I am not a high school English teacher anymore. But now, I write. I think. I form phrases and pluck words out of the air and turn them into reflections of my inner world. I teach myself to be authentic with my thoughts and actions. I teach myself to be free.
I don’t have a New York State teacher’s license anymore. But I earned that achievement once and instead, I am teaching my daughter to speak, to listen, to interpret and analyze. I teach her to be. I teach her love.
I’m not reading copy written by freelancers as the editor for an in-flight magazine any longer, but I follow and interact with writers who leave me yearning for their passion and the power in their pens (or keystrokes.) I edit my own life, and cross out the negatives as I slowly work towards a perfected draft of who I am and what I want to be. I continue to revise as I continue to change.
I am not standing in an airport, facilitating travel to beautiful places for hundreds of strangers as the Customer Service Agent they’ll love enough to mention or give a gift of wine and chocolate to, or who got promotion after promotion in a few short months because of it. But I am the one who knows I am capable of such things, and who uses it to smile through diaper changes and potty training, illnesses and tantrums, feeding and disagreeing. I am also the one who knows I will do it all again one day.
I can’t pay only airport taxes and make last-minute plans to fly to a tropical island, but I can pack a diaper bag and strap my baby into her car-seat and head into New York City for a dose of what is like epinephrine for my soul. I can go to museums and movies, parks and playgroups, and make any day a mini-vacation. Or I can order pizza and watch animated movies and clink glasses with my daughter’s milk in our own mother/daughter stay-cation.
I am not surrounded by the friends and family of my former life, but by real connections, people who support me and pray for me and make me laugh and make me grateful. New relationships and old that have proved stronger than the supposedly unbreakable bond of marriage.
I don’t have a husband but I have purer love. For myself. For my baby girl.
I am not someone’s wife, someone’s English teacher, someone’s editor, someone’s ticket agent. I am my own everything. I am Zahara’s everything.
I don’t need to be more.
I am enough.