Have you ever been so mixed up emotionally, that you’re not sure which intense response, is the right one? I’m talking about pride, anger, guilt, joy, frustration, worry, empathy… all rolled up into one big ball of mess.
The fifth grade students in Jordan’s school had the option to participate in an essay contest, writing about The Gettysburg Address. She said she wanted to try it, although I’m fairly certain her teacher was the true motivation behind her decision. Jordan would have done anything to please her teacher (empathy).
She worked her butt off for three nights, (pride) but spent a substantial portion of that time screaming and crying until after ten o’clock (anger, frustration, empathy). Because we were all at our breaking points, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how this was an optional assignment, we attempted to help her organize her thoughts (guilt- due to the outcome of the contest).
One evening, once the drama of this assignment had passed, the phone rang, (Ah, the good old days.) and Jordan answered it. After she hung up, I heard a quiet “Yes!”. She was the runner-up in the essay contest, and was very happy to have taken second place. Before going to bed that night, she said: “I’m so glad all of the hard work paid off!” (joy, pride, worry and guilt)
I didn't know it then, but this really was a glimpse into what was to come...