A big thank you to Stephanie Thompson for taking part and taking us on this personal journey, Stephanie blogs at http://fourseasonsinonekiwi.blogspot.co.uk/ please take a look and enjoy…
Yes, I am writing to you, so you can take that scowl of disbelief off your face because it is true! You are the only one who can not see it. I should know, because I have lived in our skin longer, and it is important that I impress upon you that your hang ups about yourself are yours alone. Life is too short to waste time on beating yourself up about who you are, so embrace what you have and believe in yourself! Besides, that scowl of yours is going to be etched into our brow like two deep crevices, so you could do us favour and scowl less. On the bright side, these crevices will match the worry lines on our forehead, so there is always that!
I only really have one piece of advice to give you, but I think it is the single most important thing that cloaks you in resilience.
Look for the silver linings.
Irrespective of what challenges life tasks you with, there is always a silver lining. Look for those, embrace them and know that there is a bigger picture and it will come right in the end.
I don’t want to give you too many spoilers, but I do want you to know that your choice to work in Education is a good one. I know there will be times where you will worry about not becoming a journalist or someone who travels the world writing, but take heart, in that life is full of opportunities and you will find your desire to write fulfilled in other ways! As I sit here typing now, who knows what opportunities tomorrow will bring – so please worry less about that, and know that what you do for children and families is pretty important. You make a difference, and more importantly, as a leader (yes you read that right) you work with others to make a difference.
You should know it will not always be easy in your chosen field, especially as a leader. In fact, there will be times when you will question why you do what you do. During those times, remember your WHY. Remind yourself of how you want to give back to the world, and remember those who believed in you as a student, and how you want to be that person for other students. It will renew your strength and you will gain a resiliency that is quite awe inspiring! Trust me. There will be times as a leader where you will have your back up against the wall and you will feel the world is caving in. Some battles you will win and others you will not. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is that fighting the bureaucracy is like spitting into the wind – never a good idea. So, remember the silver linings.
I know you have this big idea about how you are going to teach, become a Mum, and then go back part time. That won’t work out like that. You are going to have to go through a tough time before your special bundle arrives, and it will be hard. There are several silver linings, firstly how well you and your Man (didn’t we choose well!) overcome this. Secondly, it is what leads you into leadership, and the final silver lining is that when your special little person does arrive, despite the surprise, it will be worth the heartache. (Remember this when she turns into a mini me and you are confronted with attitude)
On Parenting, our special bundle has just turned 13 and it is not easy! I just want to remind you to be patient, kind and remember that being 13 is not easy for her either. Hormones are racing out of control and the world we live in today is so much more problematic than when you were 13. Try not to get angry. This is just a short phase in the big scheme of things and like a right of passage. Remember the words of Nath (your new friend – he is quite the big deal out there in the land of adulthood and you are so terribly proud of what he has achieved) where he likens the brain of a teenager to that of a major house renovation and her brain right now is just ‘shut for renovations’. Take comfort in the glimpse of the beautiful young women you see growing in front of you, because at some stage her frontal cortex will come back online! She is amazing, talented and will do you proud. What a silver lining you are blessed with!
Look after your health. You know what I am going to say, so I will leave it unsaid. Most importantly, watch the cortisol levels. Find ways to de stress and enjoy living in the moment. There are going to be some hiccups and you just need to breathe and take things day by day. Embrace the silver linings – they will get you through.
Finally, despite the tough lessons life is determined to throw your way, there are many silver linings and moments of joy. You live in a stunning country and a beautiful city with a wonderful husband and fabulous daughter. You have a boot collection the envy of many (I knew that would lift your soul and make you smile) and a good selection of perfumes you can choose. Oh, and to give you hope, although it’s taken sometime to make it happen, you are about to travel to the destination of your dreams.
So, embrace those silver linings, hug those you love, be kind and loving to yourself, and make the most of any and all opportunities that come your way because tomorrow’s not promised!
Remember, you have got this!