A year later; a year away from the hell of workplace abuse, and the fog is lifting for me. I believe life
hands us opportunities. The recent death of Steven Jobs—not someone I tracked nor even about whom I often thought—and
then reading an address he’d given to graduates in 2005, energized me. It’s good to know there are others in the
fog with me, that I am not alone. I only see them as they too emerge.
The fog, sadly will always be there. There
will be lies and fear and just plain icky stuff. We have to make decisions at every turn. It is through the constant practice
of doing right and honorable things—even when it is excruciating—that we come to a place where we do not often
have to decide—we just do.
I’m not there yet. I must still decide.
I am deciding
now. I am deciding to continue this journey of speaking up for children, for you and for myself. Because now, like a birthday
helium balloon the day after a party, my nervous, outraged “you-are-a-jerk-and-you-do-not-get-to-treat-us-this-way”
energy is dissipating.
But I was at the point of bursting. I’d reached the fog covered fork in the
road. I’m beyond the fork now. I’ve taken the proverbial “road less traveled” and this is what I am
learning. It really is difficult. It’s a road of gullies, puddles and slick places. It’s uneven. It’s
rough going. There are insects biting at my legs. There are perils I cannot see.
And still, like a morning
exercise routine that leaves me breathless yet satisfied, I find this road to fit me. Maybe my energy is not dissipating;
maybe I’m just becoming used to the effort it really takes to make good things happen for children.
hard work proceeding on this path.
I see a few of you in front of me. Thanks for being there. Thanks for the few
footprints into which my own feet are fitting nicely.
For those of you following, if you are just starting your
“road less traveled” journey and you don’t see anyone, know this: we are there. Know this too: the road
has no end.
For those of you approaching the fork, decide. Decide well. Come with us.
For those of
you taking the easy road, go ahead, call out. We’ll come get you.
You know what everyone? Although I've written privately about the details of my awful experience
of abuse, I've decided not to share them here. I know I said I would. I'm sorry about that.
You see, I am done with it. I simply do not feel like it. The balloon is flat.
am strong now. I marvel at that. Had I stayed......oh, I am so glad I did not. I am so glad I honored
and protected myself. You can do the same. As impossible as it may seem now, you can do the same.
I will soon attend the Workplace Bullying Institute's training! My path, though difficult, is clear: We will
never keep children safe from bullying if we, our schools' employees, are not safe from the same. I am
doing something about that. Can you tell?!
Next week: I introduce you to Wheezer and Jean Werner.
I can't wait.