Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To You

I am doing my homework. This was my assignment:
"Choose someone you admire. Maybe it’s a blogger you have always wanted to meet or the author of your favorite book. Maybe it’s someone in your community who is making a difference. Maybe it is your grandmother or a dear friend. Write them a letter or an email. Tell them how they are making a difference in your life or how they are inspiring you. Just start. You will know exactly what to say."

Dear Friends,
Do you know why I like you? Because you teach me things. I admit I make a poor student, but I'm a voracious one, and maybe because I learn so slowly, I seek patient, kind, forgiving teachers such as yourself to be my best friends. I want to thank you for making a difference in my life, for inspiring me, for teaching me.
Oh, you thought I was supposed to be the teacher? But no. You -- doctors, parents, architects, researchers, -ists, whatchamacallits by profession -- you model so much that I need to learn, and so I see you as my teachers.
Did you know that you taught me how to exercise? My parents seemed never to have spoken that language, and so you took it upon yourself to kick me into better shape. Now, I jog, and I think about how you taught me how, and I feel better, stronger, healthier. You taught me confidence. That one took you countless, countless hours! Several of you t0ok turns approaching that lesson from various modalities, but it finally sunk in after all these years. Friends, you taught me to travel, to take risks, to broaden my horizons. In doing so, you undid the lessons I thought I'd learned at home: that risk yields failure, that the world is a scary mean place, that who I was going to be was limited by the failures of my lineage. You taught me how to grow up, how to slow down, how to embrace my youth. You have taught me how to parent, and how not to parent. Some of you have taught me without ever showing me your face. I have listened to you in my mind when I needed to, though I might not have ever heard you speak aloud.
Friends, I might not always do you proud in demonstrating what I've learned, but I believe I earn an A for effort, and I want you to know that every single day, whether I mention it or not, and even (especially) when I am sulking, I feel deep gratitude for the many friends who have served as my best teachers. This past weekend, I had a rare opportunity to indulge myself in a little getaway. I loved spending time with one of you, and I had the rest of you on my mind nearly every single minute... I took the time to reflect on you, on your many lessons, on my good fortune to know you. Oh how I thought of you as I explored serene art galleries! I thought of you as I perused countless shops. I thought of you over delicious meals, silly drinks. I thought of you as I read. I tried to follow all your best advice. I came home calmer, more centered, with more room for patience. I came home and saw I had a homework assignment, and immediately I knew it was time to thank you. I hope you hear what I'm saying. Happy Valentine's Day, friends, with love. I am better for knowing you.


pixiemama said...

love you.

Niksmom said...

And we are better for knowing you, too. xo

jess said...

Whether or not you meant me to, I'm taking the liberty of considering myself a recipient. That way I can say, 'right back at you, luv.'. Xo