Tonight, I cried. Not only during Mockingjay Part Two… but afterwards, when a girl that I view as a “little sister” and friend gave me a letter, and I took it home to read it.
I open the letter, and I see that it contains two pages. I start to read, and then I come across the words, “This week in Language Arts we got an assignment. The assignment was to write a paragraph about someone in our life who is our role model. I chose you!”
As I finished the letter, I couldn’t wait to flip to the other page. As I read the words, a huge smile spread across my face. My favorite saying to express this feeling is “my heart is so full.” That’s exactly the feeling. Not only am I so utterly proud of this girl and her attitude towards life, challenges and all, but I am so proud to have been a part of her life. She wrote that “Alex taught me that I shouldn’t let what other people think of me, affect how I think of myself,” and that is how I know that I succeeded. In junior high, and high school, it is so easy to believe what others think as truth. I just want her to know how beautiful she is, how smart she is, how talented she is, and how kind she is, and to remember that no one can change her life, and her opinion of herself, but her.
This feeling, this pride beyond belief and happiness beyond words, is all I ever wanted. The words “role model” are probably some of my favorites, because I truly believe you are shaped by your environment and the choices you make. When I was selected for leadership roles, I always loved the opportunity to use my position to impact girls and teenagers and to make them smile. Being a girl is hard sometimes, and it’s nice to look up and see that someone a few years ahead of you seems to have it going in the right direction.
In high school, I wasn’t the homecoming queen, or the star athlete, or the top of my class, or even the nicest. However, I made many decisions that I am proud of. I chose to work hard at school, I chose not to party, I chose to prioritize, I chose to use my voice, I chose to make a difference, and I chose to move on from the little things.
So, no, I wasn’t the prettiest or smartest or best. What I am, I now know, is a role model… and that is all I ever wanted.
P.S. I love you, Emma. I am so proud of the young woman you have become. I am proud to have been your role model.