I went to sleep last night feeling drained and down in the dumps, and also like a hideous beast because my eyelids were so puffy I didn't even need a pillow. When I woke up this morning I was bolstered by the love and support (and violent threats against anyone who crosses me) that so many of you expressed. I feel loved today and I am so thankful that you are all my people. (Still working on a group name, still trying really hard not to keep saying kittens.)
The critics were silent today, and probably will be for a while now. But I am not even mad about it. Here's why: for Day 26 my act of kindness was to speak to a group of students at Villa of Hope which is a school that specializes in trauma-informed care for students and families who come from hard places. I shared about #AdamsActs and how kindness is restorative and vulnerability is terrifying, yet healing and empowering. The first question I was asked by a student was whether or not I get haters for being so open.
And that's why I'm not going to let the harsh or hurtful comments weigh too heavily on my heart... because I will take that criticism and I will use it to empower kids. I was able to tell that girl the truth. I told her that I absolutely have some haters and that, in fact, I had just blogged about it yesterday! I told her that I was just like them and that people hurt my feelings all the time. I also told them that this world thinks that kids from hard places won't succeed. I told them that this world thinks that kids who are abused or experienced trauma can't recover. I told them not to listen to critics or haters, but to rebel against them instead.
And I told them that I have a few haters it's true, and some people just want me to shut up. But I can't and I won't because I am a rebel. And I will rebel against the negativity every single time. And I told them that they should too. (I actually told them to be ballsy. And then I retroactively asked the social workers for permission to use the word ballsy, and then I regretted everything I ever said or did out loud forever and ever amen.) Permission was granted and we were collectively ballsy. And then I played "We are the Champions" by Queen while doing an interpretive dance.
Ok, that part didn't happen until I was in my car. But it was pretty glorious.
After that speaking engagement I surprised my friend Lexi with breakfast because she is the world's most helpful manager/lady's maid/respite care provider/friend/supporter and so she gets french toast. While out, I also sneaky-paid for a stranger's breakfast as well. As a kindness to my children, I started working on our family's Halloween costumes. And my final #AdamsAct was not harming my four-year-old son even though he spray painted himself silver.
Along with the puppy.
He must have heard my speech, because spray painting the puppy was pretty ballsy... just not exactly what I had in mind.