There have been a couple moments in my life in which I am aware that I am blessed beyond measure.
The last two weeks have been epic. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and attend the biggest musical in forever, Hamilton, with students from my school. The show was musically and lyrically brilliant. There were so many relevant connections that I could see it again and again in order to learn more. Every aspect of this show challenges us to consider perspectives of women in history, the lack of employed actors of color and unlikely musical influences such as Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Nas, and Eminem.
After the show, our students and my family were invited backstage for a conversation with some of the actors (Joseph Morales, Ari Afsar, Jonathan Kirkland, Sammie Ware and Jose Ramos). They brought the wisdom and shared their time generously! The nuggets that resonated with me were all about learning and life. They shared about how important it is to know who you are. That they have all been rejected and failed but that those same rejections or failures have taught them lessons. Sometimes even, the rejections turn into other opportunities. All the little pieces of life are pieces to a puzzle and you don’t know how they all fit together. I couldn’t have asked for a better reinforcement of these truths than from these amazing people!
Fast forward two weeks to yesterday when I visited the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights with my own eyes. I had never seen them before so it was a profound experience. There were gaggles of middle schoolers bumping into me left and right and apologizing for their own awkwardness. I stood there and in my head was the Schuyler Sisters singing:
You want a revolution? I want a revelation
So listen to my declaration
“We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all men are created equal”
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson
I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!”
There are so many hopes that I have for the future. Next week is election day. The words “Rise up!” from the musical could not be more poignant at this moment in time. I have hope. At the end of the show Eliza Hamilton asks: “When my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell our story?” I hope that when my time is up, my loved ones will remember this part of my story and how blessed I am to be alive right now.