Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a piece of me

My emotions? Ashamed. Happy. Excited. Sad. Eager.

we all remember middle school, right?
from what i recall middle school was the yuckest age for me.
at the time i didn't think so. i was apart of the cool crowd.
looking back i feel ashamed at a lot of my actions and proud of others.
yuckest describes what i feel now when i look back. yuckest describes my struggles to comprehend a few of my actions in what im about to share.

i can truley say i've always had a heart for other people.
a heart for the kid who never got chosen to run over when playing red rover.
a heart for the child in the wheel chair who can't speak or act for him/herself.
a heart for the boy who no girl, including myself would say yes to when he asked to her be his date to a middle school dance. he wasn't cool enough to be his date but was special enough to save a dance. i don't recall the day skipper asked me to the valentines dance but i will never forget the one dance we shared {i still have the picture}, as i promised or the look on his face when we were dancing. maybe it was the white daisies he brought me? i made his day back then. does he realize what that dance to me today in this world? probably not.
i talked to everyone & befriended the geeks, popular crowd, the band members, dancers, & the pot heads.
however i was mean to this beautiful blonde who always wore the cutest clothes. she was a threat to me. my boyfriend had hott eyes for her.
i made fun. said jokes. made her feel low.
i was THAT girl. i was THAT mean girl.
i've yet to clear my mind or forgiven myself from my childish actions. i've never voiced this before until now.

i believe in karma.
i believe that god does things in a persons life for one reason only.
his reason.
sometimes we never understand them until years later.
other times we know exactly why as soon as it happens.
sometimes we never get our answers because we missed out on the lesson which means it was never a lesson learned situation.
have you been there?

when I was 15 years old my parents built a house in this hick town in the middle of no where. {aka the other side of the county, where I found my lovely hick husband & that place i call home now} 
i never thought I'd be happy.
i wasn't happy about the move. i was so mad at my parents.
i was the new kid on the block starting as a freshman in high school.
i had one friend. she was great.
i was called names. made fun of. people threw things at me. my art work was destroyed daily. i was threatened & mistreated. i was at a low point in my life. i no longer was the cool girl in school. i was the "whore". {not really}
i cried more than i smiled. that never happened. i always smile.
that one friend kept me going. she saved me.
i promised myself & god that if the bullying would stop, i'd never be THAT mean girl again. 
i met my high school sweetheart {my hubby} four months after high school started.
things started looking up. they got better. yet i still struggled with relationships around the school.
i represented my sophomore class on homecoming court. {big deal now, right? not so much}
my self confidence was back and jessica grew a new outlook in life, love & people.
i never looked back.

my senior year of high school changed my life.
of course it was just like anybodys senior year but what made it so special was two girls i met; bethany & nikki.
they changed my heart. they made it better. 
i worked with them most days in first period. Nikki battled with cystic fibrosis and would not speak a word for the first three weeks. once day she spoke and she never stopped. she felt comfortable.
most days i could hardly understand nikki but she kept right on. i never let her know i was completely lost.
she was so loving and kind.
bethany was a head strong teenager. she was awesome. she was 14 but had the mind of a 7 year old. she was so smart. bethany had down syndrome.
the days they didn't show up for art class were the days i felt a loss. bethany & nikki started my day right. they made me so happy and taught me so much about the person i wanted to become.
bethany often talked about sarah, her much younger sister. she loved for mrs. safely to draw her a circus on blank paper. some days she took the time to color & others not so much. i'll never forget the time i thought we'd get creative & bring out the glue. let's just say, bad decision.
my biggest most rewarding moment i had with those girls was closer to the end of the year. every year our school would bring the USA Army Band out to host a small concert. usually we all ended up in the middle of the basketball court dancing along. well this year i grabbed bethany, nikki, & the rest of their friends who were also in the special needs class. Please clear your mind and picture this. We danced and danced and sang along to GOD BLESS AMERICA! We held hands as we circled around, laughing and cutting up. I could tell Nikki was struggling. She had to be removed because she was having a small attack. the mucus in her lungs were acting up. she did what she had to do and wanted to come back with us. he teacher was uneasy about letting her join us but never saw this excitement in nikki, so she did. the teachers were at awe because they'd never seen the girls & boys open up so much. what nobody knew was my heart changed that day. i'll never forget it.
day in and out i'll see a special needs person working at the piggly wiggly or walmart stocking the flowers or greeting everyone as they walk in. my eyes light up. aaron instantly says something along the lines as, "no no... leave them alone." only because i get tickled to death and get caught up talking to them. aaron sturggles with being at ease at these times. however he loves my heart for them.

since then i've always wanted more.
i wanted to feel that inspiration that bethany & nikki gave me.
august of 2009 i was sitting at my desk when my boss came to share the local newspaper with me. i never read the newspaper.
front page was Special Olympics with a young boy who looked as if he had down syndrome & a gentleman looking somewhere in his 40's. they had numbers attached to their shirts & looked as if they were doing some sort of a relay.
i opened it. read it. i was hooked.
i wanted to be apart of this.
so i did.
i emailed, called, did whatever i had to.
i officially became a team member of SOGA  {Special Olympics of Georgia}.
i signed up to be a coach but was willing to do anything to be apart. i was in.
well i will be honest. i send money & read & respond but i have yet to show up or make THAT difference.
as i explained my car drive to work i listen to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning.
a few days ago i sat at my desk {i should be fired} and instead of making the money i watched numerous videos of these kids being told they were going to disney world.
i cried. laughed. smiled. and cried more.
again i donated. donated. and donated more.
however what i really want is to donate my time and not only make a difference in someones life by paying money but i want those precious people to show me life and what it's all about.

today. i vow to myself to start getting out there and making someones day. making a child smile. volenteering and sharing my love for them.
today is a brand new day.
today is just the beginning.
im ready to reach for more.


Lindsey said...

Aw, are SO sweet! I remember those middle school days you soeak of. Middle school was good for me, high school was my private hell. BUT- just like you, I've learned MANY lessons and have grown into a woman I am proud to be! You go out there and make a difference! I'm so proud to be your friend! Thanks for sharing this. I'll be learning more about Kidd Kradick's foundation. Greg and I support Invisible Children and I DREAM of one day going to work in Uganda and loving on some of these babies I pray my money reaches and helps educate, clothe, and feed. Anyway, love this post!

Kristin said...

you just made me cry...
Love it! I'll be praying for you and those sweet kids!
God Bless!!

Erin said...

I'm seriously sitting her at my desk crying like a baby!! This hit home for me in so many ways! I was THAT girl too and believe me Karma wasn't nice to me either. What you are doing is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story!!! I'll be praying for you and those sweet kids! :)
You are SO SWEET!!! :)

Michelle (michabella) said...

I love this post! You have such a big and beautiful heart!!! <3

Marcy XOXO said...

LOVE THIS POST! Just one of the many reasons you are such a special and beautiful person!

Ali said...

I was so mean to other kids when I was little & now that I look back on it, it's because I was so unhappy with ME! funny how that works, huh? Yay for being nice to people and for working to make other's days better. I think in turn, it usually makes your day better too.