Ten years ago, I found myself in a new career, uncomfortable scenarios, and little hope. With no idea what situations brought me to this place, and with very little hope for escape, I was lost. One night at the Bridgeton Police Station I met an angel case managing a family in crisis.
Her unfamiliar confidence and passion to stabilize an unpleasant event was intriguing. All I could offer was an old rap song to distract the children from the police interrogation. That night she privately affirmed me and explained that she wouldn’t be there long because her marriage couldn’t endure it. Although it made sense, I had come to work for the agency in hopes to restore my own marriage.
She told me that she was going to become a teacher. It was an approach that I hadn’t considered for myself since my freshmen year in college. Nonetheless, it sparked my interest. She said that she wanted to work with children. Sounded good to me. That’s what I wanted too. I just hadn’t figured out how.
Before I knew it, she had resigned. She’d been hired at a local elementary school teaching English-As-A-Second Language, Language Arts, Math, and Science. This inspired me to spend the first two hours of every day looking a career in education. I too needed an escape to a more fulfilling career–one that embraces hope, is heralded as a noble profession, and helps without hurt.
The years that followed found me in a classroom of my own. Our paths would not have crossed again had it not been for social media. On the rare occasion that her actual photo graced her profile was the day I connected with her online. Nuna was her online handle.
MySpace, Yahoo IM, and eventually Facebook became the mediums through which we shared ideas and accomplishments. She saved her relationship and introduced me to someone after my marriage collapsed. Like good friends do, we partied, celebrated life, and enjoyed the company of our mutual friends. Relationships dissolved and our professional lives took on new forms. We supported each other’s endeavors from a far; only commenting when asked for an opinion.
Although not an integral part of my career or my personal life, I’ve shared with her my most emotional experiences. From her own perspective, she’s offered advice. Younger but wiser, her advice was always valued. Her own expertise has been recently recognized by higher authorities which has positioned her assent to a new level of achievement. I’m so proud of her. She continues to inspire me.
True friendships cannot always be defined by cliches. In this case, no cliche can adequately define the value of my bond to Nuna. Exciting times…