It’s the middle of the week, which means the weekend is ALMOST here. Anyone got anything fun going on? I’ll be getting lost in San Fransico and hiking Big Sur with the Hubs. I can’t wait to nerd out at Alcatraz, too!
For those who were around Monday and saw my balloon face, I’m happy to report my face has gone back to its natural saggy-self, bags under my eyes and everything, but if it’s not one thing it’s another 😉 … I missed an opportunity to inspire the kids I work with every Friday, and it’s eating me up.
Two weeks ago I put an ask out for school supply donations to help KidWorks provide for its after-school programs. Staples immediately gave me three boxes of notebooks and a promise to get back with me for the possibility of more supplies (which reminds me it’s been a week and I should probably follow up).
Because I had donations to drop off, I pulled my car up to the front and began unloading. Some of the kids in my class saw my car and started asking if I was rich, how much did I pay for this car and what do I do for a living.
Had just one asked I might’ve had enough time to respond the way I wanted to, but instead, there were about four little girls oo-ing and awing, demanding an answer. To which I replied, it’s not polite to talk about money and hadn’t you heard what none-ya said? None ya bees-wax. Cue laughter and comments about my jokes being old (wait, when did that happen?! haha).
This may sound like a reasonable response and a good lesson to learn early on, but what I wish I would’ve said was this,”I grew up just like you, so one day if you work hard enough for it, you could drive this kind of car, too.”
Ya know, a real Hallmark moment.
I fell back on what I was told growing up and it bums me out because I missed an opportunity to tell the kids (in so many words) it doesn’t matter what your financial circumstances are now, if you work hard enough and believe in yourself you too can drive around in a bright blue mustang one day.
And that’s what I needed to hear as a kid.
I get it, nobody is perfect and I shouldn’t beat myself up about this one time, so I’m going to keep repeating this until the anxiety of not responding how I wanted subsides, because next time I will have the wherewithal to express the importance of dreaming for better.
Also, their ‘you’re rich!’ statement made me extremely uncomfortable and a little offended. It’s the first time anyone has thought of me as ‘well off’ and I’m still not sure how I feel about it because I didn’t grow up rich, with a silver spoon in my mouth, and nobody gave me anything, I had to fight for it.
Now I’m torn between enjoying the fruits of my hard work and determination, and still being scrappy Shannon who pinches every penny to make sure when the bottom falls out, I can still pull myself up by my bootstraps and carry on.
It’s a strange path to be walking, and incredibly fascinating a comment from a young person can send me back to this place of uncomfortableness between how I grew up and what I’ve become. I never not want to remember my roots.
There’s no need to ignore the friction, the only way I’m going to figure out how to deal with these two worlds is by sitting in the comfortableness. Ignoring will only delay the solution. Right?
If you’re like me and have a tendency to plow through emotions that are tough to swallow, I encourage you to wade around in those uncomfortable waters to see what you come out with on the other end. You might surprise yourself with a simple solution.