March 6, 2020-
I went into work early today, to have a conversation with my supervisor as to her assessment of my work so far. I had a concern about how well I was being accepted by the close-knot staff, as there have been some expressions of hostility this week.
I need not have worried. Both my supervisor and co-teacher are more than satisfied with the work I’ve done up to now. They both want me to stay and finish helping our special needs student-and I will.
The legacy of Penny’s time and energy with me is, primarily, that she helped me get out of my own little world, giving up alcohol straightaway in 1981, being more present and comfortable in the presence of others, than I had been before we met. It was, arguably, the first time I truly felt accepted by a woman, outside my family, since high school-when I had relatively little trouble getting along with my female schoolmates-even if I didn’t see myself as “dating material”. Thus, what I viewed as rejection by others had much to do with my self-rejection.
Penny helped me transcend a lot of my self-doubt. Some of it resurfaced, in the first years after her passing, but gradually, with travel to Europe, Oahu and northwestern North America, I began to recognize that I was not unworthy of acceptance and true friendship, from a wide variety of people.
My tent is huge. I like people from a number of backgrounds- so whether their musical tastes are Classic Rock, European Classical, Country, Bluegrass, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, Hip-hop, Metal, ( but not “Death Metal”), Powwow songs or Folk, I enjoy their gatherings. Whether someone is a person of size, svelte, or (like me) somewhere in between, it’s everything else about them-their character, primarily, that matters far more. The same goes for other physical attributes. Ditto, with political leanings, so long as the individual is not clamouring for the death and destruction of those with opposite leanings, be they conservative or liberal. I like my friends to leave their silos and, at least occasionally, listen to the opposite point of view with open ears and minds. Everyone has a piece of the Truth.
So, the most influential soul ever to grace my world still has a day-to-day impact on how I view myself. The spirit tells me to exude love for those around me, as well as for my own self, as life is hard enough for most people.