Sandra Gibbons

Sandra Gibbons

lives in beautiful Northwest Arkansas. She writes about parenthood, lessons learned, and creating moments of happiness.

1440

In a few minutes, it will be May 17, 2013.

Ten years ago, I graduated from high school. The reunion is less than five months away, and I’m still debating on whether I will attend or not. High school will always claim a bittersweet chamber of my heart. There was so much I wanted to do and say and experience, and I never had the inclination or circumstance to do any of it. Springdale was the second high school I attended—the first of which was Junipero Serra High in San Diego, California. As a military kid, I attended a couple of different elementary schools, middle and junior highs, and high schools. Life was always fast-moving, and I always wished I could be like those kids who grew up in the comfort and familiarity of their hometown roots. Some children blossom and become highly sociable with always moving around and being the new kid in class. I, on the other hand, withdrew from my peers and developed a great wall of reservation. My friends were limited to those who actively engaged me with warmth and acceptance, and any other interaction outside of that handful of friendships was minimal. Tenth grade was hard. I wanted to just walk up to a table in the cafeteria and sit down and strike up a conversation, but I was very much afraid of being judged and rejected. I spent a number of lunch hours sobbing in a bathroom stall or going to the library so that I could pretend to do homework I had already completed. I never had a boyfriend. I never kissed a boy—never even held hands. I didn’t go to Prom. The only reason I went to Homecoming was because my older brother took me. I missed out on those things that we introspective people sometimes dwell on, and I sincerely believe I missed out on learning a few of life’s key lessons prior to moving away to college. The reunion is something I need to think on further.

The month of May always brings out the gloom in me, but I’m making a point of replacing the overwhelming regret and longing with feelings of renewal and determination to do better. Apart from tomorrow being the decade mark since high school, it will also be my last Friday working. Starting next week, I will work Monday through Thursday. I’m so relieved to get a 3-day weekend. It’ll give me the much needed time to unwind, clear my head, and motivate myself to imagine and create something. Painting… poems…writing my book, tending to the roses, exercising… anything. I need that freedom to step back and discover inspiration. I’m just dead without it.

I spoke with my new manager today… we’ll call this person Hanby. Hanby sensed my boredom and frustration and asked if I was interested in traveling. I, of course, expressed that I was very much interested in being shipped out somewhere, and so they met with one of the directors, as well as the Senior Director to discuss. Per Hanby, they agreed and are completely on-board with the idea. Cross your fingers that something comes of it, and quickly. I need a good change up in my life. In addition to that good news, I got some absolutely amazing feedback from the two facilitators of my Speak with Impact and Motivation class. They’re recommending me to become a SWIM facilitator, and they’ve invited me to co-facilitate a class or two before my course graduation late next month. I never understood or realized how people perceived me before these last couple of weeks. I’ve always been so incredibly self-critical and demanding of myself that I had always assumed that’s how people viewed me. I never imagined that I had such a positive effect on someone’s day—someone I didn’t even necessarily know all too well. I’ve always wanted to bring others happiness and inspiration if I couldn’t do that for myself, and today made me feel like I was doing just that. Their encouragement and support today along with the nearly 40 minute heart-to-heart I had with Hanby really raised my spirits and motivated me to push myself.

From Hanby:

There are 1,440 minutes in your day. What are you choosing to do in that time?

Time is the great equalizer indeed.

Hope

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