Tonight, I attended my first 8th grade graduation ceremony as a school staff member. I wasn’t really anticipating being particularly emotional. I knew going into it that I would miss my seven 8th graders (or…4 of them, anyway), but I didn’t really plan on getting worked up watching them walking into the gym. But there they were, all dressed up, looking like young adults…and I immediately teared up. I gave them each a “hooray!” when they walked by me, and I clapped silently for each of them when they got their diplomas. And afterwards, I tried to seek out a couple to say congratulations and give them hugs goodbye. I found one right away, and said a quick goodbye. I accidentally bumped into one of my girls and told her how proud I was of her, and that’s when I started to hear the quiver in my voice. And then, out of nowhere, as I was walking out the door, one of my boys (one whom I would never expect to do anything like this) not only sought me out to say goodbye, but gave me a hug as well. It breaks my heart a little (in a good way) to think about how much I want them to succeed in life. I’m going to miss them all terribly.
But tonight just reaffirmed that I am in the exact right place right now. This school was absolutely where I was supposed to be this year, and it’s where I’m meant to be for a long time. It’s been several years since I’ve felt at peace with where I am in my life. I forgot how good of a feeling that can be.