I challenge you to burn the machine.

I’m a teacher, right? Yeah. That’s right. I teach kids. Which is often considered hilarious because I kind of still look like a kid (even though my ever-multiplying grey hairs would disagree).

But I do. I teach high school kids.

I have a really unique opportunity with them, you know? Like I get to see and hear them in ways that few ever do. Sometimes they don’t know that I’m listening or looking. But I am.

And you know what I notice? Adults aren’t fair. A LOT. Like, as adults, we pass a lot of judgments and generalizations off on kids. We spend a lot of time telling them that their generation sucks or that they’re snowflakes for getting upset about something. We don’t ask them about themselves or what they’re going through or why they feel that way. We just decide how they are because we’re older and we can do that.

We were young once, too.

But when we were young, we wanted to be asked why we did things or why we felt a way. We wanted to be trusted. We didn’t like it when older people told us we sucked or that we were fragile because we took a stand for what we believed was right. It just made us rage.

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Young. Prettied up for our first real dance.

And here we are, perpetuating the cycle.

So recently, I’ve been seeing our kids catch a lot of crap for things that I think should be encouraged. I’ve been watching us old people (yeah, dude, we’re old already), tell young people that they should shut up and be quiet. That they shouldn’t question authority because the old people “said so” and that’s how it should be. That somehow speaking up about how the feel is “wrong and disrespectful”. And yeah, maybe the way kids say things sometimes could be…improved…but they’re kids for Christ’s sake. They don’t have the benefit of experience to know how to express themselves and they’re trying their best–shouldn’t we, as their “elders” or whatever, help them do that?

Dear Young Kid,

I think you’re doing a great job. I know exactly how hard it is to be a kid–you’re at a really weird place where you want to have a lot of responsibility and also no responsibility. You wanna be a grown up SO bad. You have a lot of feelings about the things going on around you but any time you express them, someone is telling you that they don’t matter because you’re “just a kid”.
Well you’re not.
And those feelings? They matter.
Because here’s the deal, kiddo, one day you won’t be so young anymore. You’ll be the old person writing this letter and you’re gonna have a choice about how you treat those youngins around you.
So I’ve got some advice for you: a challenge, if you will.
I challenge you to challenge things. Challenge the system. Ask questions. If you’re unsure about how something’s done, ask. I don’t care if the person you’re asking is annoyed or is rude to you. GET YOUR EXPLANATION. Don’t settle for “it’s just the way we’ve always done it” or “because I said so”.
Those are lazy answers from lazy people who don’t care enough about the question. Demand answers and if the answers don’t satisfy you, develop new ways.
Stand up for what’s right and trust your gut–if something FEELS wrong, it is. Don’t let the glamour of fun or popularity influence you to walk away from the right choice even if it’s the hard choice.
If you feel something, SAY something. So many of you walk alone in your lives. In your loneliness and fear. You think that no one understands you or what you’re going through. But so many do and they WANT to help you. Find the good ones and hold onto them, they’ll hold onto you back.
Do not be afraid to be wrong, but more importantly, do not be afraid to be told that you’re wrong. Sometimes, YOU will be the one with the outdated ideas and ways–AND THAT’S OKAY. But when someone brings you something new and different, consider it. Give them credit and say thank you. They are making you a BETTER person because you now know more than you did 5 minutes ago.
I challenge you to do things with love–all things. And love challenges. It challenges hate Challenges hearts. Challenges ideas. Love challenges because it wants things and people to reach their full potential. I challenge you to stand up for each other, stand with each other, encourage each other and know that you are the ones who have the capacity to change the hearts of the people around you.

I know that there are some old people (like me) who believe in you, have faith in you, and know that you’ll make yourself and everybody proud.

So let’s do that.

Love,
An Old Person

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Senior Year, 2006. New York. Yeah dude, we were freakin’ SENIORS doing this. But we still wanted to be taken seriously.

Thankful Wednesday: 5/8/13

Another week, another Wednesday.
More things to be thankful for!

So things I’m especially thankful for:
1. Teacher Appreciation Week
2. Kids that “get it”
3. Accidentally overpaying bills
4. Other -awesome- blogs
5. You people

It’s teacher appreciation week. Who knew? Not this girl. This week, I pretty much felt just as underappreciated as always…UNTIL I was presented with a glorious candy bouquet and super sweet card (which was in my favorite colors). Even though I can’t eat the candy (because it’s clearly day #3 of #aceandsteph’s60daykickasschallenge) it was a super thoughtful thing to do that completely made my day. I also had a student bring me a teachers appreciation day probiotic cleanse drink because “she and her mama baked brownies for all the other teachers but she knows I don’t eat them, so they got me this instead.” She also added, “it’s sugar free and gluten free!” I am way thankful that I have students that are sweet enough to do that kind of thing.


Thankful today for kids that “get it”. Too often, I encounter kids (and adults) that just don’t get it! They don’t see the value of hard work and effort. SO thankful for this kid, from Baton Rouge’s own McKinley High who understands that a teacher-any kind of teacher-can only give you so much. It’s up to you to do something with what anyone gives you and make it great. The only thing I’m sad about is that this clearly awesome kid has chosen to change his career. Kids need more kids like you, D’Marqus.


I got my water bill today. And it was ($24.00). I was confused. I was like, “why are there parenthesis around the number?” and, “why is my bill so low?” So naturally, when I don’t know the answer to a question, I googled it. Turns out, after a review of my account, I overpaid my water bill last month. Substantially. How did I do it? I don’t know. Do I care? Hell no. NO WATER BILL PAYMENTS FOR ME THIS MONTH!

Other (awesome) blogs. Like pimpin’, bloggin’ ain’t easy. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure this shiz out. Like, what’s a button? HTML Code? A link up? WTF. But, by reading other blogs, I’ve learned a lot about blogging and I get to read other cool stuff, too. So I’m super thankful for the awesome people that started bloggin’ before me so they could pave the way…’n’ shit. Some of them are fitness bloggers, some are DIY, some are inspiring, some are just funny as f-word. Feel free to click on their buttons below and check ’em out. 


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The Daily Tay


Last thing, but definitely most important, I am thankful for people that have my back no matter what. Whether it’s having my back with my dieting (hey, steph!), encouraging me in the gym, or being right along side me when I’m in a fight (I wish this were just a hypothetical situation), I am so thankful for anyone who cares about me or my story enough to help me. Through this journey I have made a lot of friends and I have lost a lot of “friends”. Some of my best friends now, I have never met, and yet they manage to encourage and support me in my (sometimes seemingly aimless) journey. Thank you to every person who ever believed in me, shared my story with friends, did a giveaway with me, or just dropped me a note to tell me that you appreciate me. It means a lot more to me than you can possibly know and more than I can possibly express (mainly because my vocabulary is limited. I need to read more. I’m getting more dumb as days pass with no additional reading.)

What are y’all thankful for today?
(ps: if you can’t think of anything to be thankful for off top, just know that there’s a giveaway starting today on here. GET SO EXCITED.)