“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” C.S Lewis
Timing is Everything. I mean really. Everything. Synchronicity. I had just come back from a two-year teaching job in Colombia. My world turned upside down. Teaching had become frustrating. I felt obligated to teach details when I knew I needed to teach foundation. I am a root cause kind of girl. If I get a headache, I want to know why. If I get a fever, I’ll let it run its course, so that it can actually kill off the virus. I believe deeply in the why so that we can move and act with purpose. As I would look around my classroom, I saw some students thriving and others drowning. That’s not good enough. How can we label a student as “low” or “behind” at 7 years old? What was holding them back had nothing to do with academics and everything to do with developing the brain in an age-appropriate, healthy way.
I knew I wanted to stay in education, but not in the classroom. I had this burning need to address an epidemic that was gnawing at me; an epidemic that was hurting the healthy physical, emotional, and cognitive development of my students-childhood obesity.
For me, summer camp was the best part of being a kid. I began envisioning a sleep away camp where teenagers learned independence, self-sufficiency, and responsibility by growing food, cooking, and leading; a place to build life skills, relationship skills, and personal skills that would help them in school and beyond. I had no idea how to do this, but the need was so powerful it consumed me. It was overwhelming and I was lost. My body was here in LA, my mind and my heart in Colombia. It was the transition of a lifetime.
Mary Traylor. Mary, whom I’ve worked with for years, had left teaching to become a guidance counselor. She was developing a life coaching business for teens and she was very clear on how she wanted to do this. Mary is very good at the how. She sees big picture and understands root causes. We would meet at coffee shops and bounce ideas back and forth and each work on our own respective projects. One afternoon we joined together, fluidly and seamlessly, the how girl and the why girl to organize a teambuilding retreat for teachers. We were a peanut butter and jelly kind of team, a just right balance to create an ultimate goodness. Light bulbs turned on. The ground shook. The universe practically screamed at us!
Ummm yeah! It was in that moment that we hit the ground running, never looking back.
We still work in coffee shops. We are still having the time of our lives. We are still the perfect balance of Mary and Marissa, forever passionate about the health, happiness, and wellbeing of children and teenagers. We are so excited to launch what we consider a movement to revolutionize the way teenagers think and connect with the world. This blog will be a forum for ideas that support parents and teens. Mary will write about topics that will help your teenager in school and in life and I will write about themes related to health and wellness. Thank you for joining us in this incredible journey of empowering teenagers to fly. Trust us, its possible.