Five years ago I quit my job to make a solo theatre production.
The story element was about a girl I met in real life (I called her Natka in my play).
Natka skipped too many classes and, as a result, she was obliged to take a social skills training. I gave these training’s at the Time I met Natka. (Not the job I just quit. I have a history of quitting jobs)
One of the critical success elements of the training was that the kids had to form their own learning goals, so I asked Natka what hers were.
I have none, she answered.
And when I listened to her story I knew she was right. This kid had nothing to learn from me.
Natka was brutally honest. And she took control of her life.
She didn’t go to the classes where she didn’t learn anything. Sometimes because she was way better than the rest of the class, but often because of the poor teaching skills of her teachers.
“I learn more, studying my books, and asking others, then sitting in a classroom where nothing much happens besides the powerfight between the teacher and some pupils.”
My kids were the same age, and I heard the same things form them. I had been a teacher myself. I knew enough about schools to believe Natka.
I admired her courage. The courage to step up for what she needed. The courage to make her own plan.
I didn’t want to teach her the skills to cope with teachers who clearly lacked them.
I told the justice department I would stop the training. They said I couldn’t, so Natka and I just had a few pleasant talks. She talked to me about her girlfriend, and how falling in love felt like.
This was when I just had taken a courageous step myself, but I still did not feel so sure about myself and my goals as Natka.
So Natka became the center of my play. I put all my own insecurities in her girlfriend and called her Emma.
My play was about the tension between being sure of yourself, and being able to let the world in as well. I made two opposites: Bold Natka, fighting the world, and Sensitive Emma, overwhelmed by the world.
The funny thing is, that when I played Emma, I didn’t realize how literally I WAS Emma. I hadn’t yet discovered that inside I was a woman.
So last year, when I looked for a new name for myself, I knew I already played me as I was. I knew may name was Emma
And this year I realize I am Natka too.
I no longer look up to the Natka’s in the world. I feel the power of Natka in myself.
I am more me than I ever was.
I have the power to be myself, AND to be in connection with the world.
I am Sensitive AND Bold.
(And thanks to my education I know how I got here too)