A couple of mornings ago, I was up early getting ready for work. I was combing my hair trying to get my fro all the way together and I was having difficulty. I went into my mother’s bedroom to give myself a once over in her full length mirror. I was still trying to pat my fro left and pick it on the right and I was not getting my desired results. She saw my frustration, took the comb from me, and proceeded to do what I apparently could not. She then began telling me, “You have comb the hair down and fluff up. You cannot go against what your hair wants to do.” At first I wanted to protest but she did get my hair together for me just like she use to when I was a kid. She then said, “When will I stop teaching you girls?”
I did not answer my mom at the time. I was concentrating more on getting out door however I did find myself pondering her question. When will I stop teaching you? The answer is never. You never will stop teaching me.
The first teachers any child receives in life are their parents or guardian. They teach you have to walk, to speak your native language, how to use the bathroom, and they shape the very foundations of you as an individual.
I think of all the lessons that I have gleaned from my parents over the years. Their opinions were very important to me. I still run key life decisions past my mom because I want to listen to her guidance. I hear her experiences that may be similar to what I may be experiencing. I also know the reason that I like to write is because of her. I would read her old stories and found them witty and insightful. I would wish that I could be just as gifted to tell stories in pen form like her. I listened to my dad in a similar way. I think about one lesson in particular. There was a time when I was not doing well in college. I had to stop for a time because my grades were low and I did not have any direction. One day, my father said to me, “You keep hitting your head against a brick wall and the wall is quite bloody. One day, you are going to get tired of hitting your head against that wall.”
He was not lying. I got tired. I got back into school and I graduated. I personally know that if he never taught me that lesson, I would have never seen a cap and gown.
Although my mom is with me and my dad has transitioned, both of their lessons still resonate. My mind would wander back to conversations with my dad about situations I face today and I would learn another lesson that I can apply to my life. The same thing would happen with my mom as well. All of my ancestors I have interacted within this life would bring to light teaching moments that shape my decisions and ultimately I gained wisdom from them.
I am not going to stop learning lessons until I leave this Earth. I find lessons all the time. I may even have told myself, “I wish I never did this.” or I may say, “I wish I never met this person.” But if I never experienced certain locales, I wouldn’t gained wisdom. I would not have gained direction. Also, sometimes the lessons that I learned were not always for me. Since I know that life is about relationships, I may have gone through something that someone else could learn from. My lesson could be someone’s direction.
Making it to this age, I can honestly say that I do not know a damn thing. There was a time in my life I thought I had things figured out and life were about absolutes. That was foolish thinking. Life has many shades of gray, and there are more than 50 (spoilers). I am still learning, still processing, and STILL putting pieces together. I think back to certain things that were told to me or done to me and say, “Oh, that is what that meant!” Sometimes that clarity came years later but that’s okay. Some things are not always meant to be revealed to you right then and there. Sometimes the lesson comes right when you need to learn from it or when it is the right time to share it.
Never be afraid of the lessons of life. They come to make you better. They come to make you stronger. They come to make you more courageous and compassionate. Ultimately, these lessons come to make you a more enlightened individual if you let them. As long as breath still fills your lungs, school is in session. Do you have your pen and pencil? Do you have your notebooks? Time to learn.