I LOVE my night job. It is only one night a week, and only 2 hours. My monthly paycheck pays for 2 weeks’ worth of gas. I definitely don’t love it for the money. But, I can tell you why I love it.
I love my job because we talk about Personal Power. We talk about the importance of making a choice and owning it. We talk about being proud of decisions you make and making sure to use your Personal Power in a positive way, doing something you would be happy to tell your mom about. I love my job because we talk about owing your emotions. We practice I statements, and knowing that our emotions are ours and no one made us feel that way, but that our reaction is something that personally belongs to us. We talk about how with our reactions we have consequences, and consequences are not always bad. We talk about how it is okay to feel angry and upset, but how we express our anger needs to be positive. We now know that when we are angry, we never hurt ourselves. This means we avoid negative self-talk as well as physical self-harm. When we are angry, we never hurt others. This means that we don’t send nasty tweets, or call someone a name, or push them in front of a bus (poor Regina George!). When we are angry, we don’t hurt the environment. This means we do not hit walls, litter, or throw things.
I love my job because we talk about making mistakes. We talk about getting mad at our brother and throwing a magazine at his face, we talk about hitting a friend because she didn’t let you play with her ball, and we talk about sending a note (or email) when you shouldn’t (or in a way you shouldn’t, maybe?). We know that these choices are using our Personal Power in a negative way. We know that sometimes we make bad decisions. Sometimes we make mistakes. But, we also know that that does not make us a bad person.
I love my job because we talk about saying “no”. We talk about how it is important feeling comfortable to say “NO!” We talk about how “no” means “no”. We know that it is okay to say no, and that word helps to protect us.
I love it because today, I talked to 6 year old girls about how amazing our bodies are. We talked about being beautiful inside and out. We talked about self-love and liking what you see. We talked about birthmarks on you eye, belly, or a cow spot on your armpit are uniquely yours. We love our birthmarks. Tonight we talked about how great it is to be a woman. We talked about how my body is my body and no you cannot touch it. We talked about asking permission to touch each other. Can I touch your face? Can I give you a hug? Can I hold your hand? We talked about how inappropriate it is for someone to grab us by the pussy (well actually vagina, because we talked about the importance of calling parts by their name and how to report it if someone did grab us there). We talked about who we should talk to and how if someone is making you feel yucky (they are 6…) you have the right to tell your mom, teacher, or trusted adult you don’t feel comfortable, and they are there to help keep you safe.
And then we painted our faces. There was debate on if I was prettier with face paint or without. Consensus was that I am a woman, and I am beautiful either way. They did pretty good I must say.
And that brings me to this election. When America elected Donald Trump President Elect, I felt sad. I feel let down, I feel unimportant, I am confused. I don’t understand how someone could hear the things he has said, pondered at the things he has promised, and see the actions he has taken can truly believe that he is the right candidate for President. I don’t get how bragging about sexual assault is presidential. I don’t understand how exclusion is presidential. I don’t understand how bigotry, racism, and violence toward our neighbors is presidential. I don’t understand how someone could vote for him, and have a clear conscience today. I feel yucky, and I don’t know that any trusted adult can make me feel safe. I think our President should be a trusted adult these girls could go to and he could help. I don’t think Donald Trump would be able to help them, though.
I have been super emotional all day. Today, I love my job. I love my job because I feel like I am making a difference. I am teaching young kids (currently, 6 year old girls) just how important they are, and I hope they leave each week feeling a little more empowered. I have been emotional, because I taught these girls that “no” means “no”. That as a female, they are important and have rights. That no matter who they choose as a life partner, their family’s primary language, and what they choose as a career is who they are and that means something. I have taught them this, but today I feel like that may not be true. That could possible not be the case. I worry that our rights may no longer be ours. Sexual assault is not something we look at as a major issue. Treating people badly because they hold up a sign is okay, because you are angry that they are against you. I am emotional, because I may be teaching a lie. I love my job because I love the kids I work with. I love seeing them a little stronger each week, and I love seeing their potential. I don’t want them to lose that. I don’t want them to be fired.
That being said, I love Election Day. I think our election process is wild and crazy and maybe not the best system- but that’s the excitement. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Our election system is insane. I don’t like the results, I don’t like that the popular vote and the electoral vote contradict, but I will do my best to support our next president. I will pray for him (because I think he needs it) and I will pray that our other elected officials can also lead our country in a way that will continue to move us forward. I pray that we don’t regress. I also know that I will stand with those being oppressed. If regression comes I will fight with them.
God Bless America! PLEASE!
*Please not that all of these scenarios I have mentioned from Regina George to the cow spot have all been mentioned during my classes. Another reason I love my job.