Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”

— Dan Gilbert

Some days, it is easier to use someone else’s words to explain how you feel. It’s one of the reasons I love quotes– that strong sense of connection to someone who felt the same way you did and found just the right words to describe it all. It is in this spirit that Dan Gilbert is just the guy for us.

As you move into this weekend,

as you move from one week to the next,

as the months and seasons begin to change,

remind yourself of something very important– YOU ARE NEVER FINISHED.

Continue to grow and change. You are a work in progress, and to us, you are a masterpiece every step of the way.

Love and Light,

Carly

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“Luck isn’t getting what you want. It’s surviving what you don’t want.”

— Charlie, Red Band Society

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“Worry is a misuse of imagination.”

— Dan Zadra

As we (my district and many other fellow educators) begin a new school year tomorrow, I am overcome with a myriad of feelings.

Excitement. Anxiety. Hope. Doubt. Joy. Passion. Worry.

With every good emotion, feeling, and memory comes the struggle that follows every educator. A few questions will always remain.

Will what I do be enough? Can I change my students for the better? Will my students be better people when they leave my class? Will they show what they know? Can I get them to reach their fullest potential and try their best?

As these questions float around, anyone can feel overwhelmed. (There’s a reason that so many teachers leave the profession within their first few years.)

But what if we let go of the worry? What if we gave ourselves more room to imagine the best of our students, our curriculum, ourselves. When we pause and leave room for this kind of thinking, the room that is necessary to imagine the best in all situations, we can transform our classrooms. We can transform our students’ futures. We can transform our lives as a whole.

Use your brain for good. Remind yourself that as we start a new year, new season, new part of our lives, worry drains all the energy we have to make ourselves great. Use your imagination and lift yourself up. Living fully requires everything you’ve got. Whatever you give to worry you can’t give to anything else.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow starts a new year. Tomorrow could be a new life for you.

Make it count. Imagine the possibilities.

Love and Light, Carly

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“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

— Sean Maguire, (Robin Williams) Good Will Hunting

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“Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.”

— E.V.

Bloom where you are planted.

Grow wild and free. Free from worries, judgement, or expectations. No one can take that away from you.

Get out of your head for a while. Get some fresh air and save yourself from your own limitations or assumptions.

Never stop growing. Never stop trying to blossom into something more.

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Letter for a Friend: A Colorful Life

Recently, I have found myself coping with some darker days. Life is not always optimistic and at times, you can really feel like it is not on your side. I shared these days in a similar place to a friend of mine. We both dealt with a feelings of loss, grief, anger, and guilt.

I settled upon the idea that I would write a post for him. Easier said than done when what you are feeling is the same difficulty you want to write in spite of. I wrote this friend an email, and the contents of this email are what I will share with you all. No picture, no cutesy doodle. Just words.

I guess what we all need to realize is that a colorful life is what we should wish for, and without any one color, light, dark, or otherwise, our days, our experiences, our lives would not be as alive and complete.

Letter for a Friend: A Colorful Life

I am incredibly sorry you are dealing with this sense of loss. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Knowing that you love someone and that the entire situation has changed can be very difficult to deal with. 
 
I appreciate your kind words and your compliments towards my sense of honesty and self-awareness. It has taken a lot of practice and, unfortunately, I must deal with the waves of grief, guilt, and anger (with varying levels of intensity). At the time of my loss, I had no way of processing what was happening, and how my life would be forever changed. I can promise you (while still accepting and thanking you for your kindness) that I continue to truly struggle with painting a similar picture of meaning, compassion, health, and healing. The hues of my picture can be found in a darker palette, and at times, the canvas all together is thrown out with overbearing sadness. Still, there are moments where I remind myself that each day is its own clean slate. The world is not black and white, and while we spend our lives working through the gray, inside and outside of our heads, our world is meant to be lived in FULL color. Every color imaginable works its way in– the darks that paint our days with sadness one day merely fill in the shadows of another. The lightest shades of a new morning can fill our worlds so completely that our eyes struggle to find darkness at all.
 
I encourage us both to take the darks, lights, and everything in between as part of this “artistic” process. We experience life as playful artists, and when we test our boundaries, our emotions, and ourselves, we can create some truly breath-taking moments with every emotional hue we possess.
 
I wish you the same vibrancy in your days as I do my own.
Love and Light,
Carly
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“You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.”

— J. Askenberg

Suit up, kid. You’re in the middle of the game of your life. (Literally.)

You may not win them all, but you have to play to have that chance.

Don’t let a little rain stop you. Get your uniform dirty. Wear your colors with pride.

Take that stride to the plate and make it count. BATTER UP.

Have a great week, everyone.

Love and Light,

Carly

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“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence- it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

— Peter Drucker

At times, you may find that life can be a bit bumpy. In fact, those bumps may be large enough to make you confuse which direction is up.

The only thing that can make that worse is using out-dated methods to smooth out the wrinkles. Finding what works for you can be the difference between a small dip and a solid crash-and-burn.

You can’t always avoid every up and down, but you can remind yourself of how much you do know and trust your instincts. You’ve moved on, you’ve learned a lot.

Pilot your own life.

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“…And tonight I thank the stars, as I count my lucky scars…”

But Honestly, The Foo Fighters

A friend of mine posted this quote as a Facebook status, it immediately stuck me. The song and these lyrics have been with me for the past couple weeks and I can’t keep it cooped up in my head any longer.

How often do we take a step outside, breathe in the crisp, cool air (some places more crisp and cool than others), and simply thank the universe for another day, another hour, another moment? We can look up and lose sight of the light things around us and remind ourselves how small we are in the middle of this enormous place. Our scars remind us of not just what we have experienced, but what we have survived. And in that moment, we get lost in that incredible feeling.

We should not only be grateful for our time on earth but our own strength, our spirit, our unfailing efforts to live the life we are given.

So tonight (and every night I can), I will look up at the stars, fill my lungs with the incredible energy and light that surrounds me daily, as I remind myself once more that every experience is one for growth and even the biggest problems are only a blip, a hiccup. Fill the universe with your optimism as the universe fills you with exactly what you need… a hefty helping of hope and a reminder that you are here and have made it through it all.

Have a wonderful week, friends. Breathe it all in and remind yourself, you’ve earned your spot here.

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“Whatever you may be celebrating or grieving, may you practice courage every day and let it nurture your spirit however weary or uplifted it may be. There is hope in our celebrations, and strength in our brokenness. May you embrace your own sweet surrender with faith and courage along the way.”

— Kelly Rae Roberts

Hello Courage

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