It's my story and it matters because...
I'm an 8th grade English teacher and my teaching partner and I end our year by asking our students to finish this sentence, "It's my story and it matters because..." We want our students to leave our classrooms feeling empowered and hopeful that their voice matters, because it does. Have you ever spoke to a 14 year old? They have a lot to say, powerful things to say, they really will surprise you.
I started thinking about this statement "it's my story and it matters because" and began to think about it through my own lens. Does my story matter? Would people want to hear what I have to say? To hear my journey? Would it inspire others? Would it resonate with what others are going through? I love to write and I love to share about my family, so this just made sense. When I started to play with the idea of a blog the immediate response from my circle was "yes," "why haven't you already?" "I would read it" "you have a story to tell." So here I am...does my story matter?
So I'm going to finish the sentence just as I charge my students to do at the close of a school year. My story matters because...I am just like everyone else, working to find the beauty in the world around me and attempting to leave this place better because I made the effort to do so. Raising five children can be messy, it can be stressful, it's hard. So I try every day to find the beauty in the mess, to find the calm peaking through the stress, to find the lesson when things are hard. I work to make the world better by inspiring my students, but also through my children. I'm blessed that so many souls trust me and look to me, I have to be that beacon of light and guide them along a journey where they feel they can make a difference. So yes my story matters. I impact lives. So do you! Little eyes are watching, your peers are listening, strangers are changed because of you. Too see the work that we do, the impact that we make, we have to first slow down to see the good around us, especially when things are hard and then take that little glimpse of hope with you. You can be a change-maker, I tell my students this all of the time, I wrap my arms around my children and try to give them the confidence to be leaders and be happy. You can do the same. Your story matters too.