My name is Shelby, I’m 27 years old and I am a full-time teacher and my side hustle is with Color Street Nails. I am recently engaged to my boyfriend of almost two years, have known each other since preschool and went to school together preschool through high school. We are getting married October 10, 2020 and we are very excited!
I have my own blog (https://shelbylynnhawk.wordpress.com/)
Where I enjoy writing about teacher things and lifestyle things. In my spare time when I’m not writing my blog, or watching reality TV (my guilty pleasure!) you can find me with my nose in a book!
A little more about me personally….
I live in Columbus, Ohio (born and raised a Buckeye!!) I graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2015 with my Bachelors in 7-12 AYA Life Science (concentrations Biology and Chemistry). I did my student teaching at my High School Alma Mater and now teach at my PreK-8 Alma Mater and I love every second of it.
Being a teacher is honestly the most exhausting and most rewarding job that anyone could ever have and I would not change it for the world. This year (2019-2020) will by my 5th year in the classroom and things are a lot different from year one. I currently teach K-8th grade Technology and aide in our first-grade classroom. This past year I decided I was going to go back to school and add a 4-9th grade ELA and Science Licensure to current teaching license, I am so excited to say that I will be done with that this December.
Now you’re probably reading this and thinking…umm this girl has her life together, she’s 27, has a full-time job and has two degrees (almost!)! But let me tell you that I do NOT have my life together and my life is not picture perfect. I was asked to talk about the things in my life that I have accomplished… things that I am proud of.
Well, buckle in because I’m about to get real, raw and honest with you all and I think that this topic is sensitive for a lot of people but I’m using this platform to talk about it because I think it’s important. Something that I did in the past year was talk to my doctor about my anxiety, and finally got some help after struggling with it for almost a year.
You may be wondering why I’m proud of myself for that, well because honestly it was hard admitting that I even had anxiety. I tried everything that I could think of from journaling to essential oils. But sometimes after a series of traumatic events in your life, you just need professional help.
Now I want to back track for just a second because I know if I were reading this, I would have a lot of questions and I’m going to be honest with you… I’m an open book so I’m not here to hide anything, and I’m going to be sharing this same story on my own blog so it will eventually be out there for the world to see. So, let’s talk about what caused my anxiety. After talking with my doctor, she thinks that there was one event in particular that caused it, however I think that there are a series of things that lead up to this one that also triggered it and the final event was the icing on the cake.
So, let’s take it back to 2017, February to be exact. A close family friend who I considered an “uncle” was diagnosed with cancer, not too long after his diagnosis he lost his battle with cancer. Prior to his diagnosis we found out that his girlfriend was pregnant with a baby girl, and she was due around my birthday. This I thought was going to be so cool, share my birthday with this perfect little girl? Yes please!
Well, the stress of losing my uncle, took a huge toll on her body and she lost the baby very close to her due date. Two deaths in 3 months… is not something your mind can handle, especially when they are people, you’re close to. Now we fast forward to October. This one is harder to talk about. This one I’m not ready to share all the nitty gritty details with the world because sitting here typing these words it brings tears to my eyes and anger to my heart, and that is not something that this person would want for me.
Someone very, very close to me passed away. We were not told about this person’s death until the day of the funeral, and the only reason we found out about the funeral was because it was being held at my work (the Church of the school that I work at). As hard as it was for me, I went to school that day, and I showed up for my kids. Were there moments where I had to give them something to do so I could go cry in the teachers lounge? Yupp. Did I want to march over to the Church and sit in the back just to prove a point? Yupp. But I didn’t because the person in that casket I knew was watching me from heaven, and she would not have wanted me to act that way. That’s three people, three people very close to me who passed away in a very short period of time.
