Tonight, at an event, I came across a student whom I taught for a grand total of eight days, and whom I haven’t seen since those couple months ago. When she saw me, her delight was noticeable instantly, and her desire to hug me was almost palpable – she was almost shaking with the anticipation and desire, similar to a puppy wagging its tail as it waits desperately to be pet and loved on by its human. When she saw that I was okay with her hugging me, we hugged. It was a real hug, and not the common ‘meh’ version that feels like a required pleasantry instead of a genuine gesture of care for someone. She cared, and it was for me.
I almost began to tear up, but for the intense joy and ease that filled me and flowed out of me afterward. In that teaching job, I was incredibly myself with the students, and this was the kind of impact I left after only a single week. This impact, where a student can hardly wait to hug me upon sighting me, and declares fervently, “We miss you,” despite our having not seen one another in months, was clearly a powerful one. And I am grateful for the grace and strength I had to provide it in being myself. I was truly honored tonight.