Sunday morning I sat and watched Brad Meltzer speak to a packed room of english teachers. He spoke of the legacy we leave and how we each leave one behind that we'll never know.
The end of 2016 has been a life changing one for me that I know will have effects on my legacy that I can't begin to contemplate yet.
I woke up to a nightmare election result, a friend died too young and I attended the National Council of Teachers of English annual conference in Atlanta.
Those three things have nothing to do with one another, but in my life they have combined over the course of a week to change so much inside of me.
While I was in Atlanta, I spent a morning at the Center For Civil and Human Rights.
I needed to visit. I wanted to be reminded of what our country had been through and to prepare for what may be coming.
I talked about how Bob dying caused a lightning bolt of peace inside of me. That is the only way I've been able to describe it. Yesterday, it was put to the test and I passed with flying colors.
Seeing the variety of books and inspiration they brought to teachers from around the country reminded me of the power of words.
Experiencing art from around the globe reminded me that it can make a difference to change minds and improve situations.
There were not many notes taken while in Atlanta, but there was one that has stuck with me and is going to evolve into mantra and a push forward when I need it.
It is something poet Donté Clark said in the new documentary Romeo is Bleeding when talking about his community. My note simply says "Thriving/Surviving."
Words and images are powerful.
The art we choose to create may become more important than ever. We should never question that itch in our brain that screams to be put out into the world.
There is much I want to do. I need to stop focusing on what comes after the creation and begin the doing.
Thriving over only surviving. That sounds like a solid way to build a legacy I'll be proud to leave behind.