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Annual Ellen Birthday Letter, Year 9

To my birthday twin Ellen:

Well, this year has been… interesting. I hope 58 has been as interesting for you as 26 has been for me.

I’m in 1st place in 3 levels of Candy Crush, btw. #crushingit

#crushingit

2016 was a year of serious hopes and dreams being shattered, in so many ways. At least we could get a McGriddle all day long to soothe the pain of 2016’s wrath.

Celebrities died. Future celebrities were born. I finally got my 4 wisdom teeth removed. Voldemort was elected to run a country.

On a higher note, 2016 gave us some pretty awesome things pop culture wise. Beyoncé released Lemonade. Netflix released Stranger Things. NBC gave us This is Us.

Personally, I started my tenure year of teaching. I found out I’m going to be an aunt. I discovered the joy of wearing leggings as pants. My pitbull’s favorite toy became a stuffed piece of poo.

Leggings all day everyday, baby. #teacherdrag

Charity and her poo.

It’s been a weird year, full of ups and downs, but one thing hasn’t changed: the joy you bring into my life. When I’m feeling down, you make me want to dance. When I have a smile on my face, your show makes me smile and laugh harder. You always have my back, and, as always, it is an honor to have you as a birthday twin.

You give me, as well as so many other, hope. So, for that, thank you.

Thank you for being fabulous, Ellen, and happy birthday. I hope 59 is a great one. Who knows– maybe for our birthday next year, and for my 10th annual letter to you, we’ll be able to share a piece of cake!

Happy birthday Ellen!

And, as my student said, happy birthday to me too!

All my best,

Kailynn

Suicide is rough.

I hadn’t posted about the deathaversary of Lauren this year because, honestly, I didn’t have it in me. Four years have passed since I received the early morning text message that she had killed her self, and that number was stinging all last week.

Four has always been my favorite number.

I was assigned to be “#4” in 4th grade and I loved the consistency of it. I loved that it was 2×2, the number of sides in a square, and a number frequently used. If you wanted to divide something evenly, you could cut it into fours. Clocks were divided into quarters, and quarters also made up school marking periods, percentages, sports games, and dollars.

Four has always made sense to me.

So why is it, four years later, I’m still left asking the same question about suicide: Why?

It’s also mind blowing to me that 4 years, the suggested length of a college education, have passed. She was my pseudo-mentor in my grad school program for education. This length of time, and its significance, to me, is surreal.

A lot of my blogger friends are grieving, as a well-known blogger from our community took her life last week. News of her death came a few days after the anniversary of Lauren’s, and, even though I didn’t know her, it stung like crazy. So many found themselves grieving as her face was plastered across the internet. God, how I feel for everyone that knew her.

Depression was a big part of my summer, with various people I love coping with depression in various ways. Some wrote about it. Some sought professional help. Some made decisions that led to having to seek help.

Luckily for me, they’re all still here.

Some people aren’t so lucky.

So, in honor of Lauren, in honor of those you love, please reach out and let people you know are suffering know that you love and care about them, and that their lives are worth it.

They might need to hear you say those words.

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This popped up on my time hop last week. Lauren’s words have never felt as relevant. I wonder if she purposefully took her life a few days after Suicide Awareness Week.

 

 

Cruel to be kind

When I woke up this morning, the rain did this thing to my hair where it ended up being half curly, half dejected. It was very Monday morning looking, despite being a Tuesday. After some playing, as I got ready to head out the door, I realized I looked like Allie from The Notebook. This made me want to listen to my soundtrack from the movie on my way to work. Unfortunately, I think this soundtrack got lost somewhere in my teen years. 🙁

So, I became Sad Allie.

Selfie mode doesn't do my Notebook vibe justice.

Selfie mode doesn’t do my Notebook vibe justice.

Amongst my sadness, I found my cd case from middle school.

My cd case held the soundtrack to 10 Things I Hate About You, which is the first movie I ever memorized by heart. (Eventually I memorized The Notebook and Rent.)

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For the 20 minute drive to work, I was in 6th grade again, rushing home after school, playing the VHS non-stop, and getting in trouble in Science Class for reciting movie quotes with my friends instead of completing my lab.

It was glorious.