Some unsolicited advice from ... my typing high school teacher?

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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“Now, I want you to type an essay in class about what you want to achieve during your lifetime,” my typing teacher told our class.


I was a freshman in high school in 1984 and was taking a “gut class” with juniors and seniors just trying to graduate. It was a rowdy bunch of students and I was a shy, lowly frosh.


Junior Miss pageant 1987Me on the right in the Junior Miss pageant 1987. Look at that hair!


Despite the daily antics of my fellow classmates, as a studious person, I took my typing class very seriously. I learned to type about 70 words a minute on a manual typewriter. (Remember those? Yes, the ones with the side arm you had to swipe right to move to the next line on the page!) I was even sent to the Future Business Leaders of America state typing competition in Richmond, Virginia that year.


I finished my essay and turned it in at the end of class.


The next day in class, Mrs. Busby invited me to sit down at her desk.


Uh oh. Am I in trouble, I wondered?


“Kristen. I read your essay. You said that the thing you want most in life is that you always want to be happy.”


“Yes, that’s true.”


“As someone with many more years of experience, I want to share some words of wisdom with you. It is not possible to always be happy. It takes the unhappy moments in your life to appreciate the happy times.”


I processed what Mrs. Busby had said. I was confused. If one is always happy, then there would never be any unhappy moments, right?


Interestingly, I never forgot that conversation and quite frankly, I’m still processing the philosophy of happiness even today.


The conversation made quite an impression on me, especially in a season of my life where I wasn’t particularly happy to begin with.


I was shy and lonely. An introvert who enjoys peace and quiet, I was attending one of the largest public high schools in Northern Virginia at the time. There were over 650 students in my graduating class alone. I was trying to find my way as a very little fish in a big pond.


Sometimes a person, however fleeting they may be in your life, makes an impression on you or says something that forever changes you or introduces you to a new thought or way of looking at life.


Mrs. Busby was probably the age I am now when she was my typing teacher (though she seemed much older to me at the time!) After my typing class ended my Freshman year, I don’t think our paths ever crossed again in school. She taught in the trade school wing and all of my other classes were college prep courses taught on the main campus.


I’m sure you also have had brief encounters that have forever changed your life perspective.


I confess that I may sometimes offer unsolicited perspectives to my family and maybe even to clients just like my typing teacher did for me all those decades ago.


Unsolicited advice or not, just like Mrs. Busby, my heart is in the right place wanting to help others enjoy the journey that they are on. Maybe my perspective is helpful and maybe it is not but it does stem from my unique experiences and my lifelong quest for continued happiness.


Kristen “Seeking Daily Happiness” Marks


P.S. if you’re up for some unique perspectives on your estate plan, schedule a consultation with us today. Who knows? I just might offer some words of wisdom that add value to your life just like my typing teacher did for me. 850-439-1191


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