Two weeks ago I asked my poetry students to list out 10 things that they positively, absolutely know to be true. I told them that it could be moral, it could be scientific, mathematic, or in some other realm. The only requirement was that it had to be something that they believed with conviction; beliefs that they could not be easily persuaded out of. Below is half of my list.
1. Music Has the Power to Change.
There is not one problem I’ve ever had that a solid jam can’t fix, or at least abate. I have so many playlists on my phone for the sole purpose of helping me ride out a funk. My playlists usually push me further down, making me more sad (or angry, whatever the case may be), which, for me, is exactly what I need. I’ve never been a person who can just come out of a funk. I have to ride it out completely, through all the ups and downs, and music helps me do that.
2. Frozen Pizza is the Best Pizza
I will choose a pizza out of the Wal-Mart frozen section over almost any other food option. Maybe it’s that frozen pizza is always paired with buckets of ranch dressing and Netflix, or maybe it’s that I can eat them in the comfort of my own home, but nothing will ever top the high that comes from hearing the oven timer go off.
3. Words Matter.
You have so much power in your word choice. Your words can be poison, or they can be light. Especially in this election season, words matter. It is so infuriating to see an article you disagree with, or see someone you never speak to post a political rant. It would be the easiest thing in the world to reply and let them have it, show them who’s smarter (you, duh). Part of being human, though, is learning self control, and carefully calculating how effective the words you are about to use will be. If you’re like me, you have a million opinions, but at the end of the day, disagreeing with someone on Facebook is not the best way to put them into action.
4. Staying Hydrated is So Important.
Seriously. Drink water as much as you can. Double your water intake with every cup of coffee.
5. Your life ends with loss of passion.
THIS IS LITERALLY ALL I WRITE ABOUT. If you’re not passionate about something, you are not accomplishing anything but surviving (which, sure, that’s important, I guess). Find something that gets you bothered and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Anger is a perfectly fine state when we let it drive us toward positive change. Sadness and fear are beautiful when we allow them to motivate us to help others, or even ourselves. It’s not even about finding something you’re good at- it’s about finding something that makes you good.
This morning (afternoon, evening??!) I challenge you to think of a similar list. At the end of the day, it’s so important to know where we stand, no matter how small the matter. Having a stance is a formative experience; it’s grounding, and it shapes us. Because I now compulsively ask people to turn things in (re: I’m a teacher), send me your list of some of the things you know to be true. I can’t wait to hear them! Just reply to this email. Have a great week.