A Box of Chocolates

I adore language. Learning new words, teaching new words, making up words, playing with words, writing words, doodling words, practicing penmanship, discussing and researching the etymology of words… ahh!! I could go on and on like Bubba does about types of shrimp. 

Along with language comes communication- the root of all connection. Whatever your mode of communication, whatever your purpose for connecting, it is a need for us as humans and for our souls. When human connection and soul connection come together in one relationship, that’s when you know you’ve found something or someone special. 

As I emerge from my cave of grief, my blogging continues to twist and turn to topics I never thought I would be comfortable communicating… yet, I’m not fearful. 

Each post I write comes from my heart. Each post I write has stirred within me for some time before it becomes a posted piece. Each post I write is intended to bring hope, love, and light to the world. From the comfort of the other side of the screen, I pour my heart out so I can release emotions and move on to ones that serve me better. I hope these posts bring me to a book contract. I hope these posts bring me to giving speeches. I hope these posts bring you what you need. 

My last post is the first time I opened up about a hot button issue since the sixth grade. 

During my first experience of “debating,” I had a lot to say. I had feelings to share and points to make, but waited quietly – with growing frustration – to say what I wanted to. Being one of the 24 students in the classroom, I began to realize if I wanted to make my voice heard I would have to be aggressive, which – at the time – meant that I had to be rude and interrupt what someone else was saying. This is not how I was raised so I proceeded with caution. 

I began to really listen to what my classmates had to say about this topic that I now don’t remember. I allowed their words to resonate with me freely. Anger. Agreement. Confusion. Hilarity. I let my opinion be heard through my facial expressions. I could communicate without speaking a word. 

As I listened to my classmates I realized their passion for the topic far exceeded mine. It made me a little jealous. What was I that passionate about? 

At the time, the only thing I would passionately defend was my family. While this continues to be true, my list has also grown ever so slightly. No longer do I hold my tongue when conversations of education or mental health arise. I will still listen, and I will respond – not react – to those with whom I share the conversation, but I make my voice heard. I also have learned when to disengage and walk away. Not everyone will share my opinion and that’s okay. 

I feel so incredibly blessed that the classroom in which I began to learn this lesson is the same classroom in which I taught the children and sibling of those who voiced their opinions on my previous post. Each comment was presented in such a respectful and loving way, and ya know what? I agreed with what was said. 

As an English teacher, I strongly believe there is a time and place for every word and every piece of literature. If there is learning that can be taken from it – and I can always find a lesson – then it’s worthwhile. As an advocate of mental health, I strongly believe you need to know when to engage in a lesson and when to leave the lesson for a better time. If there is a voice that tells you it won’t serve you – listen to it. As a child of two of the best people I know, I strongly believe parents have the hardest job in the world for they are a child’s first teachers… & they never know what they’re gonna get. 


2 thoughts on “A Box of Chocolates

  1. amyleebell says:

    I am also beginning to speak out more, defend my own position better. I was always so afraid of controversy that I kept my mouth shut for the first 30 years of my life. Lately, I’ve opened up a lot more, but I’ve had to learn (the hard way) not to react poorly. Nowadays, I love a good debate, and unless the other guy gets out of sorts, I can argue peaceably for an indefinite period. (I’m still working on staying peaceful when my opponent gets nasty.)


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