How the girl with the flower gave me sudden clarity.
I spend a lot of time contemplating life. It’s almost a hobby of mine.
Good or bad habit, the other day I got thinking about my school days as I attempted to write up a resume for my author work, basically answering the question of WHY I would want to talk to young people at libraries or schools. (The stuff of some people’s nightmares. Teenagers? AHHH!)
I had to add in my educational background and it reminded me of a brief moment in time, one that I had almost forgotten. There was a day that inspired someone, and I didn’t even realise it.
Our school had a fundraiser event where flowers could be purchased, I think for 1 or 2 dollars, to support a charity.
Every year couples would buy each other these flowers and send them to each other, or crushes would use it as a way of confessing. The most popular girl at school, of course, got several from people who both loved and were scared of her, a bit like Regina George from Mean Girls.
I wasn’t expecting a flower. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I was certain no one had a crush on me. But I did get one, with little more than a brief “You’re so awesome” sort of message on the card, and no name.
It bugged me so much. Who the heck sent me this flower? I was in year 12, feeling like one of the most powerful people in the school because this was my final year. I wasn’t going to shy away; I wanted answers.
I asked a friend of mine who was part of the committee to look into for me. My heart did drop a bit when she tracked down the list of orders and told me it was a girl who sent it, my secret heartthrob dream fading.
But this girl was in grade 8, a newbie to the school. I didn’t recognise the name, so … why?
During the lunch break, I made my way through the grade 8 blocks looking for this girl, having no idea what she looked like or who she was, and I regret so badly that today I can’t for the life of me remember her name.
When I found her, she looked a bit scared, or intimidated, but I said, “I just wanted to thank you for this, it’s sweet.” And I gave her a hug.
The look on her little face was priceless like I was some celebrity. I saw her around a few times over that final year, always making it a point to say hello. I was baffled that she thought so highly of me. It made me want to do more to support the Year 8s where I could – and being a sporting (spirit) captain at the time I got involved in boosting the newbies spirit so they could carry it on after I had graduated, giving them special roles to play.
I’d like to think it had a lot to do with her.
I may have inspired her somehow back then, but today she inspires me to remember what I want.
Where did that person go? The confident one who made a total stranger send me a flower in recognition of my apparent awesomeness.
I’m not sure, but I do know I want to be that person again.
And that is why I would like to give author talks. Not for my own gratification, but because inspiration goes both ways. Besides, I want to do that girl proud, whatever she’s doing today.