I spent many years wondering what was wrong with me. I had this hope that one day I would find my place, and I envisioned it as finding the right friends for me, being able to party, go to dinner, and do loads of things with them. I saw myself doing the things that all teenagers were doing, like dating the cute boy I would find who would look past my armour and would love and accept me.
I never got that.
I never got what I wanted, but I got what I needed.
I wanted to find my place, but I saw my place somewhere I didn't belong. I didn't belong in those clubs partying. I didn't belong around lots of people. The problem was I kept looking for my happiness there, and I was never meant to have it that way. So I was left unhappy wondering why I was still lonely and deeply sad.
Don't get me wrong, I still wish I could do all that, and some times it gets me down. I'm in a better place now, but there are many things I'd want for me and I don't have. It's okay, though.
It's okay because then, I'm reminded that I'm blessed. I'm reminded that I have loads of stars guiding my way.
Last December, I thought there was a considerable possibility I wouldn't see 2016. I won't go talking about it because it's long and complicated, but it led me to balance what my life had been up to that point. And it made me see the things I cared about the most. And there were two that totally broke my heart (apart from the obvious, which is leaving my family and my friends): the fact that I hadn't taken writing more seriously and the fact that I would leave all the kids I've worked with behind.
I can't put in words how much these kids mean to me. When I'm with them, I can see every single word I say being taken into consideration. Of course, there are difficult kids who won't listen, but what one doesn't want to hear, the other will carry with them. The amount of kids who need someone to hug them, or pay attention to them, or make them smile, or just listen and show them that they matter... this amount is scary. I don't want any kid to feel lonely. Not happening while I'm around if I can avoid it.
As you know, I felt reaaally lonely as a kid, and it's really important to me that no kid feels like that. But asides from that... working with them just makes me really happy. Seeing life through their eyes, through the innocence and the brilliance of children, is amazing. Parents keep thanking me because they learn a lot from me, and I can't help but think I learn loads more from them. If you listen... there's so much they can tell you. And they're really grateful when someone is willing to hear.
I don't know where I'm going with this. The thing is... there's a particular generation of kids, those who are on their last year in elementary school (which finishes when you're 11-12 here) who are just my kids. They just are. I've had them at theatre, at summer camps, at the choir... I just have a very special bond with them, and because they're leaving school, they had put up a performance, so I headed to the village's school to see them.
They were so surprised and happy to see me there. The look in their eyes is something I will cherish forever. Knowing they trust me and I've been an influence to a small part of who they are is bigger than anything I could have ever imagined. There is where my happiness is at. With those kids. With the pride I feel when I see them grow to be these great boys and girls they are becoming. And with the way they show me they're grateful. That's my blessing.
I guess what I wanted to say is that you should keep your eyes open. I highly believe that happiness is something you make out of life, but sometimes, it comes from outside. And it might come from the most unexpected places. Your happiness might not be where you think you'll find it, and that's okay. There's just a different happiness waiting for you. And when you understand it... everything will change.
A big big hug,