sols_6We’re having visitors this week at school. Every five years in NC, teams of educators evaluate schools to make sure they are…educating people, I guess. Anyway, we (my faculty) have to dress-it-up while the team is here. Everything from de-cluttering our classrooms, hanging up student work, and cleaning up the roach families, to not sending the unrulies to the office! My administration has gone somewhat crazy. They are even making us wear our staff ID badges –something I haven’t had to do in six years!

It’s the badge that has me in a funk today, for life is a lot different this year than last. Last year, my hair had just started falling out — chemo treatments, the ones I thought I was going to get out of, were in full swing. I couldn’t see through that rough time to the part where cancer wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. I think I need a new badge, though. The one I have now shows a person I don’t recognize: long hair, easy smile, confident demeanor. My new badge should reflect the new (not particularly improved) me: crinkle-cut-fries hair, second-glance-in-the-rearview-mirror brows, too-much-belly-below-not-enough boobs.

I read somewhere the other day a person who wrote, “I will always have had cancer.” It’s my new normal — the one where I just don’t feel quite like the  me I used to be. It’s very hard to put into words — and as I’m writing these now, I can see the holes in my thinking and how I’m not able to put the words in the right order. Even a year later, the badge I wear doesn’t fit.

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