The Other Side Of The Desk

Wiping my sweaty palms on my new acid wash 80’s jeans, I sat nervously in a cramped desk assigned to me in my high school gym, the cool damp air adding to my nerves.

My peers who had undoubtedly studied all year and late into the night before this day, surrounded me in their cramped wooden assigned desks. I had not studied… I had life to live… didn’t they..? Late nights out with my friends… socializing in class, feeding my overly extrovert being.. because really, would I ever need any of this in real life beyond these high school doors?

Reflecting back on those High School exam days now as an EA in the school, 35 years later, sitting on the other side of the desks of students watching a few slide sweaty palms along there non acid wash jeans… I can relate. Oh how I can relate. Yet sitting on the other side of that exam paper now gives me a whole different perspective.

Having a few years behind me since those High School exam days tends to do that…and a bit of life lived. I may not have taken a lot with me from those High School exam days but what I did learn didn’t come from an exam paper.

There would have been many things through the years in my life that I could not have studied for or prepared for.

Fellow peers being oh so unkind to those of us who wore lovingly sewn homemade clothes… that were extra large…

being the only one left standing regularly when being picked for the baseball team wanting to disappear into the dirt…

pre-cell / internet days when unkind notes passed from desk to desk accidentally landed in your lap with your name on it.. in bold letters…

young love that would look nothing like true love and the dance that accompanied that song…

and a year after high school being married and having a child.. still in my teens…long before internet info at my fingertips of “how to” and relying on generations of advice filtered through the joys and sorrows lived by the givers.

Then there was the loss of our baby… No textbook could prepare anyone for that.

All would feel like an exam I had not been prepared for and more than “sweaty palms” permeated those years.

My walk with my God took many different roads during those years… searching for answers I had not studied / prepared for… through the lush green forests… beside still waters… and into the open unending deserts at times.

I’ve come to understand there were many things in life I could not have studied or prepared for but I have come to a slow but steady understanding my best teacher and textbook is my God.

I didn’t always want to take his “courses” or study his “textbook” because surely I could just wing it and rely on my own wisdom.

Looking back now, I know I could have avoided way more than just “sweaty palms” if I had but trusted my heart to him more as my ultimate teacher… yet he was always the most patient and loving teacher…

Still is.

Still a journey but one that I see differently now…

from the other side of the desk.

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