Pencils and Possibilities

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
Pencils and Possibilities

I love pencils. Freshly sharpened, classic #2 pencils. I love the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil. I love the way a sharp pencil feels on a thick, new notebook. I love the way you can erase away anything you don’t like with a pencil. I love the way pencils will smudge my fingers. I love the eraser dust that fills the page.

Fresh pencils also bring with them all of the feelings of  back-to-school. Here in Indiana, the dawn of a new school year is already upon us:  School buses are shining in the August sun, kids are fresh pressed in their back-to-school outfits, stores are filled with school supplies. I have to resist the urge to gobble up all the pencils, glue sticks, notebooks, and highlighters gleaming in storefront windows… to me, back-to-school time screams “Fresh Start!”

As a kid, I always loved back-to-school time. For all of the above-mentioned back-to-school supplies and back-to-school outfits (I still remember with love a pair of pin-striped blue jeans from elementary school), and also for all the possibilities that lie ahead. A whole school year, at the ready. New classes, new teachers, perhaps a new hallway or a new locker. New friends?  Maybe.


What would I be?  What would I do?  What would happen?

For me, back-to-school time exemplifies the chance to begin again,  even more than the ringing in of a new year. As kids we are given a literal re-set button each August or September when we collect all those fresh pencils, papers, and  pin-striped blue jeans and climb back on that bus. As adults, though, we have to remember that we can do that too – re-set our own re-set buttons, start anew.

So, it’s fresh start time. Why not get a gloriously freshly sharpened pencil and a new notebook and think about what possibilities the fresh start just might usher in for you.

What are the possibilities that lie ahead?  


Erika's blog will be going on vacation for the remainder of August.  See you again in September!

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Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.