A year in perspective, many changes and ups and downs for all of us. In seeing myself relocated a lot of changes in a new school district for the first time, and in the states when that was not at all in the long-term plan (so much of that walks alongside the whole resolution plan made by so many in the new year!) – I realized so much is not checked personally, not examined and evaluated accurately unless a situation forces you to look within. Sure, we all try to make resolutions that will somehow make our lives better in the new year. Yet…
… I have discovered the best resolutions that appeared throughout 2018 were from the movements I continued to try and improve elements of my community, that being the community of school, town, county, state. I was extremely lucky to be surrounded by colleagues, friends, and professionals in Mexico City that helped me want to create, develop, implement ideas I never even had existed or could become reality. They came to reality due to the ability, energy, and belief that “new” could mean meaningful in the actions we do and how we apply ourselves to develop something new, to improve the community around us.
Bringing back the ability, energy, and belief that I witnessed by so many around me, and applying it to opportunities that did not yet exist but could emerge, it motivated me to see how much a community can grow, morph, and change if you have the commitment and belief of those around you. Prior to moving back to the states after 6 years, the tumultuous events to make that happen, and that did happen, so much. From politics, to changes in public school legislation, personal changes, financial changes, and so much more, it was a daunting change – but one important lesson kept revealing itself.
No matter the hits/hurdles/ setbacks that increased on a personal level, repeatedly sometimes and back to back (I know you know what I am talking about), the increasing opportunities that occurred in my professional world made me wonder when the former would catch up with the latter. It was depressing at times and I often found myself depressed and my first cold, winter and inside dealing with these issues didn’t help. I also realized the amazing experiences I had in Mexico due to amazing people, the amazing family and friends and colleagues I had surround me BEFORE I left Mexico, I was fully equipped to hang on through the toughest of times, I had in the past, thanks to the friends, family, and colleagues (yes, at some point students had become my colleagues as well) to weather through those and soon both would catch up to each other.
I had not run in a race since I left the states, I had gained weight others could not see in the first year I returned, and felt awful due to the extra weight, lack of exercise I was not getting and had in Mexico, and it had also affected me mentally. Add to that being behind the odds due to a blown engine, a new house and adjusting to countless costs of renting a vehicle, new home, extra costs hidden into getting back on track (there is a whole set of nuances being in the states when out of the country from so long, cultural and financial). Yet, there was one MAJOR realization along the way.
Despite the thought that those above us dictate the direction of the future, this year we have seen this vein of thought come through the channels of politics and the Me Too Movement, what REALLY is true is change that does not matter if individuals have the heart to make a change and every time, individuals can make the positive change that can override the majority. Positive wins over negative every time. The majority thought is superiority wins over everything. Not so. If that was the case I would not even have half of the accomplishments I have seen, thanks to those around me that motivated me.
I am the type of person that the more I get pushed back, the more negativity, I need top call it a day after so much, but after a short recovery period, I am just PLAIN angry. I channel that frustration into creating new events, plans, ideas and implement even more than I am usually capable of. I fuel my anger into projects and to do’s. Luckily, I have those around me that support that plan, and they believe the impossible can be made possible.
The world, the country, ours and others, education, community, and ourselves can be changed for the better and can roll over any authority that bangs back and tries to rule the day with negativity, pushback and detrimental methods. Patience. and faith.
I look forward to these realizations and “move-forwards” to make the past two years part of a new year full of moving forward. Thanks to brand new students to a high school in 9th grade, they ran for the first time on a XC team that made me run, and in turn, shed pounds and gained endurance that I had not had in seven years. The XC team did that for me, as well as an inspiration coach that took the challenge to bring XC back to the school district. That was one isolated example.
I had family that supported my move back in the way of furniture, moving things in, moving things out, dealing with transportation needs when my truck was down and out, support from students, friends, colleagues from Mexico, from Delaware before I moved away, and with teams like the above – anyone that is considered ‘above” you in position or authority that you feel can make your energy and ideas moot, the key is pushing that aside. I was doubly lucky to have schoiol adminstrators that bought into positive changes, creative ideas, and rventuring into the new – and we were off to the races in my school district. This sounds strange, but my dog and cat rescues from Mexico, always weathered anything that would often cause crazy behaviors in the short time that they occurred in 2 years, and all they wanted through all that is to be with me and people, they rolled with every change. I felt I needed to take their lead and do the same.
I witnessed and witness state legislation that nixes the national level decisions that can cripple environment, politics, international relations, and more, showing, INDIVIDUALS MATTER. You have to believe your energy, your possibility, your moment matters but you also need to gather those around you that believe your dream, and that one dream, goes from YOUR dream to OUR dream. That changes everything.
I owe everything I achieve to those that continue to believe in the dreams I have and make them reality – pushing through obstacles that come our way, some thrown in our path and some that fall in our path. I could not shake the last Northern Male Rhino in existence to die. I realized how far we have to go to preserve that which cannot be replaced by items like money, greed, authority, wealth, position cannot replace. I remember being a young boy in the Carnegie Museum looking at stuffed versions of the Dodo Bird, and wished I could have seen that in real-time. Not a preserved version. I want that for our world, the world to be preserved and positive steps forward that preserve the beauty that is possible, not the monetary first and foremost. Each of us have that power, voice to make a positive change to all around us rather than lament the hits that inevitably, will keep coming.
I look forward to a 2019 that realizes these realizations, (yes I did that) and use the past two years to blend with the accomplishments possible in a 2019. Not to put away the past year or two, but to use it to advanatges for all of us. We are more important than the common thought that there is nothing more we can do – our communities, world, relationships with each other are more important.
Let’s do this.