Today one of my seniors decided to challenge me in class, and ended up in the office because of it. It wasn’t because he disagreed with what I said, but it was because he was a total prick in doing so. I’m not sure why character isn’t taught in schools anymore, but if I’m the last person in the entire education system that tells a student when they’re being awful, then I’ll proudly walk the road alone.

Today’s event was the icing on the proverbial cake this week. I had to write an email to Carter (one of my two adopted kids), explaining that his words could be painful and that I was unwilling to allow such hatred to be spewed upon me. I don’t like playing the ‘bad cop’ role, especially with someone who has crossed the line from my professional life to the personal realm, but (again) there is something to be said about learning about the pillars of character. And Carter needed a lesson. I probably divulged more information than what was necessary, but I think the kid needs to see that you can bounce back from every obstacle in life, as long as you keep moving and make the choice to learn something along the way. My life hasn’t always been pretty or kind, but I’ve walked away from it attempting to be pretty kind and kind-of-pretty.

Which brings me to tonight…

I’m at home, in pajamas, and feeling more-than-slightly depressed. There are times in life when I know that I’m in the process of learning hard lessons, and I always hope to navigate these times with poise and grace. I’m not sure that I have, or that I can, this time. The fog is beginning to clear on the events that unfolded in January, and with clarity comes more devastation and more pain. I’m having a hard time determining when I need to take care of ‘me’ so that I can take care of her, and it’s becoming overwhelming. In fact, it’s impacting other relationships in my life: ones that I care about greatly. Bottom line? In times of distress we learn who we can trust and who will support us, and a few people who I felt I could or would, aren’t and won’t.  And I’m saddened by this.

I keep trying to remind myself that everyone doesn’t feel the same way that I do. Some people don’t understand what it’s like to serve others, because they’re too busy serving themselves. Others have had so much heartbreak in their lives that the second something doesn’t feel good they assume it’s only going to feel worse later, and they abandon whatever was left before them, because it feels unmanageable.

So, even in the midst of sadness, I’m learning about myself and my character. It’s not every day that people walk around with a heart that wants to make everything better for everyone: undeniably a gift and curse. But I won’t stop loving because others have surrendered their flags, and I won’t stop caring because my heart is one that wants to be brave.

I don’t mind the small stops to explain pieces of life that are difficult to grasp, but don’t interrupt the journey of another because your heart isn’t designed to handle what theirs is capable of. It’s unfair. It’s childish. And it’ll get you kicked out of my classroom and my life.


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