Mrs. Barrett, my middle school guidance counselor, was a woman in her fifties who dressed in layered shades of brown--cardigans over button-up blouses over what appeared to be T-shirts. She also wore round-framed glasses with thick lenses that magnified her slow-blinking, watery eyes. All of this contributed to her overall resemblance to an owl, which may be why all these many years later I still remember her as an uncommonly wise woman.
Once, in seventh grade, I was called to her office so that she could break the news to me that I had missed entrance into the gifted program by one IQ point. I don't recall that this was of any great concern to me at the time. I had taken the test over the summer because one of my sixth grade teachers had suggested it, not because I had any burning desire to be in the gifted program.
Regardless, we had a nice chat in which she dominated the conversation and I nodded a lot. She spoke of adolescence as a difficult and confusing time and then she said to me something I carry with me still.
"Probably sometimes you will wonder if you are going crazy. I want you to know that if you are sane enough to wonder if you're crazy, then you are not crazy."
I cling to that notion still. Maybe a little too tightly.
C is for Craziness
The Traveling Salesman
15 hours ago