Two teachers from my high school days made quite a difference for me. One of them was my English teacher. She introduced me to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and changed the way I felt about literature forever. For a while, I went around calling everyone Goody before their name because I thought that “Goody Proctor” was such a funny name. The other was our student government adviser who had us do amazing things as a group and let us move forth in whatever direction we chose. He even had us out to his house and we had bonfires and sweet, innocent moments where he encouraged us to find out just who we wanted to be and also how to daringly become just that.

As luck would have it, they were married to one another.

At a time when I thought life was over (I had a two year old daughter by this time, and going out was nonexistent) they provided me with lots of comfort. And hot cocoa with a plethora of marshmallows. They also allowed me to bring my young daughter with me when all the other students came to visit.

Small things like bonfires and cocoa and laughter fill my memory bank and it may seem silly, but I am forever grateful. They fortified my belief in myself and my contribution to the world (they were the best kind of hippies) but also invigorated my conviction that I wasn’t a Throw Away. As confidence builders, they were extraordinary.

Who in your past did that for you?

Sit down with marshmallow-laden hot cocoa and tell me all about it. I’ll start the fireplace.