Hi Super friends!
WOW long time, no post (especially for me, the serial poster). The past few weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I believe when we last left off, I had just returned from a fantastic trip to Florida with Adam and adopted Jack, our amazing pug/dachshund/jack russell mix (follow him on instagram @jackzkpup). Shortly there after, Jeanette’s father was in the hospital, suffered a rapid decline and passed away. It felt like it happened in the blink of and eye but at the same time felt like the culmination of two painful and emotional weeks. The funeral service was truly an amazing tribute to Jim’s life and the readings Jeanette and her sisters recited will always stay with me. At this same time another friend of ours from our group of friends from college was going through some personal things and her father ended up in the hospital as well (luckily her father is on the mend). Still another friend of ours from the same group lost her beloved childhood pet. All in all, February was a tough month and we spent the last two weekends together sharing support and love. I feel so lucky to have made such amazing, lasting friendships in both high school and college.
The importance of having a support system of some sort to fall back on ties into a conversation we have been having in our super friends email thread as well. A far too high number of students at our high school, WT Woodson, have committed suicide in the past few years (I mean even one student taking their life is too many, but this has been more than that) and a lot of conversation has recently been generated on the subject in our school’s alumni facebook group. Many alums are showing support for the Woodson community by sharing “We are Woodson” and “Woodson Strong” images and a mature dialogue has started to take a look at the culture and circumstances that may be leading to students feeling alienated, bullied or unloved. Clearly no one has the answer and every individual student’s circumstances are different, but the messaging that it will get better and nothing is worth taking your life over is shining through. The common feeling in our email thread is that high school is tough – we all felt enormous pressure to get the best grades and to participate in numerous extracurricular activities while also balancing the social aspect and peer pressure from classmates. We were fortunate enough to have each other while we navigated the halls of Woodson, but I wish I could have done more to make sure none of our classmates ever felt alone or without someone to talk to. Stealing Lindsay‘s words, “Life is about so much more than grades and salaries. I am all for working hard and feeling a sense of achievement, but I’ve only recently understood that these things should never come at the expense of my happiness, mental health and personal relationships. I wish I’d learned THAT in high school.”
Between the heavy events of February and the ongoing conversation about Woodson, I have had plenty to think about lately! Mostly, I want to treasure every moment I have with my loved ones. Since I’m in the middle of a job search, I want to find something I truly love to do and get excited about. I want to stress less and do more of what makes me happy. And I hope you all do the same 😀
And so I leave you with two images that I found on pinterest that make me happy…