Monday, October 01, 2007

When I Was...17

...I was shy. Yes, I was! I was painfully, horribly, cripplingly shy as a young child but managed to crawl my way into regular shyness as a teen {most likely, with the help of Puffy, & some fun, crazay friends}.

As a shy teen, I was used to flying under the radar at school. I got good grades, but never any extra attention. I guess the teachers felt that they should save their energy for the students that needed more help.

My grade 12 English teacher was different. She not only noticed a potential in me but went out of her way to encourage it. When a writer-in-residence came to speak to our class, my teacher arranged for me to miss other classes to have some one-on-one time with the writer.

She was the first authority figure in my life to make me feel special, to make me actually believe that I was special, that I had talent, & that I should use it. She encouraged, nay NAGGED me to write. & write. & write some more. Short stories, poetry, whatever, it didn't matter as long as I wrote.

She was also our drama director. She insisted that I do a monologue for the theatre night. I was scared silly, but went through with it fueled on by her faith in me.

Without her, I would never have become involved in theatre in my adult life. I would not have done any of the writing that I've done. I would be short several very good friends that I made through theatre events. I would not be as confident, independent, outspoken, or happy as I am now.

She literally changed my life. Plus, we bought her house & have never been happier, so I guess I owe her a lot.

I wonder if she knows what a big influence she made on my life?


french panic said...

Wilma, if that woman is not dead (is that why you bought her house?), track her down and TELL HER! Share the love! Wouldn't you want to know if you made that kind of impact on someone? I totally would. There is so much about life that is hard and lonely and sucky; this isn't one of them.

tell her tell her tell her tell her

Wilma said...

She's alive. I know where she lives - that sounded slightly ominous!

I may send her a letter. The shy girl is still in there, trying to burst out.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to know who you are talking about (a few wine-drinking evenings in that house), and I also know that she would love to hear from you! It would make her year!!! Do it!!1

Anonymous said...

But leave out the "if that woman is not dead" comment. I can pretty much guarantee she wouldn't like it.