This week has been such a wonderfully eye-opening week and I am thankful to all of my classes for that. I recently assigned my classes a project where they needed to find one song with lyrics and one without each needing to define who they are today. My example for them was "Daughters" by John Mayer as my song with lyrics explaining that I want my daughter to raised in a home of unconditional love and happiness versus growing up in a home full of divorce as I did. My song without lyrics was "Flight of the Bumblebee" because I never seem to stop moving.
The kids really enjoyed doing the assignment, but they definitely took it to the next level. They shared everything from death of family members, feeling bullied, discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, abusive home environments they've been removed from and so on. We spent an entire day crying together as a "family" and felt so much better afterwards - or at least I did, yet at the same time I felt worse. So many times I have complained about this or that feeling like it's the ultimate low, but the reality is that my problems are extremely small in comparison to those half my age and much the wiser. I am truly blessed to have the life I have - a wonderful husband and two amazing children. This week had a profound impact on my life and ultimately changed the way I think. As an example, Thursday afternoon after the first day of tears, I received a rejection from an agent I was so hoping would not only like my manuscript but would want to pick it up. Two weeks ago, I would have been devastated, but instead I closed the email and transferred it to my rejection folder and went on with my day. Though I did care enough to have a moment of sadness (seriously minimal moment), I was not destroyed or even depressed. I simply thought of the heartache these kids have gone through and gave my own children a hug and kiss. My dream is to be a published author, but I think it's more about being heard than just seeing my name on a book. I want other kids to know they aren't alone, so I write about what really happens in schools. If others don't want it for their lists, then I move forward and keep trying. At the same time, I know that by having 150 kids share their stories with one another I am accomplishing my dream. I do plan on continuing writing and pursuing publication, but if it never happens, I'm OK with it. I am making a difference in the world...one kid at a time. Thank you to my students for showing me this and giving me the perspective I think so many have yet to achieve.