My Year and My Thoughts on It.

August. That’s the last time I posted something here. On the one hand, I regret not writing on here more, but on the other hand, I’m not that upset that I wasn’t writing here because I’ve been LIVING MY LIFE.

Right around the time that I wrote my last post, I decided to take what I felt was a huge risk and go back to school. After finishing a B.A., I was feeling pretty good once I actually got motivated and found a job. Not a perfect job mind you, but it’s been good for where I’m at in my life right now. But after a while I started to feel directionless, and the email from my university informing me that I would be well-suited for a certificate in Teaching English to Teachers of Other Languages (TESOL) was like a lightbulb on top of my head. Teaching- check (it’s been the plan), only a year of school – check, and I can start in 3 weeks? -check.

Of course I’m well aware that Universities benefit financially by getting their students to continue education, and I did have the thought- Is this simply a money grab? Will this actually help me in my career? But It felt like a good idea, and I make most of my big decisions based on my feelings or my gut.*

So that’s really what I’ve been doing. I continued to work at the grocery store and started my semester of TESOL. I underestimated the amount of work there would be, and I underestimated how well-versed I was in English grammar. Due to being partially unprepared , partially overconfident in my ability to “do everything” and mostly my inability to manage my time effectively, I felt I had to drop grammar and complete it in the next semester, because I was doing too poorly to feel confident that I would pass. I also didn’t just want to pass, but pass WELL. I still view it as a failure to be honest, but all I can do is go into it again next week with a serious game-face on.

I have to say that my experiences with the practical side of the program have been fantastic. I had the opportunity to take international students all over the city, with the goal of bettering their English while seeing new places and having fun. It was work sometimes, and I didn’t always feel like getting up early on a Friday morning at the end of a busy week, but it was so rewarding, and mostly a lot of fun. I also loved the presentation opportunities I had, because to be frank (and a little corny) it’s really where I shine. As so many people feel uncomfortable public speaking, I’m grateful that it comes natural to me. Not a lot of things do.

Because it’s the start of a new year, I’m going to take this moment to look back. Not only to criticize my mistakes but to acknowledge my triumphs.

January-April

I spent the first 3 months of the year feeling lost and hopeless to be honest. I knew I had to start looking for a job and begin working as school was over, but I felt …paralyzed. By fear of failure, by my low self esteem, by listening far too often to the nay-sayers that came in the form of news articles with titles like “millennials living at home until 30s” and “largest ever unemployment rate for new university grads”. I was not hopeful. And I have a hard time putting myself out there. It had been so long since I had even looked for a job that I felt like I didn’t even know how.

Because of this difficult time, I learned that I have a tendency to be so scared of failure that I won’t even try. Which I know is a terrible quality to have, and I’ve learned that I must overcome this temptation. I must try, because without trying, I only have myself to blame. I have to work hard to find that motivation, because it can only make things better.

April-August

I felt proud of myself for getting a job, and doing it well. Even if it’s not enough to support myself, and it happens to be dead end, I knew and know that it’s not forever, and it’s still a victory.

September

Starting a new chapter in my life and feeling proud of myself. I’ve also learned that being scheduled either for school, work, or volunteering 7 days a week is too much for me. I need at least a day to rest, or to get myself organized and ready for my next week, which is why I booked off every Sunday so I can have a “me day”, for whatever I feel I need to do. I think this is one of the most important things for me to do. I’m not happy that I had to learn this by feeling over over-worked and having a virus for almost a month, but I’m glad I learned this all the same.

Until December, it’s really just school and work, and finding little pockets of time to be with my partner. So that was October-December.

December was nice.

Holidays started, feeling relaxed and happy again, and a few things to celebrate.

My friend Kassy had a baby on December 30th. She is the first of my particular group of friends from highschool to have a baby. I’m very happy for her because this is something she and her husband wanted, and I think that they are going to love being parents. I’m excited to meet the little cutie pie. She wrote to her during her pregnancy here: https://lovefromyourmama.wordpress.com/

Another friend from high school (and more importantly to me, from elementary school and up the street from me) got married on New Years Eve.

The wedding was a great time, as everyone was in high spirits, and there was a lot of love to be felt, either between old friends or between partners. It was also nice to be along for the pre-wedding celebrations. I couldn’t make the Jack and Jill (by request of my Mother, who was planning on celebrating her 5oth birthday that Halloween) but I was at the bridal shower, and more importantly, I was at the bachelorette party. I felt honoured that I still meant enough to Caroline to be invited to these events, since it had been quite some time since we’d last been close. Even in high school we started to drift apart, making new friends and gaining new interests and trying to figure out who we were. We no longer had our daily walk to and from school to talk to one another, as we had done for seven years. Before the pre-wedding events, I can only think of several occasions in the last few years that we have seen each other, and always in the context of a group.

But during the first years of our lives, we shared a lot. Many hours playing with barbies. Many sleepovers when we watched “scariest places on earth”, had seances, told scary stories (You probably don’t know it Caroline, but you’re pretty much responsible for my love of Gothic things). Many talks on the swing set in her backyard. Many hours of rehearsal for the annual talent show. Many stupid arguments. Coaching Soccer together in grade 7 at recess. You were a big influence in my life, and you taught me a lot. So thanks for thinking of me enough to include me, even though our lives have taken separete paths this last decade. I hope you find so much happiness in your marriage with Matt. I don’t know when this became a letter but I guess it’s one now.

Till next time, Happy New Year. My week stay-cation begins NOW.

*So I must become as successful as fictional character Olivia Pope, right?

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