According to Dictionary.com, “change” means “to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone…”
Hmmm….if life was just left alone, it would be stagnant, mundane…boring!
I don’t want “it” to be left alone. Bring on the change, I say!
So, what’s so scary about change anyway? You never know just what it may lead to. Think about what you may miss out on by never straying off the path.
Yes, the unbroken path may seem safer and more secure, but is it? Isn’t life always full of ups, downs, uncertainties, and surprises anyway? Why not make it interesting along the way?
Instead of fearing the unknown, why not think about it as opportunity that offers what safety may not: discovery, new experiences, excitement, new friends…happiness.
I have signed up for countless changes in my life and they are usually scary, but I like change and I love to stretch myself. I have found I can do much more than I ever would have dreamed from moving to New York City to quitting a lucrative job in order to pursue a career that allowed more flexibility as a mother.
Change isn’t always an easy choice, but I continually find that what follows is great reward.
I just happen to be embarking on a change this year. A change that has brought me great sadness as closing a great chapter in life always does but also sends my stomach surging with twists of excitement.
As I sent my fifth grade students off to face their next challenge in life (middle school) I sent them with some words to live by…
…and realized we could all live by these words.
Dear departing fifth graders,
I would like to give you some advice to take with you as you leave. But, before I do, I wanted to tell you how special you really are to me. You guys (class of 2023) have traveled the same road as my own two daughters and have shared many of the same adventures. From the Kindergarten egg drop FAIL, to the well worth it tug-of-war rope burns Coach provided every field day; from singing it out with Mrs. Banks and her awesome music, to finding interesting books with Miss Dixie, and of course we can’t forget how much you enjoyed the enlightening PUBERTY discussion Mr. Aikens and Nurse Sheila presented; you truly hold a special place in my heart and will continue to be a bittersweet memory that I will hold onto throughout the years.
Ok, so onto middle school…
I know you’re excited; your parents are too, but along with this age comes a challenge or two. You are going from “KING OF THE HILL” to peasants of the manor, “THE BIG CHEESE” to the stinky little sixth grader.
Now, I’ve been told that middle school students are a different breed. They’re easily compared to awful things, indeed.
Things like… demons, aliens, monsters, and mutations. Oh, how I hope you don’t have too many confrontations. These words may mean nothing to you in this moment, but as your parents are tightly strapping their seat belts in preparation of your impending mutation into a temporary but strange remnant of what you are today, remember these few things that I have learned along the way.
Kindness is a cure for many ailments.
Making friends is much easier than the pain that comes from losing one.
Gossip is wicked and has no place…anywhere.
Knowledge isn’t only power, it’s a necessity.
Your word should be your word, and if it is, a promise isn’t necessary.
Be teachable; you’ll go farther than the ones who aren’t.
The truth won’t set you free, but it will ease your tummy. Guilt is there for a reason.
Think before you speak. It can and in most cases will save you from looking like a fool.
Technology can’t and won’t ever replace the closeness and camaraderie that face to face conversations provide.
Conquering a challenge is unspeakably more rewarding than giving up. Life isn’t easy, so quit acting like it should be.
Listening is magical…just doing it helps you learn. (No sweat required)
Being popular for the right reasons takes time; being popular for the wrong reasons maaaayyyyyy land you in jail.
Respect can be taught, it can be given, and it can be earned, but it won’t be forgotten.
Impressing a teacher will get you farther in life than impressing your friends.
Laugh at yourself…it most likely was funny.
When you make a mistake own it…and move on.
And finally, cool isn’t always cool.
So, in conclusion, from my heart to your ears…Embrace good friends. Laugh hard and laugh often. Forgive hurts, and let them be forgotten. Love those when they don’t love you, and give even when you don’t want to. Seek knowledge and wisdom as you travel your life road, and always know a special place in my heart you do hold.
So, as I tearily wrap up the chapter I am currently in, I look forward to the next one which just happens to be teaching middle school (yikes!)
Sometimes you choose your path, sometimes someone else does, and sometimes changes are simply the inevitable next step.
Don’t let fear stand in your way of something great!