Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Most Unfortunate Coincidence.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. 

Today, I packed up my car, packed up my life, and started driving. By myself. To Mississippi.

I sucked it up, swallowed hard, and blinked the tears out of my eyes and drove onward to my new reality.

I tired to pump myself up with good music and some silly, positive self talk. I was feeling good, excited even. The journey had officially begun as I blazed a trail down the highway. Jamming hard to a popular song on the radio, I felt on top of the world. How lucky am I? A new adventure, a new city, a new state. The world is mine. Mine for the taking!

Less than an hour in to my road trip, I was in my own world riding fast in the left lane when the most unfortunate coincidence happened. Like a punch in the stomach. I caught a glimpse of a University of Hipsterville sticker on a car as it passed me on the right. I knew that car! That’s Heather Lynn’s car! But in the blink of an eye, like a flash of a camera, it all clicked. That beard. I know that beard. That blue button up shirt. I know the feeling of the very threads that make up its fabric.

Dexter was driving.

Of all of the places to run into Dexter…. I had to run into him on the highway as I began my journey to my new fucking life free of fucking manipulative and disgusting little pricks like himself?! Are you fucking kidding me? Where’re the cameras?! This must be a joke. Am I on some type of reality “Let’s Mind Fuck Sara Wildes” TV show?! 

I could see the previews to the fantasy TV show about my fucking ridiculous life….

“Tune in today and witness Sara Wildes, driving to her new life free from the burden of a small university where everyone but her knew that her nasty boyfriend cheated on her with over a dozen girls she knew, run into on the road the very same, now ex-boyfriend, who put her through hell and back. Watch as he passes her from the right lane, then watch as Sara Wildes and Dexter proceed to pass, get passed, pass, each other for the next 10 miles!” 

It’s comical really.

Dexter and Heather Lynn are doing a little road trip of their own, to New York City where Dexter will be interning for the summer and where Heather Lynn and her family lives.

This unfortunate coincidence really fucked with the rest of my drive. For a solid two hours, I felt sick. Actually ill. Like I could vomit all over the dashboard. But, I eventually got over it. Got my bearings. And drove onwards.

Because nothing can bring down the success story that is about to be made. 

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Vomit on My iPhone

Today, Molley and Dexter returned from an international school trip. No cell phones. No internet. No communication. Elated to get to talk to my good friend Molley again, she texted me this shortly after we began chatting…

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Today, I came to the crushing realization that there is no escaping it. Not only did Cooper accidentally let it slip to his roommate, the ugly and awful Dexter, where I will be employed in the fall, but Cooper also accidentally let it slip to me that Dexter will be a American Teacher Foundation organization member in 2015. 

“You have got to be fucking kidding me…” my words left my lungs as if  the wind had been knocked out of me.

“He put the Delta on his no-no list!” Cooper tried to console the situation. But there was no remedying it. The room was spinning. I literally cannot have one thing, one thing that is mine. 

ATF was MY thing. MINE. Dexter and I were together while I filled out my application. He spent the night when I hit submit online. He messaged another girl she was beautiful the day of my interview. Shit head. Sure, he was supportive throughout the process, but at the time he was not interested at all. Not for himself at least. I know there’s like, 10,000 org members. I know he won’t be in my region. But I wanted to feel like I really could have my own thing and now I feel like in the smallest sense, on the tiniest level, I have to share this. With him. 

And now he knows where I will be working… Now he knows my fucking future. A future I wanted to be private and free of the poison of the person who has fucked with my world for YEARS.

My life is the most abnormal. 

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Controlling the Narrative: How Much Do You Share?

Yesterday, I told my story. I told my story to someone who otherwise never would have known of its existence.

And I think I regret it….

Among my friends, I jokingly call him my “ATF Boyfriend”. But in reality he is just Wilson; a fellow ATF Org Member who I have been Facebook chatting with for the past month. I think I really could like him, but I haven’t even met him yet so I’m trying to keep it chill.

Yesterday, when Wilson and I were Facebook chatting, he asked me what song was currently going through my head. Immediately, I replied with the good and honest truth, a song that I really, really do like and is constantly running through my mind. Reverse by SomeKindaWonderful.

“Wow that is a really interesting song, I like it!” Wilson replied instantaneously. “I’m on this blog reading about what it means to different people”. Pleased that he liked my song I silently celebrated by mysteriously not replying for a premeditated ten minutes because yes, I still do that kind of shit. But, before the silent ten minute alarm could go off in my head, Wilson replied yet again.

