Picture it. Fifth grade. Mrs. Duffy’s English class. I was vigorously rubbing a Pink Pearl eraser back and forth on my desk. My goal was to see how big of a pile of eraser shavings I could make before the bell rang. It’s good to have goals.
Anyway, I was very productive until…it happened. Tall and lanky Mrs. Duffy, in her white blouse and A-line tweed skirt, stood in front of the class and began to read a student’s essay aloud. It was mine. Gulp.
I sat up straight darting my eyes from side-to-side wondering if the kids in class were looking at me. My heart was pounding. “Do they know it’s mine? Why is she doing this to me?” I thought.
As she continued to read, panic shifted into calmness. I was ok. Quite ok.
After class, friends said some nice things. That was good, too.
I don’t know what happened to the pile of pink eraser shavings on my desk, but I do remember that hearing my essay read aloud felt…well…right. Not right because Mrs. Duffy thought it was worth reading, but because I knew in that moment that writing was right for me. Today, the adult me calls that a recognition of my authentic self. Moral of the story…we really do know what is right for us.
What was my essay about? I personified sand. Yes, sand. If a grain of sand on the beach could talk, what would it say? Stop laughing. It was fifth grade.
While I don’t think Mrs. Duffy thought about me much as she continued her career, I sure thought about her as I grew into mine.
So how about you? Can you recall a moment in your life when you knew what was right for you?
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.