I remember the location and the student that said it. I can still picture his face under his ball cap with his feet outstretched before him, sitting in the front, two rows in from the wall on my left.
I was their Rookie English Teacher at the University. A native Canadian in the middle of the Mexican mountains, still adjusting to mexican ways and a foreign country. I had my knickers in a knot about something. I don’t remember what now but this wayward student who was half my age pegged the truth with a bullseye in that moment. Relajrse – as my brain riffled through my sparse but growing Spanish vocabulary the meaning hit me as I found the transition. Relax – one word yet it shot through me like an arrow as my brain captured the translation, grasped the meaning and let it take hold. Relax – I could relax in this moment and not take this issue, which I’ve long since forgotten – so seriously. The issue that had my knickers in a not that day was probably irrelevant a week later – but the lesson of that one word uttered through the classroom – took hold and has stayed with me for several years now.
Life will move forward and that which needs to happen will happen. In this moment I can say what I can say and do what I can do and I can relax as there is nothing more that can be done. Somethings are just out of control and beyond my sphere of influence.
Ahhh yes – Relarjse.