Something You Can't Tell By Looking At Me
One of my favorite lessons to do with my students comes from our social competency curriculum. The activity begins with a conversation about recognizing differences and that some of the differences we can see, while some we can not. The lesson continues as each student shares their answer to the prompt: Something you can’t tell by looking at me is… Usually the answers are simple such as: I like the color blue, or I play the piano every night, but sometimes a student will share something so deep and profound you almost fall backwards off your chair and you are left asking why didn’t I know this? This 10 minute lesson typically leaves a lasting impression as I ponder the new insights into my students seemingly hidden lives.
After a week of the Slice of Life Story Challenge I think I am ready to share my something you can’t tell about me by looking at me story. As I sit and type this slice I feel hesitant. How much should I share? How vulnerable should I be? But then I realize that this is me. I took on this challenge because I wanted to share, to write, to be reflective and if I did not share this side of me I would feel like a sham and a fake.
Three years ago I lost the love of my life, the father to my children, my best friend, soul mate and confidant. I am now a widow. No one should be a widow at 54, but here I am coping and trying to find my way. I am not sharing this part of me looking for pity or sympathy, rather I am sharing this because it is my story and it impacts everything I think, do and write. It is more than my slice of life, rather it is my life so it comes as no surprise that every slice of life will somehow reflect that fact.
It is hard to share this fact with you my readers. I feel emotional and hesitant. I want to take back these words and not post this slice. I am left wondering if my students felt this emotional after sharing their deep thoughts. Did they wish they could take back the words they spoke? Were they hesitant before sharing? I think creating a safe classroom environment where we valued open and honest communication allowed for that kind of sharing to happen. I feel that kind of environment in this writing community. Thank you! Thank you for creating a space where I do feel safe to be open and vulnerable enough to share my something you can’t tell by looking at me.