I’ve been having trouble sleeping for almost three weeks now. Historically, this has always been a harbinger of bad times for me.
I am a dangerously deep sleeper. I’ve slept through the sounds of protest (i.e., gunshots and tear gas canisters being released), an apartment filling with smoke thanks to a careless kitchen companion (I got my apartment building to install a fire alarm right after that incident), and people clambering on my bed and taking pictures because they were amazed at how I was dead to the world when sleeping (I had fun on that cruise though!).
Usually, I can’t sleep if I’m really stressed or upset. When you take away the excitement of childhood Christmas mornings, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced having trouble sleeping due to happiness instead of sadness.
Two days before school ended I found myself waking up hours early. I was filled with elation to think that I had actually done it. I had completed one of my life long goals: to live in a Spanish speaking country. I was experiencing a feeling that goes beyond being thankful because I was truly happy—despite the trying times—and loved my school.
My thankfulness was coupled with humility when on the last day of school the students essentially gave informal speeches thanking me for teaching them. I was floored. I don’t know if that’s tradition or not, but I felt honored nonetheless.
Then before racing out the door when the final bell rang, the kids lined up to give myself and the woman I co-teach with hugs and kisses before we all left for summer.
After five years of being warned to not even touch students without fear of a lawsuit, I’m still funny about kissing students on the cheek (read: I’m more awkward than Steve Urkel), but it is a really sweet, cultural gesture.
After the high school graduation, the graduates literally lined up and the entire audience went down the line giving them congratulatory kisses; so I’d seen this “kissing line” before. When I watched the seniors do it, I thought to myself there was no way in hell I was going down a line and kissing twenty cheeks (no pun intended). Then, a week later I’m standing in my classroom doing essentially that.
Life is funny and life is beautiful.
So, for the meantime, if my lack of sleep due to being happy continues I can deal with that.