My teacher can’t be seen, or heard even. My teacher has never received much recognition, except on job resumes, or in hiring adverts. My teacher is intangible, and comes in infinite different shapes and sizes. And so, my teacher cannot be seen or heard.
Unless you really start to listen.
Because my teacher is experience.
Experience started teaching me as soon as I came into existence.
When I was two years old, it taught me that I could get around faster if I walked rather than crawled.
At three, I learned that my Barbies could not take baths with me, because water made them squeaky and inflexible.
At four, my sister was born and I learned to be gentle with her, because even though she looked like a doll, she was fragile and the littlest things could hurt her.
At five I learned how to make baby formula and to test the temperature on the back of my hand, because I didn’t want my sister to burn her tiny tongue, which looked like a misplaced gob of cotton candy.
At six I made friends, both real and imaginary. I played with them, and forgot about my sister at home in her stroller, a toy left abandoned. In the second grade, friends weren’t for ever. I learned that the hard way, and realized family will always be there. And so I learned to put my family first, always.
At 7 years old, I already knew how to change diapers, and only I could comfort my sister when she fell or bumped into something. I learned how to take care of someone that fragile and to love with all my heart.
At 8, experience taught me a lesson in patience. I was in a hurry to open a can of formula for my sister and then get back to my TV show. Hastily, I cut my pinky finger, which immediately started bleeding, the blood ceaseless as waves. That taught me to finish the job at hand, with patience.
At 9, my youngest sister was born. This time I was ready. I helped my mom out with the formula, the diapers, the crying, all tackled like an expert. Because experience had done such a good job of teaching me in the first place…
At 10, 11 and 12 I grew up into a somewhat awkward phase of life. Shoes didn’t fit, neither did most clothes. I was becoming a full blown girl, gradually. Through the three years, experience taught me to seek out the best friend I could ever have: my dad. He’s still there for me. Best friends for life. I’ve learnt that no matter what the conversation, or what circumstances, my dad will always be there, with open arms.
Teenage years were a different experience, which I’ll write about later. But truly, experience has been, and still is the best possible teacher I could have. I’m a strong person today purely because of it. My life would have been frayed at the ends if I hadn’t learned from it. That’s for sure.