Recently I came across one of my teachers’ instagram accounts, not really worrying about what I might find, as I know that she is one of the sweetest teachers I have. I had found a teacher’s account before, but that one was private and I could see just about everything on this one. As I scrolled (judge me for stalking if you must), I saw pictures of her dog, and her family, and the places she had traveled. I was interested to see the hidden life of my shy teacher, but of course there was nothing quite scandalous or exciting.
That is, until I clicked on the link to her blog in her bio. I won’t reveal the contents of the blog post that showed up in respect to her privacy, though nobody except for me may ever read this first post, but I will say that it made me cry. She described a struggle in her life that had been affecting her in extreme ways and was making her miserable and depressed. Little did I know that this teacher who had been helping me all semester was dealing with such large problems of her own.
God forbid that people who I only see one side of actually have lives and problems and joys and losses. At first I questioned whether it was truly her blog post or if it was someone else’s that she had accidentally linked. I didn’t understand how there could be this pain lurking inside someone I saw on nearly an everyday basis, and nobody could see it. How could that be? So I scrolled through her more recent pictures again, this time looking more closely, and I saw what confirmed that the blog post was hers. The picture described what she had talked about in the post, and in the comments she mentioned it again.
So she really does have this inner suffering. Again, I tried to deny that the words I saw were hers. But the evidence was right there, sitting in front of me on my iphone and in her social media. Knowing and regretting that I was being invasive into her privacy, I read on to other blog posts. Most of these were not sad or revealing, but they were still strange for me to see. Most people don’t think of their coworkers, their bosses, or their teachers having everyday affairs and issues. At least, I don’t. I only see my teachers in a professional setting, and so of course I don’t see the side of them that makes decisions and gets married and goes to parties. But I know that that side is there. Right?
I always thought I did. But finding this blog and instagram made me question whether I understood the depths of the personalities of these people that I see only in my school setting. I think that I knew the fact that they had actions outside of school and work places, but I failed to really grasp the idea that their personalities could be so different from what I see. I know that my best friend acts different in school than she does outside of it. I know that she has layers of feelings and thoughts that only get revealed when she is completely comfortable. But I never saw that in my teachers before.
I now love to read the old blog posts that she wrote years ago, being able to accept that she has a life that I never thought about before. Partly because she and I are very similar. It would probably be strange for me to outwardly want a friendship with this teacher, but I can’t help yearning for some connection, some other communication that isn’t about whether I can go use the bathroom or not. But for now I know that I will just accept that reading her blog posts about her life and struggles will have to do.
Have a good day. 🙂