“What does the song mean for you?”

Fuuuuuck… The way I saw it, I had three options.

  1. I do not fully answer, making it seem like I like the song because I somehow relate to the storyline of cheating and getting caught and look like a sketchy bitch.
  2. I tell him the partial truth, that I really love the word tantalized and sound like a total and complete shallow idiot.
  3. Tell him my story.

I weighed my option and then cautiously dived in.

“Ok, well in December I found out that the guy I had been dating cheated on me with three people. I cut it off, block him on my phone, Facebook, the whole nine yards and left the country for Christmas break. I never told him I knew. When I came back in January, he had heard from someone else and we met up to talk. He accidentally apologized for things I did not yet know about and the number went from three to six in a short, five minute conversation. Today, I know that number is well into the double digits so I guess I like this song because it’s a catchy, kind of angsty way to laugh at the stupidity of some relationships and experiences.”

  • Wilson: Wow what a shitty dude! I can’t get over what an idiot that guy was. If I ever see him, I’m going to punch him.
  • Sara: I punched him already. Oops.

It occurred to me later that this is the first time I have ever really told my “story” to a living soul. Mostly, my friends already knew and found out through bits and blurbs. I never had to sit down and explain it in one, single narrative. After I found the words to summarize all of this, many thoughts flooded my brain.

  • Is this a story I will have to explain to new friends that I meet in Mississippi who have zero knowledge about my life and history? 
  • Do I want anyone to know? 
  • Ok, so I told one person. Maybe I won’t tell anyone else, ever. 
  • It’s not even important or influential! 
  • Oh who am I kidding, this shit-show altered my life (for the better–eventually). 
  • Oh my God… What if I have to explain it to people I let close to me in the future to fully explain why I have trust issues?
  • Wait, who said I’m going to have trust issues about dating seriously anyway?! 
  • But let’s be real… 
  • I’ll never tell the story again. Fully. To anyone. 
  • But it’s such an interesting story… 
  • Fuck, does Wilson have some sort of pity on me now or see me as emotionally damaged? 
  • Ew. I don’t want to be seen or thought of as that. I’m fucking fabulous! 
  • I think I regret this… 
  • NO. It’s part of me. OWN IT. 

I’ve realized that this is all going to be part of the transition into starting over, starting fresh in my new life. How do I want to start my new life? I have control over my narrative, after all. I still haven’t decided if I am filled with regret or ownership over telling Wilson this part of my story. We’ll have to see what comes of it.

XOXO,

Sara Wildes

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Teaching (mostly) White Kids

chasing piggens

Dear incoming teachers,

Don’t be disappointed if you’re teaching white kids.

Sometimes teachers (especially new TFA teachers) get into pissing contests about whose job is toughest, and a lot of people will discount the challenges that you face because you’re teaching white kids. Folks will assume that you have a cushy job. Don’t buy into this. If you believe this, you are allowing yourself to give credence to assumptions that are based on race and reflect lower expectations for students of color. If you catch your friends making these assumptions, call them on it.
The other thing, which I didn’t appreciate until my partner (who teaches in a mostly-black school) pointed it out to me, is that I get to experience diversity every day. I witness racial dynamics in action among the students at my school. Sean doesn’t. In this particular way, my experience is richer than his.
If you…

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A Year In Three Words

Here I am in Denver! I ventured here, along with Cooper, to visit Richard. Richard is an amazing friend who I haven’t seen in eight, long months.

Richard lives in Denver while doing a year of service. For a year, he has given his life to serve others, especially those experiencing poverty and homelessness. For a year, Richard has lived on a $75 a month stipend. A month.

I’m very certain that Richard is a saint because who the hell and how the hell can you make that work and have a good time being that poor as a 22 year old, fresh-out-of-college, energetic being?!

Richard, that’s who.

Anyways, over lunch I asked Cooper and Richard to describe their year in three words.

Here’s what happened…

Richard:
1) Fun
2) Educational
3) Exhausting

Cooper:
1) Challenging
2) Wild
3) Enjoyable

Then, it was my turn… Hmm… How on Earth do I describe this year? I pondered. It’s been such a wild ride. Literally, multiple things that people will never experience in their lives happened to me in a matter of months.

Confession- I have never talked to Richard about the majority of the shit show that has been this year.

