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Winter was very long and severe this year.  But… just as the days grow longer, signs of Spring emerge.  I look forward to crocuses every year because it is the sure indicator that Spring is taking hold and warmer, longer, days are ahead.  We begin to shrug off the thick shells we maintained to get through the worst of the cold and weather.

Just like Spring brings about new opportunities and growth in nature, life does get better after our darkest days.

A friend posted the article that reminded us all of the recent losses from the high school I attended in the 1980’s.  My heart aches for every teenager growing up these days.  We are pushing every student to college immediately following high school and not honoring the special talents of individuals.  All I can say is: survive and it does get better.

I didn’t even learn how to study until I nearly failed out of college.  When I began taking my classes, one at a time, on my own dime, I met one of the most amazing teachers I ever had before, or since.  Northern Virginia Community College had a wonderful professor named Mrs. Vines.  She started the first day of class with a simple statement that if any student is willing to do the work, she would help every student pass.  She made herself available by phone, encouraged us to record her lectures and even offered different testing formats to meet every student’s testing strengths.  

If I had not failed those classes, I wouldn’t have appreciated what a gem I had with this amazing professor.  So, yes, through failure, things got better.  I now have my Master’s degree and I am still grateful to Mrs. Vines for sparking my inspiration and for helping me find within myself the ability to not only complete classes, but to deliver myself a near 4.0 gpa.

I ask everyone with connections to teenagers these days, be available, listen, hear and accept that they make mistakes that help them become the adults they will be.

I am grateful I made it through the hardest days, not because I wanted to, but because I had people in my life who made it worth letting the sun rise another day on this life.