“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need”

The Rolling Stones

 I have always loved music. As long as I can remember, I’ve listened and sung along to top 40 radio, classic rock, MTV (when they played music), and, as I matured further explored other musical genres.  So it’s no real surprise that song lyrics often pop into my head in response to a situation or when my mind is randomly wandering. This week, the famous Rolling Stones lyric, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you get what you need,” was on continuous loop in my brain.   Maybe it has something to do with Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude for having a loving family, a healthy kid, and the empathy of friends.  But sometimes I think the Universe (or whatever name you have for it) is trying to send a message…a little nudge to get you to grow.

This week I didn’t get a few things that I wanted (in particular, an interview for a “dream job”): but I did get something that I needed.  Over a year ago, CT Working Moms founder, Michelle, asked the CTWM writers to write a post about our high school days. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what to write  – my high school experience wasn’t exactly something out of a John Hughes movie, it was much more dull and angst-y. In my post, I mentioned a poetry teacher who made a difference in the way I viewed the world.  This week, to my surprise, I received a comment on that post – from my former teacher’s daughter.  I have no idea how she came across the CT Working Moms site (she lives out of state) or the post mentioning her mom, but I am glad that she did.  In her comment she mentioned that her mom, my former teacher, was in her mid-80’s and recently moved into an assisted living facility, and to contact her if I’d like to send her mom a note.

Hello…this is the Universe calling.

So I did. I told her a bit about my life and professional writing experience and  explained that young people who take poetry classes in high school often have a depth of feeling far beyond the typical high school experience of parties, sports, and teen romance.  In her teaching and mentoring, she validated those feelings – for that I am forever grateful.  It’s important to know that what teachers do profoundly impacts the lives of their students in ways that may not even be recognizable to them until far later in life, by then, those teachers are long retired and their students often never have the opportunity to thank them or let them know how grateful they are.

This Thanksgiving I was so thankful to have had the opportunity to express my gratitude to someone who allowed me to find my voice at a time when I was figuring out who I was – and, now, remind myself of the power and strength of my voice when I’m re-defining it again at mid-life. It was most definitely what I needed.

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