Richard is still good friends with Dexter, and I don’t want to put him in an uncomfortable position or screw up a friendship that he obviously values. Besides, I’m sure Richard knows a lot. I’m sure he knew a lot when everything with Dexter happened/was happening. I wouldn’t know because we just don’t talk about it. And that’s ok with the both of us.

Finally, I found my three words.
1) Glorious 2) Shit 3) Show

Because truly, that’s what it has been. It’s been a rough, shit-show of a year. But it has been glorious and I have basked in the glory of all of the change and growth.

I’ve loved this year.

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State of the Union

Where to start? Monumental things are happening, and they all happened in the blink of an eye.

On Friday, I woke up in Hipsterville. I woke up as a ATF org member, but without a secured job.

I was scheduled for a 9:30 am skype interview with an alternative school in the middle of nowhere Mississippi. I wasn’t thrilled about that school, but I wasn’t against it. I’ll take what I get and it’s meant to happen the way it does, I thought to myself.

At 9:20, my phone rings. I was expecting it was the school to confirm our skype interview in 10 minutes. However, that was not the case.

“Hello ma’am I’m calling from The Delta High School in The Delta, Mississippi!” the man on the other end of the line bellowed. “Do you have time for an interview like, now?”

“Um, well… I have an interview in 10 minutes so maybe in 1 hour or so,” I began. Quick as a whip, he cut me off. In his thick, southern accent he blurted out “oh no, we can get this done in 10 minutes! Hop on Skype!”

And in 10 minutes, my life changed.

Because in those 10 minutes, the man offered me a job. I didn’t even know how good I had it until later that day.

Apparently, ATF has a policy that you must accept the first offer you are given. So even if the next interview worked out, it was set. I will be teaching at TDHS.

Researching it later, The Delta High School is the best possible placement I think in the WHOLE state of Mississippi. It’s only 30 minutes outside of Jackson. It’s basically in the city. It’s a traditional school with an established ATF partnership. It’s not terribly rural it’s not terribly impoverished it’s not terribly at risk . It’s doable. It’s exciting. It’s perfect.

Friday night, I fell asleep in Denver, Colorado. Employed. While visiting a friend I haven’t seen in 8 months. Happy.

And that, is this week’s state if the union.

XOXO,
Sara Wildes

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Simple Solutions and the State of Satisfaction

I see a lot of life as black or white, right or wrong, yes or no. I believe that regret is a wasteful emotion. For the most part, I accept things as they are and move forward. I don’t often ask a lot of questions. I rarely dwell on the what-ifs and what-could’ve-beens.

In an Interpersonal Communication course I took a while back, I learned that I communicate and view life in a similar way as the stereotypical male. When someone brings me a problem, I offer a potential solution. When someone tries to “relate to my situation” I am describing, I often get confused and wonder if they are trying to one-up me.

Sometimes I wonder if this is a subconscious reflex in order to protect myself. If I did allow myself to experience regret, if I didn’t accept things as they are, if I wondered  what-if and what-could’ve-been, what would happen to me? What would I be opening myself up to? But the thought alone makes me feel tired.

I simply prefer simple solutions and the state of satisfaction. 

Sometimes, I wonder if some of my friends prefer misery. For example, my sassy friend Avery thrives in drama and unrest. After hanging out with her, I always need a nap. Her life is always crazy and OMG it’s ridiculous. Stop it. I love you, but stop. Really. Her latest life drama is her indecisiveness regarding her decision on whether or not to apply to medical school. She has said it herself, she doesn’t want to go. But if she doesn’t apply, what if she wonders what-if her whole life?!?! Cue the dramatics.

I just function very differently. If I don’t want to do something, usually I just don’t do it. The whole back-and-forth tug of war with oneself is not a pastime that I typically partake in. That’s why today I became fed up with Avery.

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4 hours and no reply. Oops.

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Delighted to go to the Delta.

i can do this

“My whole family literally laughed out loud when I told them you were going to the Delta,” Susan giggled and she recounted her story.

Ya, ya, ya, what’s new? I’ve received a wide range of reactions when I describe the next adventure in the life of Sara Wildes. But I can’t lie, I am so excited. 

I get the strangest rush whenever I am in a weird-as-fuck/totally different/out of my comfort zone situation. I love it. I thrive in it. I adore collecting stories and laughable experiences just as much as a crazy old lady loves collecting porcelain cats. And with that much enthusiasm too!

Countdown 10 days. 

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