Yesterday was the start of my academic year; I had a class then, and another today (Thursday, since technically the time stamp is going to read Friday). And,… it was hard. I had to field a lot of questions, repeatedly, about Mom, and I caught myself folding into shy, quiet, and withdrawn body language through-out the days. Be smaller, less conspicuous, just sort of hide and maybe it will all end.
But today, the larger class, more colleagues, the most amazing thing happened. Repeatedly, people walked in, looked around the room, did a double take when they saw me, and then lit up. Bright smiles, friendly and happy faces. Each one asked me how I was, almost everyone said they missed me, everyone said how happy they were to see me, they had been wondering if I would be back, hoping I would be back.
In two days, all the loneliness and isolation, the not fitting in or belonging, that plagued me all of last year, vanished. I felt welcomed and wanted, and… happy, to be on the receiving end of all that positive emotion.