have to go looking for fun, or drive 3 hours to have a life.
My life is here, in the comfort of my little home, with my husband, boy, built-in-bra-maternity-singlet-thing, and a glass of wine.
Yes, Matt and I often say to each other, “Remember when we were DINKs (double-income-no-kids, for all those playing at home)?”
“Remember when we went overseas on holiday?”
“Remember when I was a size 10 and my boobs didn’t hit me in the chin when I jumped?” (Truth be told, my husband NEVER needs to reminisce about that).
But, and so much MORE often, we say to each other, “I love that kid more than life itself”.
“I can’t wait to take him to _______________ and see the joy on his face when he sees what we’ve seen.”
“I don’t even want to remember life before him”.
I loved my life 7 years ago. I would love to go back there, to all the good feels of a 20-something year old, where kids would compliment my outfit choice and tell me how I was their favourite teacher because I didn’t yell at them like the other teachers did (honestly, that was because I was told by another, slightly older teacher, to just send them straight to the principal without behaviour managing in the first place. And also because I would be struggling not to laugh). Or when Matt and I had all the tummy flutters of new love, flirtily playing “Words with Friends” and having a little side chat in the process (which then graduated to Facebook messaging and then the old “I’m going somewhere where there isn’t good reception, so here’s my number and we can text instead” (from him, of course!)).
But I love my life even more now, because I am comfortable, I somehow managed to land that great hunka spunk, and I have, hands down, the most awesome kid in the universe.
So, past-student-turned-friend-in-your-20s, I am you in *ahem* 9 years. Enjoy your life, live it to the fullest, don’t wish it away, because you’re going to love looking back on the memories you’re now making.
Oh gosh, if you’ve made it this far, well done. Also, I sound like an old, ungrateful, alcoholic of a housewife. I am actually, in the flesh, completely opposite to that. Just so you know.