breathing out


i had this amazing day.

one of my closest friends brought her students up to the bronx so our brilliant scholars could interview one another about immigration and bring american. it played out even better than i’d hoped, the kind of good that you can’t plan for, the kind of wonderful that just unrolls before you. i floated around the room as our students sat in small clusters, eavesdropping & beaming as i went, my heart ready to burst with pride. when our new friends left to head back to school in brooklyn, i turned to my students, grinning.
“guys!” i cried out. “i’m so happy! are you happy?!”
“yes!!!” they cheered. “thank you, ms,” they told me over & again.

it was such a wonderful day that i thought nothing could ruin it. & nothing did, not even an annoying meeting with an annoying colleague. but when i found myself sharing the train home with a coworker known for glass-half-empty complaining, all that came out of me was negativity. i listened to myself complain all the way through the bronx. i tried to remind myself that the amazing day with my students was so much more valuable than the few moments i spent with a colleague who rubs me the wrong way. by the time i trudged off the train to make my transfer, i felt both deflated & heavy. i waded to the other side of the platform, trying to shake off the conversation of the past 30 minutes. it nagged, until the need for fresher air sent me above ground.

it was cool & clear, just warm enough to leave my coat draped over one arm for a little while. i meandered home from 125th, breathing in what i hoped was the beginning of spring, breathing out the smoke that was fogging my brain.


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