As empty as that story seems, there is more too it, but I am not ready to share it with the world. Maybe one day, I will be, and if and when that day comes, I promise I will reach out so that if you are interested you can read it to. But let me just tell you, that if there ever comes a point in your life, where you have issues with family, where there becomes so much drama that you stop talking to people for whatever reason, no matter what happens, if someone in the family passes away, tell the other family members. Because not being able to properly grieve the loss of a loved one, is the worst feeling that anyone could ever experience and I do not wish that upon anyone.
Okay, now we’re going to fast forward a little bit. I’ve felt that I’ve dealt with all of my issues. I contemplated going to therapy, because for a really long time I honestly thought that I was depressed. I felt that I was losing myself and I did not like that at all. However, I was finally able to bounce back and find myself on my own. Then the universe laughed at me and we had an incident at school.
If you follow the news at all, I’m sure you remember the shooting in Florida at Stoneman Douglas (February 14, 2018), I remember watching that on the news and instantly sobbing thinking to myself that I did not become a teacher to be a human shield… but I love my kids and I would do whatever I needed to in order to protect them. I spent the weeks and months following that tragedy planning in my head what I would do if that were to ever occur in our school. I spent many days immediately following that answering questions from my little ones as to what we were to do if that happened, doing everything in my power to ease their minds. Until one day in May when we were out on morning recess, and by “we” I mean myself (one adult) and about 70 kindergarten, first and second graders. I’m literally moments away from blowing my whistle when two kids come up to me with a problem, and to be honesty I don’t remember exactly what it was about, the only thing I remember is it involved a soccer ball.
I’m in the middle of trying to diffuse the situation when in the near…very near distance I hear “pop…. pop pop pop pop” (or something to that affect to be honest it was all such a blur I can’t even remember). I remember turning to look thinking “that sounded like a firecracker… or maybe a transformer… but it’s 11AM that’s weird… It couldn’t have been….” And I panicked and before I had time to react those words were coming over the walkie talkie “Immediately we need to go into a level 3 lockdown”. The next thing I remember doing is blowing my whistle and screaming at my kids to get into the nearest building. Over the walkie I hear another teacher checking on me, finally all the kids and myself are inside. Now sitting here telling you all of this it seems like this happened over the course of several minutes when in reality it was just seconds. Maybe a minute all together. Literally right in our backyard there was a shooting at an apartment complex, drug related. While my kids were playing on the playground. While I was outside with them. While I was getting the final 5 or 6 kids into the building, a suspect walked right beside me and my kids.
Can you imagine how that could have played out? I did. And the moment I realized that, I broke. Tears ran down my face and I about lost it. Not for myself, but for my kids. I had a handful of second graders, and a kindergartener with me. If he had even thought about grabbing for one of them… then what? That’s all that kept going through my head. The grace of God was with us all that day. We were all safe and we are lucky enough to have a parent who works for the Columbus Police Department who was nice enough to come patrol the area (while off duty) and escort all of us from building to building once the lock down was lifted.
That was the situation that broke me. That was the moment I should have gotten help. That was the day I probably should have signed up for therapy. But a year later, I still hadn’t done that and I still hadn’t told my doctor what had happened. I remember finally getting the courage to make that appointment because going to work and actually working was becoming a struggle. I showed up but was honestly just going through the motions. It was hurting myself, and my kiddos and that wasn’t fair to them.
I remember telling my doctor the story that I just told all of you, as she was listening to me tell it, she was taking my heart rate, and she looked at me and said “your heart is racing… dear you should have come to me a long time ago, but I’m glad you’re here now, I’m proud of you and we’re going to make this right”. That was the day I was put on anxiety medication and that was the day I gained control of my life.
So even though I am proud of myself for my other accomplishments, I wanted this story, me taking control of my anxiety and taking control of my life to be the main focus because mental health is such a difficult thing for people to talk about and honestly I think that is something that we need to change.
Thank you for listening to my story. Thank you for reading it all.
If you have struggled with anxiety or depression, or any other mental illness please know you’re not alone, and know that my DM’s are always open for you to come and talk to me.