Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Meet Rae

on September 10, 2012

Dear Reader,

For the last few weeks I have been racking my brain about why you would want to read what I have to share.  My lovely girlfriends have had to drag me somewhat kicking and grumbling into this blog writing business.  Granted, we have been writing thought provoking messages to each other for several years now.  For me these communications have been life altering, mind opening, and soul stretching.  I would probably not be in the place I am today with myself without those pivotal conversations or the friends who shared them.  These musing have made me reflect, rebound and react to life’s joys and crises.  I have needed these conversations.

 But I am not special.  There is nothing extraordinary about me and what I have gone through in life that would make a stranger exclaim, “WOW, I must listen to this woman’s pontificating”!  No one would look to my life story as amazing or against the odds.  Then it hits me.  That is exactly why someone might want to read my thoughts, opinions, or insights, because I am so gosh darn ordinary.  Most of us are.  Most of us are just trying to deal with LIFE and the curves it throws at us.  Many of us are just trying to get through the DAY.  And you know what helps?  Having friends go through the day with you.  Let me be that for you, a perfectly normal, amazingly ordinary amiga who can relate to the daily tussles of raising children, holding down a job, working on marriage, struggling with body issues, keeping up the house, finding time for self all while trying to find meaning in life.

The beginning of my expedition into life had the makings of a Charles Dickens novel- The first 18 months of my life were (from what I have been told) pretty harrowing, full of neglect  and abuse from a drug addicted, bipolar mother and an alcoholic stepfather who NEVER EVER wanted children.  In one of the lovely stories I have heard, he put a pillow over my face to muffle the sounds of my cries.  My two older sisters were really the ones who fed and cared for me.  However, then my Victorian Gothic tale gets a happy twist.  At a year and a half I was adopted into a wonderful family consisting of my maternal aunt, her husband and their two sons.  You know how many women dread turning into their mothers?  Not me-I sincerely hope to become more like my adopted mother- my true MOM.  From that moment on I was LOVED, spoiled, prayed over, reared, read to, disciplined with love, held to high expectations and expected to succeed in life.

Life from that point on was joyful and NORMAL.  I was the type of student who teachers dreamed about, always doing extra work because I wanted to.  I read books like I would starve without them (wish I still had that kind of time because I still would, but those darling children of mine keep insisting I feed them).  I was the trusted teenager who other teenagers used on their parents for manipulation-“But mom, Rae will be there!”  I flourished being on stage for theater and dance (everyone who knows me just nodded at the mention of my love for drama).  I was heavily involved in a Christian Church and read the Bible faithfully.  I was the good girl who worked her tail off through high school, went straight into college and at 22 became a high school English teacher.  I dated maybe 2 guys before meeting my husband.  I dated him for 3 years before marriage and then waited 3 more years before having our first child.  I prudently followed the Middle Class Road Map for Success.

I know how boring right?  Do you sense the perfectionist in me?  I bet you are wondering what issues that will bring later in my life- just wait; we will get there later in the blog….

I really learned about life from being a teacher for 15 years.  This is what has truly defined my adult years.  If you ask me, even after being out of the classroom for two years and technically now an administrator, what I do for a living I will answer without hesitation- High School English Teacher.  I have used my flair for the dramatic to assist my students with even the most boring reading of functional documents.  I have pushed, pulled, cajoled and tricked students into learning.  Yet candidly, I have learned as much as I have taught.  I have learned about personalities, about masks, about tragedy, about triumph, about management, about organization, about engagement, about adults, about politics, about patterns and about myself.  I have learned that a large high school campus is like a small city and a microcosm of our communities.  I have learned that every child matters, even the one who annoys the heck out of me and each one deserves to be taught (now whether he/she learns can be up to the individual but that’s another story).

So now my job title is “Coordinator of Secondary Education” which I guess fittingly also sums up my personality.  I coordinate- people, events, outfits J, meetings, documents, curriculum and  assessments.  It probably makes sense once you get to know me that I LOVE organizing and this job works for me.  Though honestly, I miss my students and the chaos of high school since I thrive on hustle and bustle.  On the other hand, I do not miss grading 180+ essays AT ALL.  I do not know what the future brings for me professionally, but I feel like I still have much to learn about and accomplish in the world of education before I am done (Ok, let’s also be blunt- like every English teacher in the world- I secretly want to write a best selling novel).

Personally life is never boring. Raising 2 daughters, currently aged 8 and 13, is challenging and rewarding.  I am as proud of these girls as any parent, but I am very specific with my goals for them.  I plan on raising productive adults- I do not focus on raising children.  I am more concerned with where they will end up at age 25, rather than how much they like me now.  Plus, I don’t need to be their “friend” at all.  This probably stems from dealing with teenagers so much.  I have seen it all- the good, bad and the ugly.  So I have tried, along with my husband, to be honest with the girls, demanding, supportive and use the teachers’ mantra, “firm, fair and consistent”.   Being married for 16 years has likewise been both wonderful and hard work.  Having been with this man for 19 years total has taught me so much.  I hope we can all agree the no matter how much you love someone, relationships are a struggle and need constant tending.  Both partners have to compromise and bend even when they don’t want to.  Instead of being, “me, me, me” we both have had to learn to be, “you first”.  I am sure there have been times when my husband has looked at me like, “what in the world!” BUT, I also know this with every fiber in my being- he would die for me and our daughters. So that makes it worth it. We have lived our marriage vows – for better or for worse, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.  Furthermore, we have promised to do one thing forever-TRY.

So that is Rae in a nutshell.  Although now I realize I have so much more to tell you!  I can’t wait to share my addiction with glitter, bling, pink and crafts, my reputation for humor and for being a member of the BLONDETOURAGE at the high school I worked at (big shout out to my teacher homies), my thoughts on so many topics and my struggles with you.  Yikes, for someone who was reluctant to start, I sure seem to have changed my tune about sharing this journey.  I guess I probably need it more for myself right now, but I do hope you will come alongside my highway sisters and me to join us.  Hallelujah- here we go!

With glitter and love,

Rae

 


2 responses to “Meet Rae

  1. Aunt T says:

    Nice to meet you and I hope we all get to know more of you. Blessings sista!

    Like

  2. ppearson2005 says:

    Thats my sister!!!! I love you English Teacher of life! lol!

    Like

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