Living Out Loud

It’s senior picture day at Chisholm. Not gonna lie, I feel a little weepy. I got here, badged in, opened the black box and got the dressing rooms ready for girls, the theater room open for boys and made sure the bathrooms were easily accessible for kids and GlamourCraft. Our lead custodian was here so she turned on the lights and opened the hall to my room. I sent a Remind out to let the kids know the newsroom is open if they wanted to work or use the computers.

It’s a normal Saturday. And I’m at my school. And I’m so proud to be a Ranger.

Last year at this time I was completely overwhelmed. I badged into the school and had no idea what to do. The Glamour Craft people did and they helped me. I didn’t know where to find the custodians or how to get help. I got lost getting from the black box area to my classroom. And I felt like I’d never call this giant place home. I’m so glad that’s changed.

I mean, I still feel new. And I won’t be here over two decades like I was at Rider, I don’t figure.

But the newsroom, it’s home. And CTHS, that’s the community we cover.

It’s been a long 13 months.

We didn’t know Brian’s dad would be sick when I took this job, didn’t know we’d spend half our time apart, didn’t know we’d be in the apartment for more than a minute. I sure as heck didn’t know when I moved to the Metroplex where so many friends and family members lived that 12 miles is like traveling to a different continent down here if it means going anywhere near the 35 or Alliance.

I didn’t know I’d be feeling somewhat adrift on the ocean of possibilities so I’d go to work, drive straight home and then do it again the next day with a stop at Starbucks and phone calls and FaceTimes with Brian and Katie/Olivia the only thing to break the monotony.

I didn’t dream I’d let intimidation of the roads, new people, new places, the fact that I’m lost when it comes to directions, traffic and the unknown fence me in to such a tiny space in life, where adventures waited for Brian and living out loud was a memory.

I didn’t know, didn’t dream any of that.

But all of that was a Godsend.

Because on the other side is this. This feeling of belonging, this sense of pride, this knowledge that I’m home.

I’ll still be intimidated by the roads here: seriously, EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION! And I think I might need 4-wheel drive to navigate the bumps in the roads caused by giant trucks brought in and out to construct new neighborhoods overnight. I’ll still be intimidated by new faces and places, but comfort zones are made to be pushed.

I’ll still be lost.

But I remember now. Lost is half the fun of living out loud.

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