Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Things I've Learned

So, I was looking through my "teacher files" that go all the way back to my student teaching days, back in 1994. All those papers that I was SURE I would still need whenever I go back to teaching (which won't be for at least another 3 years now), seem outdated and frankly, make me feel like a dinosaur. I have no idea where my place will be if I ever try to get hired as a teacher again. I haven't had any tech training in 10 years. My only time in the classroom is from the perspective of a parent, not a teacher. I still feel like I could teach, and I still long to be in the classroom... making a difference... but for now my role is at home, making a difference to my children.

None the less, I was looking through my papers, and ran across this "I Have Learned" essay. I have no idea where it came from. It was printed on dot-matrix printer paper so I'm sure it's at least 10 years old. I know you could search it on Google and find it in about 2.7 seconds. But, I read it and I thought about it and I realized that at the time I printed it out, I'm sure I had a completely different perspective about this list. I probably thought that I understood it. Now, I realize, I didn't understand a damn thing 10 years ago. And 10 years from now, I will probably look back at my present-day self and think the same thing. Which actually makes me look forward to being 48, and 58, and so on. It's nice to know that I'm learning and growing and my happiness is becoming deeper and more meaningful.

Huh. Who'd have thought that? I truly miss my career as a teacher (and I do hope to return to it one day), but I don't regret for a moment a single choice I've made. Except, maybe, buying that hot-air popcorn popper. That was a waste of money.

The Things I've Learned
(NOT written by Texan Mama, just enjoyed)

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.

I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.

I've learned that it's not what happens to people that's important. It's what they do about it.

I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I've learned that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I've learned that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.

I've learned that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I've learned that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I've learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I've learned that there are many ways of falling and staying in love.

I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I've learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.

I've learned that although the word "love" can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used.

I've learned that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.

Texan Mama


misssrobin said...

That is a beautiful list. And I've still got a lot to learn.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Thanks for sharing this list...they are all profound and meaningful. It is interesting to see with time how our perspective changes on each thing listed there.

I like how you say you are making a differenc in your childrens' lives and someday you'll get back to teaching. I love that. It's how I feel about staying home too :)

Gigi said...

It is interesting to note how our perspectives changes over time. I love this list even more every time I see it.

mama hall said...

those are not easy lessons to learn, but great goals for life-long learning! every *grown-up* needs a copy of this tucked in their shirt pocket for quick reference. (like Earl...on My Name is Earl?) ;)

Maggie S said...

Wow, amen.

Ash said...

You're so right - 10 years ago I had no idea. No idea.

It does scare me a little to think of me at 48 looking back at me today and thinking - seriously chick, you really had NO idea.

I can see why you printed this out. I plan on doing the same. Thanks for sharing.

Kirby said...

Wow! That was an amazing list and I agree with misssrobin I myself still have alot to learn. Thank you for posting that!

Anna See said...

Love this and you!

Frogs in my formula said...

Great stuff. So true.