Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Day 23: Lessons learned outside of school

Today’s prompt: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you

I'm so grateful for all of the education I've received (17+ years!). The things I did learn in school are critical – they’ve afforded me many opportunities and helped me demonstrate my ability to be independent and make smart choices. But the things I learned from life are the ones that have gotten me to where I am today, and will continue to support me for years to come.

School never taught me how to love – how to share your soul with someone, be their best friend, nurture each other, grow together, overcome obstacles, laugh and cry together, and be selfless. Sean taught me that.

School never taught me how to be a friend. Sure, it was the setting in which many of my most memorable friendships were formed. But it didn’t teach me about loyalty and honesty, making time for each other even when it’s hard, laughing until you cry, keeping secrets, and having empathy in life’s highest and lowest moments. Katie, Claire, Meggan, Molly, Beth, Gina, Julia, Amy, Lacie, my cousins, and my mom taught me that.  
School never taught me that life ain’t always beautiful. Gary Allan taught me that. Ok, just kidding (about the song at least). But it’s true. School never taught me that life is sometimes just plain hard—that things go wrong and bad things happen and it’s not always easy. School didn’t teach me that you’re stronger than you believe, that God is with us even (or should I say, most especially) when we struggle, that even a little bit of faith can go a long way, and that good things do happen. My mom, my family, Sean, his brothers, his mom, even total strangers have taught me that.

School didn’t teach me about death. Sure Mrs. BLT taught a class on grief, but I didn’t learn that gut wrenching feeling of losing someone you loved from a textbook. School didn’t teach me about how to appreciate every minute because life can change too quickly, how to let a pain like that become a part of you but not all of you, and how to give thanks for having someone so special in your life (no matter how brief) that makes it so hard to live without. My grandpa, Collin, Ellie, Mike, Kelly, Morning, Robbie, Steve, Matt, and even our nearly 7-week pregnancy (among many others) taught me that.

School never taught me how to love yourself—to cut yourself some slack from time to time, to be confident in your strengths and allow yourself to believe them to be true, to trust your instincts, to have faith that you can do big things. I’ve taught myself that—correction, I’m teaching myself that.

And surely there are so many lessons ahead. In my opinion, that’s the best thing about the School of Life, we never stop learning!

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