A personal post as the break offers time to ruminate on the ways I live my lives. Moving these thoughts out into the universe so that I can return to regular thoughts on this blog.
I never assumed perfection and yet in looking back I see the strive for it every day. How hard I have fallen on myself whenever I have made a mistake. How I have carried these burdens with me as if they were a weight to carry. Held them up at every opportunity where happiness clouded my vision and I felt so undeserving.
I have done my best and yet I know how often I have screwed up, how I have said it the wrong way, how I have offended, not done enough, not been enough. I can look back at my path and see it through the lens of failure, revisit every pot hole, every blockade. Can’t we all? Those words that cut and thrown my way have become my skin for so many years that there is little left over.
And I have allowed myself to continue on a path of accumulating disasters. Of accumulating failure. Of seeing myself through a lens of never enough, of not good enough, of not deserving the happiness that surrounds others. Of holding my breath because sure, soon, so soon, the happiness I do have will be taken away. Reallocated to someone who should have had it in the first place. The feeling of fradulence seeping through my pores.
How dare I take up space?
How dare I raise my voice?
How dare I ask more questions?
How dare I think that I am okay?
But these words have become too heavy to carry, the mirror become too big and I hear ir reflected in the voices of my students whose pasts haunt chase them into our classroom. Who tell me that for them there is no future, that what lies ahead has already been determined. That despite the proof in front of them, they will never be smart, they will never be good, they will never be anything because failure is what is familiar. Failure and fear are their constants.
And I see the harm. And I get exasperated. And I speak louder and more insistently trying to help them rewrite their narrative because they are so much more than that. And yet they smile, shrug, and repeat once again, “I am nothing…” but we tell them, “you are so much more than that…”
I am so much more than that.
So for this Christmas I forgive myself. Not because I am perfect but because this is not the way to live. This is not the way to learn.
I forgive myself for the past mistakes I have carried with me for so long. Forgive, but not forget, the ways I have needed to grow so that I can be better.
I will unwrap the moments that shaped me and redistribute their weight.
I will be grateful for the long path I still have to walk and make room for all of the moments still coming my way.
I will reclaim my space so that my kids can see what it means to be strong, and sure, and also human.
And I will be okay. Not because I finally deserve it but because I have been okay all along, just not able to see it.
These words will be empty until I live them, but they are being put out in the universe in case others need to hear them too.