To all the Have and the Have-Nots, Thank you.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about big decisions in my life and how I make them. Even though I find myself very drawn to specific decisions or choices in life, there aren’t that many times that I don’t second guess myself or wonder if someone else would have made a better decision than me. All things considered, it can be exhausting to think that even the tiniest decisions we make have a consequential presence in our life.

So I’m here, mostly as a means to remind myself how blessed life can be, to say thank you to the universe. Thank you for the times that not a single thing I planned went how I wanted it to. Thank you for the times when all of the things went as planned. Most of all, thank you for conspiring in my favor even when it feels like it’s the opposite. I think there are a lot of times when we begin measuring our success on what we have. We count up our valuables, our achievements, and our dreams, and we give them merit for merely existing under our name. I can think of multiple times that I had to coach myself into believing that not having something, whether it be a talent or a different body, was okay. That’s weird isn’t it? As an ode to all that I have and all that I don’t, I’m taking a moment to reflect on the power of perspective. I had a professor last semester that looked at me one day and just said, “Perpective!” and smiled at me. At the time, I wanted to punch him in the face. After a few days of dwelling on the idea of “perspective”, and at the point I’m at right now, I smile at the fact that he could sum up the solution to my problems and worries in one simple word. Perspective.

I have not found a way to stop over-analyzing how each person sees or thinks of me. I spend more time than necessary just thinking about how something I said may have been misinterpreted. Other people’s opinions hold a lot of weight in my mind. If someone feels negatively about me, I will think about it non-stop for hours at a time.

On the other hand, I have discovered that this is one of my gifts. I am intuitive about the feelings of others around me. If I walk into a room and someone is upset, most times, I’ll sense it and attempt to help. I am fueled by lifting up and helping other people. I thrive in high-pressure intra-personal situations. I like to be helpful to others, and there are a lot of things I wouldn’t pick up on if I wasn’t as aware of how others are feeling.

I didn’t grow up in an environment where I always felt like my emotions were valid. I have not found a way to discern when something I’m feeling is based on a reality or my anxiety-driven view of things. I battle with the idea that my feelings are too much for others, and I feel guilty when I share my problems with others sometimes. But what I do have, is a set of parents that raised me to believe that there are never enough ways to start over, and they remind me that I am loved on a daily basis. Even when I find myself wishing that I had grown up with more confidence (doesn’t everyone, though), I realize that I’m finding my confidence as I learn to fall-forward and grasp my fears by the hands. When I say yes to things that scare me and accept that I’m probably about to learn something big, I’m rarely let down. I find myself learning the most in the absence of “no” and “I can’t”. So what if my kindergarteners dog-pile instead of group-hug? So what if someone says or does something that hurts? So it hurts. And then eventually, it doesn’t. When it stops hurting, the part of you that thought it wouldn’t starts thriving.

I have not figured out how to combat my anxiety or my abilities to internalize other people’s emotions as my own. I live with a brain that sees each mistake with a harsh veil of failure sometimes. But here’s the thing. I have been teaching and leading 175 little nuggets for the last two months, and there were two times this week that really woke me up to a big reality. On two separate occasions, I was feeling overwhelmed and getting upset with myself for how something did or didn’t go. Both times, I was assigned to lead a class on my own or direct a scene on my own, two things that felt like a scary wave considering my current state of mind. I am here to say that kids change everything. Collaboration and creative minds can turn your entire day around. After both occasions, I left the space feeling overjoyed and at peace. I am falling in love with this life that I’m leading, and even when it’s feeling overwhelming and impossible, a tiny human walks up with her stuffed elephant named, “Ketchup” and squeezes my hand.

What I’m trying to get at is this: finding what we love, what fits us, what really resonates in our hearts, can be the way to turn a situation around. Each day will have moments that are worth celebrating, and sometimes, moments we wish we could forget. I’m no expert on optimism or turning lives around, but I do know that what we love can relieve our darkest moments of insecurity and fear if we find a way to access it. One of my closest friends reminded me the other day that when I get overwhelmed and I start to feel like my mind is overflowing, to just walk out of the nearest door, find a spot on the grass or near a tree, and just sit. She told me to let the negative/fearful energy radiate down, out of my hands and feet, into the earth so that I can let it recycle back out into something positive. When we connect to others who lift us up, or we stop counting all of the things we have and label them, “success”, the things we don’t have start to feel like major blessings as well.

Today, amidst stress and confusion, I’m thankful for whatever is really happening in my life. I’m thankful for Christina Yang, the guy at the tattoo shop, and my dog’s sloppy kisses. I’m thankful for the fact that even when it feels like I lack all control, there’s someone who does, with a much bigger plan for where I’m going and who I’ll meet.


  1. This is really beautiful and so inspiring. You are making a difference..keep writing, keep thinking and keep sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s