Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Encouragement in the Mason Jar

Today has been extremely refreshing. I planned to write about using negative people in your life to produce positive motivation, but I need to do no such thing- at least this evening.

I'm currently taking my favorite class of my college career, thus far. My professor is a 77-year-old woman who says she never wants to stop learning until the day she leaves this Earth. She has impacted my life in unforgettable ways. But, I'll save a full post about her for a different occasion. The theme of our class is "choices" and she has encouraged us to attempt to get to know each other on a deeper level than typical classmates. Our final project consists of a 5-10 minute presentation about a topic of our choice, that reveals who we are as an individual. I knew from the moment she vaguely explained the assignment that I wanted to do something unique.

I presented today and here is the rundown of how it went:

As an introduction, I read an article I'd written in high school that was published in AZ Teen Magazine. Please note, if you choose to read it, it's not my best work, but was a part of big growing process. For many years I struggled with body image and an eating disorder. I'm proud to say that I'm two-years healthy now, but the article revealed the worst of times. I read it confidently, stumbling over a few words because the reality of the past seems so far away. I then explained that without the encouragement of family and friends, through notes and messages, I may have never overcame the battle.

In preparation to take a souvenir of the class with me, I'd I brought a mason jar and light purple paper. I asked each classmate to write something on the paper, may it be funny, serious or inspirational, so I could always remember them. Before they put their notes in the jar, I placed two small, silver hearts in the bottom to symbolize my promise to always hold their words in my heart.

The notes were passed in and soon my mason jar was filled to the brim. I didn't read the torn pieces of paper until I got home from a full day of classes -- but I was anxious all afternoon. As I pulled them out, one by one, I could not wipe the smile from my face. My peers had written fun, encouraging and some of the most touching things I'd ever read. I cannot express my gratitude for each of my classmates. I know that I will always remember them personally and cannot wait to run to my mason jar on a bad day to be encouraged. The quotes, Bible verses and personal compliments will always be engraved in my mind.

I think this is one of the most simple and endearing ideas I've ever put into action. I'd advise and suggest it to anyone looking to hold tight to the memories and people they never want to forget.

Just a few of my favorites!

And I have a new decoration in my room!

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