Wednesdays with Whit: Be the person you needed


Leah Jamison

Graphic by Leah Jamison

Hello everyone and welcome to the second week of Wednesdays with Whit!
How are you doing? Really. I’d like to encourage you to genuinely take some time today to check in with yourself. 😊
Have you ever thought back to your very first memory?
My first memory is when I was 5 years old.
My first day of kindergarten. I remember screaming, crying and being so afraid. I went to a couple of different schools/classes as my mom tried her best to find something that would work for me. As a young child, I began puking each day because I was so afraid. As each year went by, the sadness and anxiety that I felt became more and more intense.
Fast forward to my high school years. I went from a straight-A student, to literally having over 100 absences and being truant all four years. But I was a master at saying all the right things to make everyone believe I was OK.
We tell people all the time to reach out for help when they need it. Had I known back then what I know now, I would have reached out for help so quickly! What I so desperately needed as a teenager was for someone to reach IN to me. I needed someone to notice that I wasn’t OK.
This is why I am the way I am now. I don’t want to be a mom, but I absolutely love being a sister, aunt and friend. I love giving my time to the young people in my life. I’m constantly telling both my biological younger siblings and my “adopted” younger siblings to be open about their pain and struggles. I’m constantly asking questions about their lives and feelings.
As my friend Kevin says, a pain shared is a pain halved.
Friends, investing your time and love into the young people around you is so important. You may not change the whole world, but you can change THEIR world.
Be who you needed when you were younger.