Finding your fit
When I was in grade one my teacher’s name was Miss Fit, no that’s not a joke. In fact it took me some years to realise the irony despite my dad always interjecting with the words ‘is she?’ whenever I mentioned her name. To be honest I thought Miss Fit was anything but a joke. She was beautiful and everything I wanted to be when I grew up.
Her meticulously coiffured hair that gave her an extra 18 inches in height, made complete and concrete (able to survive unblemished from a force twelve hurricane) by many cans of lacquered hair spray that I know now responsible for the initial hole in the ozone layer, was something that I eagerly aspired to have and was the sole reason I grew my hair long.
Her flawless pan stick makeup, pale pink lipstick and extra-long eye lashes that somehow managed to curl upwards defying the copious amounts of mascara placed upon them (can eyelashes develop muscles?), Miss Fit was the first authoritarian figure in my life; I saw her as unquestionably wise and could never imagine her as anything other than a teacher.
So much so that I thought at the end of the day she had no other life and never did the things us normal folk did, simply retreating into a cocoon of existence only to emerge the next day to teach her grade one charges again.
At the time I also held similar views on all other authoritarian figures, be they policemen, firemen, doctors, dentists and politicians. These were a special breed of super humans who had no other life apart from their god given role of serving the community with an unquestionable ethics and infallible judgement.
But as the years rolled on my fantasy world began to crumble, I cannot exactly remember what the catalyst was, however I grew to realise that these people were not in fact the superior beings I once took great comfort in believing they were. I learned they had hobbies, they went out, they even worn ‘normal’ clothes and most heart breaking for me to accept, they even made mistakes.
I read in the newspapers of police who took bribes, of priests whose morality was lacking, of doctors who misdiagnosed, of teachers who made mistakes and of politicians whose antics in parliament were anything but respectful and often got it wrong.
I guess this comprehension sits up there as one of the great defining moments when a child slips quietly into adulthood; you suddenly like going to bed early, showers are something you welcome and you realise super humans bleed just like everyone else.
Oh how I yearn to go back to the rarefied world of my childhood, where everything made sense and trust was something you happily placed with those authoritarian figures.
But backwards we cannot go and super humans we cannot be and but what each and every one us can do is to find just where we fit and to be accountable for our lives; to live them rich, full and as honestly as we can and make our life be a signature of courage and kindness (and hopefully without a hair do reminiscent of a beehive).