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August 5, 2019

I Don’t Get to Hit Pause on Life

I don’t get to hit pause on life and just survive. I have kids, and they deserve to see me live.

After having had one of the most challenging years in my life (and yes I know we’re only in August, lord help me), I’ve learned that people can and will judge your method, degree and duration of “coping” after something bad happens.

Some will view you as callous (maybe even an outright bitch) for moving forward with your life following a loss. 

News flash: getting up and living my life everyday doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the bad stuff. I’ve simply decided to stop letting it define my existence. 

I have kids who deserve to feel my love for them via sunny summer days spent at the pool, make your own pizza nights, sidewalk chalk parties, science experiments, and everything in between. 

I have a husband who deserves my attention and devotion as a wife. I take pride in having happy children who eagerly wait for him at the door when he arrives home from work, as I add the finishing touches to dinner. 

Hell, I have myself. Someone who has been through a lot in this life but deserves to move forward and write her own happy ending.

The list ends there. The immediate one, anyway.

My family and I matter. 

Anyone or anything who/that tries to take away from those two things is no longer welcome in my life. 

In fact, I’ve had it with those people and the bad vibes. 

They say nothing annoys your enemies more than seeing you smile, but the truth is, I’m not trying to irk anyone. I’m genuinely happy.

I love my life, my husband and kids, my profession. My writing. I love everything that makes my world spin each and every day. 

The relationships I’ve forged with other educators as we embark on the journey that is teaching at risk youth. It’s a beautiful mission filled with both successes and failures, but most of all, passion and compassion.

The very students whom I consider to be children of my own. You don’t know the depth of your heart until you open it for more than 100 new children to enter each year. PS: they never leave. Just the other day I ran into a boy (now a young man) who I taught as an 8th grader. He’ll be a junior this year and was getting work papers. Insert proud teacher emoji. 

But I digress. 

These people, they’re my people. My own daughter, stepdaughter and the best daddy they could ever ask for. 

I love everyone and everything above. 

They make me smile.

They make getting out of bed amidst all the bull shit worth it every God damn day!

And man I’m lucky to have them.

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Kristen Smith (Thiele)  |  Contribution: 1,480