I love you,
I write this at the end of my morning message each day for my four girls in class. Everyday, they say it with me as we end the message. Well…’saying it’ is a stretch…we shout it. We shout “I LOVE YOU” so loud that we wake up the dog next door that had been barking at 3am each night. (not that I’m irritated about that dog or anything)
This is the most important part of my morning message. To have them know before anything else in class that I love them just the way they are. I want to carry this with me into all the classes that I teach. All my favorite teachers made it known that they loved us the way we were no matter how difficult, how frustrating, how loud we would be.
It starts with L O V E
As I start my ninth month here in La Vega with these girls, I am starting to think about what my life is going to look like post-New Hope. This emotion of love is a tough one to get over. My heart is split. My heart knows what it wants and that is a desire to be near family, familiarity, friends. I have been running from a ‘normal’ for a long time thinking that that just ‘isn’t me’. This year is teaching me that I am craving ‘normalcy’. This normalcy for me looks like moving back home and diving deeper into my relationships there. But that means that this emotion of LOVE that is so strong here will need a bit of processing and healing. My next steps with my girls here are presenting the idea that I am not just one that will come into their life and walk away when my ‘job’ is done. That is not the case and nor has it really ever been in my life. This process looks like listening to them and their anger towards me for leaving in June. It is a valid anger, but one that can be talked about and worked through.
Anger has come up a good amount during my time here. I have learned that this anger is not one acted towards me…but one that has developed over time. It is not to take personal but to talk through it and always let them know that I love them.
Conflict and confrontation is never fun. Growing up and facing this conflict and using confrontation again is never fun, but that is something huge that I am learning this year. Whether it be with the teenage girls, or co-workers, the wifi company, or the ‘frescos’ that cat call me when I walk to the grocery store. There are appropriate ways to confront and there are inappropriate ways and I have done both. But have I learned a lot? Absolutely. Have I learned that the anger that some of the girls have is deep within and rooted in something completely different than me simply asking them to be on time? Yes, yes and yes. If you know me, you know that I HATE it when people a re mad at me, but I have learned to give a bit of space and watch healing happen within that space. I have learned to forgive myself for my frustration and I have learned how to ask for forgiveness. But at the end of the day it comes back down to love. The emotion that we all desire to have. Whether it takes a few minutes or a few days or a few weeks to come back to that word, we always come back. And that is why I write:
I love you,