Sunday, January 4, 2015

Is a broken crayon worth saving?

I find myself asking one form of this question or another on a daily basis.  Am I smart enough for the amazing job I have?  Am I good enough to be their mom? Am I a valued friend?  Will it ever be easy to trust another again? Am I worth loving?

The answer seems like a no brainer.  The problem is believing enough in yourself to know it's true.

I'm a work in progress.  A broken crayon of sorts.  I still work, but who wants a broken crayon when there are so many new ones still in the box?  Kind of a depressing way to think.  The beauty is, being a broken crayon isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As a teacher, I have a habit of collecting broken crayons.  There is something mysterious about them. The way they are impossible to get a good grip on for coloring; how little hands tear the paper off of them so their true identity remains a mystery; how tiny bits of other crayons always seem to stick to them.  But there is something special about a broken crayon that not many people take the time to consider.

Broken crayons have the ability to go through a transformation.  For years I've melted down my broken crayons, and with the help of a variety of molds, turned them into new crayons.  They've become rainbow hearts, glittery stars, letters, and about a gazillion Lego people (the most popular with the little ones).  I've even had friends ask me to make customized sets for them to give as gifts.  Never once have I used a new crayon.  I can't justify busting up something so seemingly perfect.

You might be asking yourself why I'm spending so much time talking about crayons.  Bear with me, we are almost to the good part.  If you were to place a brand new crayon, a broken crayon, and a heart shaped rainbow crayon on the table and let someone choose only one to keep, which do you think would get picked?  Think about it.  In fact, put them in order of how they would get picked from most desirable to least.  

I can let myself feel like a broken crayon.  It's ok.  I've been through a lot.  I used to be new and brought happiness to everyone that I helped.  Over time I lost that nice right out of the box point, most/all of my paper is missing, and I've been pressed to the point of breaking.  But it's ok, it's not permanent.

I am a special person because I can see the good in a broken crayon.  I know how to transform it.  I have the ability to turn it into something even better than what it started out as.  I've been doing it for years.  

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