On the last day of the month I have this tendency to try to look back on the month that is ending and remember the things that have been a blessing. I realize that by doing this sort of reflection ugly events might just creep into my over-thinking brain but by really trying to focus on the good stuff it really puts those uglier things into perspective. This past month the overwhelming theme is friendship and love. I look back at the pictures on my phone of the past month and I see and feel nothing but love. I see my students, (both past and present) caring so much about me that it makes my heart hurt. I see my daughter’s final days at school with friends that she has had since kindergarten and how much they love each other. I see family time where the people I love most were back under one roof, at least for a bit. I see graduations and birthdays. I see people caring so deeply about me that they would give me parties and cards and gifts and advice and well wishes and hugs and a shoulder to shed a few tears upon. As this June closes I feel nothing but blessed and loved.
June also gave me a couple of skinned knees, but whatever.
As I am reflecting on stuff I thought about a couple of things about me that are really non-negotiables that I figure you should all know about. The first one being that I am pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get. I have no hidden agenda or ulterior motives in really anything that I do. I don’t know how to be otherwise. I am just who I am. This is not to say that I don’t have filters or that if I come to your house and you serve me meatloaf and tomatoes that I won’t smile and choke them down.
But for the most part I am an open book.
I am fairly certain that the hard part about being genuine is figuring out who you are so that you can be yourself. I think it is funny that we tell kids going into a new situation “Just be yourself” when 99% of the time they have absolutely no idea what that means. I can’t say that I have completely figured out who I am but whatever I am at this age of 44 is what I am going to give to you.
…if I invite you over to my house it means that I really want you there.
…if you invite me over to your house and I come over it really means that I want to be there.
…if I tell you that you look nice, you look nice.
…if you are a student of mine and I tell you that did a good job it means you did a good job.
…if I call you on the phone or text you and ask you how you are doing it means I really want to know, good or bad.
…when I tell you I miss you I really miss you.
…when I say thank you I really mean it from the bottom of my heart.
…when I tell you to call me if you need anything I really expect you to call me if you need something.
This brings me to the next thing you should know about me. I really love making people happy and helping people out. Not because I feel like I SHOULD help or that I SHOULD make people happy. It really does make me happy and brings joy to know that someone’s burden is a little bit easier because I am sharing it with them.
Seriously, it does.
These two things that you now know about me should make you rest a bit easier today because it means that…
…if I invite you over to my house I will make your visit as wonderful as it can be and will be so happy to share the day with you.
…if you invite me over to your house it means that I will help you clean out that sock drawer or rearrange your living room. You don’t have to plan anything. I will enjoy just hanging out with you helping you out.
…if you ask me if these jeans make your butt look big and they indeed do I will very kindly and diplomatically re-direct you to that nice black maxi skirt with the vertical stripes because everyone should feel good in what they put on their body.
…if you are a students of mine and you didn’t do something so hot I’ll tell you it needs some work and then stay in the trenches with you until you figure it out.
…if you call or text me and I ask you how you are doing I will want to try to make you better, share in your joy, or just enjoy your company.
…when I do something nice for you in exchange for something you did for me it has nothing to do with obligation only gratitude.
…if you need anything from helping you move to a ride home to a shoulder to shed a few tears on I will gladly do it.
But most importantly it means that if you call me because you have a $400 Oreck vacuum cleaner with a pink hedgehog sock stuck in it I am in it with you until the damn sock is out or until we get back from purchasing a new one.
You see an open book…a big gnarly book with some stains on it and some torn pages but full of truth and reality and I am all yours.