As I’ve worked on my ability to be reflective and to own the parts of myself that I both treasure and those I would like to change, I have become convinced that our pasts and our experiences, our “stories”, are so deeply entwined with our everyday actions and thoughts that they are nearly impossible to separate. We have a lot of choice in our stories, choice in our reactions and choice how we deal with adversity. We can choose how important we make certain things in our lives, the people around us and how they treat us and make us feel, our professions, our response to outcomes of our struggles. I firmly believe:
Adversity itself is not what defines us. It is how we react to that adversity and the choices we make that creates who we are and how we will persevere.
That being said, the adversity that I’ve experienced in my life has given me certain characteristics and motivations that make me a better educator, professional, and person. I see a compilation of traits in myself that I don’t often see in others that gives me strengths and perspectives that allow me to read people, communicate better, and be empathetic. My adversity has, in short, has given me superpowers, and I know I’m not alone in this. I see phenomenal people do amazing things every single day. Some of these things are done because they have superpowers, too. It’s time we recognize that sometimes we have these phenomenal gifts because we have gone through hell and come out on the other side stronger because of it.
At a time when education in general has suffered it’s own negativity and adversity, I have decided to take on a project that I feel is necessary. So many times, we, as teachers, do not talk about the negative things, the traumas, we have been dealt in our lives. We don’t want to be seen as having issues as we deal with the negative perception that comes along with some of our adversities when we work with children. It is difficult, for example, to talk about being an abused child when there are people out there that will feel like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And it’s true that there are people that will perpetuate this judgement, but there are also people, who like Excalibur, will only take in what makes them stronger, and will come out to be better people, leaders and educators because of it.
I am looking for these people.
If you would like to share an inspiring story of conquering adversity, how it affects you professionally and makes you better at what you do (your superpowers), and the strategies you use to continue to move through your day and support others, AND possibly have it published in my book, I would love to hear from you. You can find more information on the document here. Please email me if you have any questions at all. You can also view the video below for additional information. The time has come to tell your story.