Dude! This essay. I’m gobsmacked — in the best way imaginable! Holy cow.

Over the last few months, watching you on your journey has been remarkable. In the beginning, your essays were a lot different in tone than today’s, but you demonstrated something that I’m sure a lot of people other than me saw. And that’s fortitude. Despite the advances augmented by setbacks, you never threw in the towel … at least from what I could see. You bounced back, time and time again. It was crystal clear back then that a humble, but nonetheless potent, pluckiness is your superpower. It may not feel like it some of the time, most of the time, or any of the time, but you demonstrate hope, grit, and determination in the face of multiple challenges that would cause a lesser person to fold like a paper napkin.

It’s wonderful to see that you have come to embrace all that you are — the hopes and dreams — and combined them with the unforeseen challenges you’re dealing with, and you’ve found your raison d’être and it’s a calling larger than you previously imagined. Teaching is a noble profession, and you’re still being used to teach, just not in a the way you thought you would be. The world is your classroom now. You’re teaching by example and that’s the best way to impart knowledge. You’re an inspiration and your light shines brighter and farther than you can begin to know. But then again, those are the best kinds of inspirations … the ones who have no clue how brightly they shine as they go about doing their “thang” in a dark world.

You, my friend, have come into your own.

(And now, here’s a little something from the Stone Age.)

Author, artist, accidental activist, founder Our Human Family ( Social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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