This week I’ve been receiving this collection of emails from a great leader in my industry, Todd Durkin. This guy exudes energy and he has a heart of gold. These emails he’s sending are interesting because in them he provides glimpses and back stories of the top people in his life that have been life changing to him. People like his father who wrote him a personal letter every single day he was in college before dying suddenly and tragically of a heart attack. He speaks to an infamous football coach that taught him many life lessons. Their are business leaders. On and on. Great stuff!
So, it got me thinking about my life changers. If you haven’t let your mind ever go there, I highly recommend it. It was emotional while also being so heartwarming to reflect. We don’t often do that. I don’t often do that anyways.
Her name I honestly don’t remember because I always called her by her last name. You see, she was my second year 6th grade teacher at good old Tortolita Junior High School in Tucscon, AZ. And yes, you read that right. My second year of 6th grade because I had determined the best way to voice my troubled family life of the time was to fail my first year. I DON’T recommend that one.
My teacher was Mrs. Berglund (or ind, one of the two). Despite me being a snot of a kid who was willing to do just about anything to get kicked out of the classroom, my life changer instead brought me aside quietly one day and simply inquired. She cared enough to provide an environment for me to be authentic. She offered me the freedom to sit down and rid myself of pain with our school counselor when I needed to. My 6th grade teacher changed me forever in doing so. For one, my grades improved dramatically and NEVER dropped again in my entire academic career. In fact, the same kid who failed his first year of sixth grade maintained a “B” average from second year sixth until I graduated college with a 3.6 cumulative.
Mrs. Berglund provided the environment for me to improve my academics but she also invited me through her compassion to learn how to love myself and others. This was huge! I actually learned to care about me. I became comfortable with my own reflection. This improved me socially. Where before I was quite the misfit, I learned how to carry conversation. It was still awkward back then, but at least I was able to.
Thank you to my biggest life changer wherever you are. If this touched you, please share your story. I would love to hear it.