Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Steps

One of the main reasons why I've been battling demons so to speak lately has stemmed from my intense need to find a positive outlet to help me move on. The thought reared its annoying little head after running into the mom of one of my best friends from my school years. Through her I contacted said best friend (In Africa! Nother story, nother day) and I anxiously awaited her response. All of these fears and emotions stirred up and kept me antsy and uneasy as I waited. I started wondering if she would even talk to me. I questioned if she would still remember all the horrible challenges our friendship should have never endured. She wrote me back two agonizing days later and to my relief (after several conversations) I have realized that we are all grown ups now and for the most part understand what happened from an adult point of view.

It was beyond difficult having to relive those feelings all over again. I remember telling hubby several times that I was so thankful I never had to go back to high school again. As I was drifting off to sleep one night I remember thinking "If only someone had talked to my friends and explained what I was going through back then." I realized that the only person to effectively talk about those things was someone with first hand experience. I woke up the next day with a heavy and scary burden to help change things for some other teen out there.

I tried for a while to ignore it. I thought it was just a fleeting idea that would fade, but it turned out to nearly eat me alive! I emailed my friend in Africa (let's call her Jill) and asked her what to do. I just knew she would brush it off or think I was the same ole me and never email me again but she didn't. She is a missionary in Africa that teaches in the schools about safe practices and such. She was so encouraging and I found myself writing out a plan. I started with an outline of things I wanted to discuss and even decided who I would talk to about it and how I would put the plan into action.

When school started I got sort of antsy about it. I tried to put it off for a while with the idea that I never had time to go see the guidance counselor (the same one that was there for me when I was in high school!). I tried to reason with myself that it was a silly idea. I mean, who was I to go in and talk to a whole school full of girls about something so important?

Today, I had to leave to assist with a meeting at another school. I had given myself an hour so that I could go home and change for the meeting. I ended up just wearing nice clothes today and so I had an hour to kill. My car drove itself to the high school. I swear. I was humming to a great song on the radio one minute and gripping the steering wheel in a parking space the next.

I met with the counselor today. I told her why I wanted to do this. I told her what I had hoped for. I let her know that I understood that perhaps I was asking a bit much and that in that situation I simply would like to know how I could help someone else talk to the girls if at all possible. We devised a plan that involves me meeting twice this year during "health class" with the freshman girls. I would meet once with the fall girls and once with the spring girls (we do block scheduling so half go in the fall and half in the spring). She told me to write a letter to the principal and that she herself would go in and deliver it for me explaining how it would fit in the curriculum and what our ideas were. She is going to talk to the teacher for me and they will set up a date for me to come. It will be school board approved so that we can continue it next year if it is successful.

I walked out of there shaking and feeling nervous but relieved and at peace with myself. I took the first steps. I took huge steps today. I only hope that my huge steps can save someone else from having to wear my shoes.


Kristen said...

OMG! That is SO awesome of you! Seriously. I think it's great that you are willing to put your own experiences out there. I'm anxious to read how everything goes!

alicia said...

oh wow! I am so proud of you!! that is such an amazing thing you are doing! you are such an increadible person.