And when you live on the jagged edge, you’re going to bleed.
When I first began this journey five years ago, it came as a shock when I ruffled feathers. When people didn’t like what I was doing. Or when they didn’t understand it. Or, at times, when they even tried to oppose what I was doing. There are people who jumped to conclusions without even asking me, or talked behind my back. Some people were bolder and emailed or said it to my face, the latter being quite rare. Sometimes it hurt so much I cried.
I would love to give some pollyanna account that 5 years later it doesn’t bother me. But I’d be lying.
I’m still often misunderstood, even by people who ask for my insight. I receive email that cuts so deeply that I’m shocked at the meanness of it. Today I’m dealing with this very situation. The first time I read it, there is this moment where what is being said about you begins to sink in, and you feel the pain because of it. The second time I read it, I felt the full force of it, and I cried. And then I shared it with my husband.
Thankfully, he’s a wise man. He told me to never read it again. To delete it. There is no good to come of reading it over and over. I think he actually used the phrase, “Haters, gonna hate”, but I’ll let that one go. And he’s right. There are times when you need to confront people, and there are times to disagree and let it go. Even when it hurts. A lot. Rereading or replaying those situations only does more damage to us.
I don’t say this flippantly or dismissively. It doesn’t mean I don’t hurt; I do. It doesn’t mean I don’t get angry or frustrated; I do. It doesn’t mean I don’t get hung up on it at times and replay it far too often; I do. It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like walking away from the whole thing; I do. Trust me, I do
Instead, I need to be reminded why I do what I do.
For me, it comes from an unlikely source. I don’t watch NFL football; so for me, it’s not about the Seahawks, for which many of you are, likely, thankful. I’ve watched this video four times today. Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to the words over and over and over.
When you lead change, there are people who either can’t change or won’t. There are people to whom you are a threat. But we cannot allow ourselves to dwell here. There are too many kids who desperately need their voices to be heard. Who need change, so they can discover and develop their gifts, passions and minds. There are teachers who need to be empowered and are hungry for learning and developing new ways of teaching and learning.
It takes courage to act. It takes courage to start over again.
So in spite of today, I’m in control here. I’m coming back. And I’ll be stronger and better because of it.