System of Support

One if the really cool things about where I teach is that we’ve realized we’re not alone. I know it can be toxic when a workplace mentions that they’re like a “family,” but I truly am grateful for my coworkers. This year of teaching has been hard on all of us, and knowing we aren’t facing this challenge alone has made it even just a little easier to bear.

This is the case with life as well. No one goes through life alone. You’ve got people and/or things to rely on.

I know for me, when I go through issues, I tend to isolate myself and try to handle things on my own. In the end though, that only hurts me and stresses me out. I’m definitely still working on this and I’m not perfect at it yet. But I know I have people who have my back even when I feel my back is up against the wall.

I still try to handle a lot on my own, but I definitely know I can go to people who care about me when I need them too. I have friends who I know got me. I can tell them when I’ve had a bad day. And even if there’s no real solution, they’ll listen and offer me a shoulder to cry on.

My family too is a big part of my support system. I’m fortunate to have a great relationship with my parents where I can tell them when things are bothering me or wrong as well. They’ve always encouraged me, and that still continues. I have a lot of conversations with my sister too, and even my extended family is supportive.

I know that many people may not have the magnitude of the support system that I do, and that’s okay. It’s one of those quality over quantity things. I’d rather have a few good people than a number of weak ones.

But a good support system not only lifts you up and encourages you, but will keep you grounded as well. If I mess up or I’m acting like a fool, then I know that the people I have around me will be there to make sure I realize where I messed up and how to do better in the future.

In my mind, a good support system is like a tree surrounded by ropes. The tree might be strong enough to stand up on its own, but it does significantly better with the ropes around it. The ropes support the tree and help it grow. But the ropes also hold down the tree when the weather turns bad and stormy.

Having the support of people who love and care about you is an immeasurable thing. Those that support me are strong, loyal, and true. They are the best ropes because they aren’t weak or flimsy. They weather the storms with me and they help me when I cannot help myself.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that it’s been a hard year for teaching. And while I don’t want to get into all of the details here, I will say this: I’m not sure I would’ve gotten through those hard times if it wasn’t for the people that love and support me. I know that I’m growing because I can recognize when I need help, and I find it in those I love and who love me. In the past, I mightve just shut down completely. But to see me not doing that now is a victory and a celebration.

So if you don’t already have one, I would encourage you to find your own system of support. And don’t be afraid to reach out when you need help. But then also recognize that if they love you, they’ll also tell you when you mess up. One thing I do know for sure though: a good support system is something I would ever trade or remove.

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