I went to Lincoln Elementary School. It is apartments now. It was on Prospect Street. When I was in second grade I had the best teacher. My most favorite teacher ever. Her name was Mrs. Eklund. She was a tiny lady and seemed old, although I doubt she was. She always wore a dress with a belt and nylons. I guess the technical term is pantyhose. I hate that word. It sounds super weird to me, so I’m calling them nylons. She always had her hair pulled back in a low bun. Super professional and such a nice, caring lady. She was such a good teacher and I remember always wanting to please her, and always wanting to do the best I could for her. Something in the way she taught made me feel special. She made me want to work hard. I was just in awe of her. She made every single kid in that class feel like they were the most important kid EVER. I remember being so anxious for Halloween, because her house was where I couldn’t wait to go. She lived on Grand Street. To this day when I drive up that street I always look over to the right and remember Mrs. Eklund.
One day we were doing some sort of project where we had to put everything in alphabetical order. I can’t remember exactly what it was. It seems like it had something to do with Abraham Lincoln. Anyway, instead of listening intently, I rushed through the project and just wrote the words on my tan paper, with the light blue lines and dashes, with my big fat second grader pencil. No alphabetical order for me. I’ll show you how great I am. Look at how fast I am doing this project. Aren’t I great? I just wanted to please her. Once I realized my mistake, I was so mad at myself. My heart sank. Filled with dread. You know the feeling. The one where you kind of get butterflies in your stomach, and the fast heart beat thing going on, because you know you messed up. Sinking, sinking feeling. Because I was too focused on pleasing Mrs. Eklund, I totally forgot to focus on myself. Oh my gosh. I was totally going to disappoint her. I was devastated. I remember being able to fix my mistake, but I wasn’t the first one done. She didn’t care. That’s how she was. Nobody was more special than anyone else. That’s why she was such a great teacher.
I think everyone should have a role model. I think it is super important for all of us to look up to someone and want to have that healthy relationship with them. I believe we all need that. Because human nature.
Buuuut, we should also be able to focus on ourselves and be able to differentiate between ourselves and that special person. Don’t focus so much on someone else and want to please someone else that you lose sight of who you are. Make your own noise. Don’t try to please someone so much that it becomes your be all and end all. We are all unique individuals. God made us that way. Find the balance. It’s there. You just might have to uncover it.