my senior year of college, i took a class called women and depression. it was one of the best courses i have ever taken. we met in the women's center and sat in the lounge in a circle of couches. there were a dozen of us. we discussed our lives. we learned so much from one another. women's studies classes at uvm were wonderful because they weren't traditional. we had no tests. we only had one assignment to complete by the end of the semester, and that was to go into the burlington community and volunteer for thirty or so hours at an organization of our choice and write about our experience. imagine that! our only major assignment was to do good in the world! this class was perfection. i left with so much knowledge. on maintaining balance. on being mindfull. on dealing with life.
one of the last classes, our wonderful professor had us all write our names on a blank greeting card. they were then passed around the room for everyone to write a message describing that person. just as a reminder of who you are. a reminder of your positive qualities and what people have gained from being in your presence.
this is what my classmates wrote about me:
- a model for those of us who don't smile enough. you bring positive energy to the world.
- fun presence, giving and strong.
- very fun! i enjoyed your energy! it is so refreshing to hear of your travels.
- bubbly and enthusiastic. you positively invest in your surroundings.
- very introspective and able to relax people and put them at ease.
- funny, strong, positive, inspirational!
- grounded, positive energy that brims with kindness and understanding.
- very calm and peaceful! you are positive, relaxed and always have something intelligent to say.
- so positive and caring! i love how your stories always end on a high note. keep smiling - you're beautiful.
- you're very bright and i love the way you dictate your thoughts (and by that i mean the way you speak)
- ridiculous! clever and honest, a great combo!
- positive, thoughtful, engaging and serene
isn't that absolutely wonderful? i wish everyone has an opportunity to have such nice and thoughtful words written about them on a card to carry around. it's like a movie that gets the most positive of reviews - from absolutely everyone who ever saw it. it is truly incredible. never underestimate the power of kind words!
this exercise was and still is so special to me. i now live in a crazy city where sometimes i feel as though i am so lost. it's easy to feel like that in new york. when i first moved here, i read my card everyday. it reminds me of who i am. reading this just brings me back to center. when i am feeling down, nothing makes me feel as good as this card does. it is one of my most valued possessions.
i truly was given the best gift of all. completely positive feedback. written down. for me. forever.
i wonder if my professor knew how meaningful this exercise was and how it was something we could always take with us. i bet she did.