©2019 THE SMILE PROJECT

"What Does That Word Mean?"

September 15, 2019

There was a time in the tumultuous years that are elementary school, when I can distinctly remember standing no the blacktop at outdoor recess discussing music, movies, and television shows with my peers. It was a time – for me at least – of always wanting to be in the know.

 

If you hadn’t seen the movie or didn’t know which actor they were talking about, you could almost wing it, smile and nod, so as not to be the odd one out.

 

Recently, I’ve heard myself asking the same question over and over again and have, for the first time, become aware of its weight.

 

“What does that word mean?”

 

I was sitting at dinner with friends and I didn’t know what my friend meant. Two options. Smile and nod. Or inquire and rise.

 

A few days later, it happened again. We were talking about something I maybe should have known and I paused the conversation.

 

“I don’t know what that means.”

 

I’ve thought a lot about that as I’ve been stopping mid-sentence in books to quickly look up words.

 

To be able to pause, to admit you don’t know something, to see it as an opportunity to grow and learn is invaluable. Today, I feel grateful that I have gotten to a point in my life where pretending to know isn’t cool. I feel grateful that I know I don’t know. I feel grateful that I can continue my education every single day.

 

Love always,

Liz

 

 

 

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