When I walked into class this morning I noticed that I wasn’t the little fish in the sea anymore. Five new timid, unassuming students had joined ‘save your life school’ today. As they sat there staring at the table or their hands, all I could think was, I SO know how they feel right now. They probably think they don’t belong here…that they won’t like talking in a group…that there was nothing some silly class could do to help them…that the stigma they are use to using as a shield between themselves and their voice would never disappear. My heart went out to them, but I knew from experience that regardless of how uncomfortable they felt now, they would eventually see they were right where they needed to be.

‘Self esteem’ class was first on deck today. “Anyone want to tell me about something positive they did this weekend?” asked our teacher as her first icebreaker at bat…Crickets… None of the new classmates were budging so I ‘chirped’ in, “I had a great night with some friends watching movies, eating junk food, and drinking cream soda!” (Big smile on my face). “Very nice”, replied my teacher. Then she tried another swing. “Anyone want to tell me who they think determines your self esteem?” Blank faces and uncomfortable coughs. I guess this one’s up to me again. “We determine our own self esteem”, I answered confidently. “Correct”. I’m such a prized student now…lol. Ok, last at bat, “Can anyone tell me a goal they have in their future?” Awkward stretches and coffee gulps… Don’t worry everyone, I got this. “I would like to have my Masters Degree completed by 2018″. Homerun?..Welllll maybe not so much. My teacher smiled, but a new student a few seats over mumbled, “Wow, Masters Degree…my goal was to step outside of my house today.” Awe crap…maybe just getting on base would have been a better choice Natalie; (I wasn’t sure)All scores aside, the morning class was primarily made up of the teacher asking questions, followed by me answering them to end the awkward silence. Never-the-less, I understood SO well what the new students were probably feeling; like they didn’t even know who they were anymore. (And they definitely didn’t know who the punk with the short black hair and the tattoo was.) 🙂

The teacher then went on to discuss that, “We are who we see in the mirror. We determine and control our own self-image. If we want to change our life, we must change our vision of our life”. How true! And fitting for the day. Three weeks ago I saw a scared, anxious, guilt-filled mom/student in the mirror. I was the coffee gulping, awkward stretching student who had no idea how this class would affect me. My reflection in the mirror back then, was probably what any one of the new students saw today. And that same reflection of myself probably would have rolled my eyes at anyone who mentioned that a Masters Degree was a realistic goal…at that time. 😉

It’s all perspective I suppose. I didn’t need to feel bad for saying that I wanted to complete my Masters in four years, because that’s who I saw in the mirror today. (I may not have seen it three weeks ago; not crying each night was a good goal back then.) And the new student saw going outside and facing her anxiety as her goal in her mirror today. Both the new student and I gave correct answers to the teacher’s question about goals. And I think BOTH goals and their equally evolving perspectives were home runs!

True side note: My fortune cookie tonight read,” Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be”.