From a tall glass window I can hear echoes of a dribbling basketball as it slams upon a nearby court surface. I close my eyes and can hear the legs of chairs as they massage against carpet, being guided to a temporary resting place beneath a canopy of table. Shuttering my eyes open and closed with the speed of typing keyboard I scan my immediate horizon and notice scores of people just like me: Staring into the bright rectangle of computer screen. Fingers are tapping on keyboards like silenced machine-gun fire in a room where the loudest disturbance might be a stapler forging bonds between previously unacquainted sheets of paper or a robotic yawn from a nearby copy machine.
In this world of quietness I find myself seated. Welcome to the Sausalito Public Library. Perhaps the otherwise tranquil atmosphere will be briefly interrupted with a sneeze or dare one say a whispery conversation between librarians over the date of when a yet to be determined book rental is due.
Growing up I would get together with childhood friends outside of the library in a nearby playground. I used to jump onto an old tire swing with a hidden fear that one day it would collapse under the pressure of me sitting on it. I’m still a little nervous whenever I think of that swing, but frankly I would rather brave a playground induced injury than be sitting here.
I’m half tempted to walk out, let the half dozen other patrons of productiveness do their tasks for the day, and step outside into the sunshine that is knocking brightly on the window with rays of distraction.
It’s really easy to say screw it and make for the exit. However there is something keeping me here. It kept me here yesterday and will keep me here tomorrow.
Somewhere, about two years ago, a notion popped into my head. I wanted to live in Spain and teach English. Traveling has been a major passion since graduating college and this would be another “experience” to have under my life belt. After researching, finding a teaching program, getting accepted, then moving a small city called Murcia, I realized that working with kids was something extremely challenging and that I had no clue what I was doing. However after a year of teaching I also noticed how much I thoroughly enjoyed working with kids and how hard work could be rewarding both for the students and for myself as well.
Coming home I was ready for the next thing, the next adventure. Teaching at that point was still only an “experience” that I could tell my family about, not something that merited more thought. After six months of working back home my heart finally settled on what the next thing would be: A trip back to Murcia, however this time as a tourist. It would be a vacation to take a breath and reflect on where things in life were going. I would visit my old schools, see some friends, then go home refreshed.
It only took one day back in Murcia to before the biggest realization of my life punched me in the arm. It only took five minutes of being back at my old school of Nuestra Seńora de los Angeles in the pueblo of El Esparragal. It took only hugs with former colleagues and high fives with former students to realize deep down that an internal flame was starting to ignite with an entirely foreign idea:
I wanted to become a teacher.
This trip and this notion happened in January of 2016. I’ve since returned home and returned to the same job as before. Having been stateside for nearly two months I feel a desire to move onto the next adventure: Enrollment in San Francisco State University to get a teaching credential.
I can’t start this process at SF State until a list of requirements are met, including a passing score from a series of skills exams.
As I sit here in the library the tab currently opened on my internet browser matches the same title of the chapter recently flipped open in my Cliffnotes study guide sitting to my right:
CSET Multi Subjects Subtest 1
As the sound of dribbling basketball continues outside, as the sun shines higher in the cloud free sky, as people carry out their day in the outside world, I’m going to share this particular Tuesday with whoever decides to enter the library. Just in case a casual magazine reader or laptop studier and myself miss each other by coincidence today, there isn’t anything to worry about. I’ll be here tomorrow. I’ll be here the next day too.
Until I pass every exam.
The playground outside the library where I used to meet friends has recently been torn down. In the space where there once existed a tire swing there now sits an open canvas in the form of piles of dirt waiting for a contractor to start some unknown building project.
Passing by each day it’s hard to say what’s going to take form.
Passing by each day I already know it will be beautiful.