Category Archives: More About Me

The Maturity and the Heartbreak

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Welcome to later…

I’m not really sure how to start this post, which is part of the reason that I didn’t finish my thoughts from yesterday. The only thing I do know is that it feels like many events in my life over the past few years have led me to the place I am now. Without all of these changes and learning experiences, I’m not sure that I’d be holding myself together right now.

I guess I don’t really know for sure that there’s a God out there leading me through these life events just to get me to some end goal or to make me stronger for some hardship that He knows is coming up in my life. I‘ll never be able to prove it to anyone, but just hear me out…

As a teacher in today’s world, we now have to worry about so much more than just educational facts. We are now basically second parents to the kids that we teach. Maybe it has been like that for years and I just never knew it, but I would also like to point out that parenting seems so much harder lately. First, the world is a much scarier place. Older people have told me that the world is more rude, more crude, and more filled with insanity than it ever has been before. I think that even the least political person in this country (is that me?) is even able to comprehend how horrible this country is at getting along right now; at getting along with other countries, other politicians, and just simply the idea of making decisions together. We have people who are absolute polar opposites fighting over the important things and the things that aren’t even true (thanks Internet)! So throw all of that together once and then put yourself in the position to ‘parent’ over 100 kids over an 8 or 9 month period. Keep in mind that each of these kids have their own interests and their own struggles. There’s the kid who’s been abused, the kid who’s depressed, the kid who has major anxiety, and the kid who is trying to remain kind in a world that doesn’t always wish to be kind in return. The students that I taught this past year have strengthened me in more ways than they will ever know. They have shown me how we are all each very different, how it’s not always easy to get along, and how it’s okay to be the parent sometimes rather than the friend. 

I never thought much of that strengthening before, except to realize that maybe next year I will be an even better teacher to my next group of kids. But combine that with the changes I discussed yesterday, and I’m realizing just how mature and grown up I have become.

So now why am I saying that God has decided to make all of these things happen for me? What is this huge event that has changed my life forever and required all of these lessons and strength that I have found?

Heartbreak. Pure and brutal heartbreak.

As I typed that last line, I almost laughed to myself. Not because I feel like heartbreak is awesome or funny, but because I am sitting here knowing just how extremely cared about and loved I am by family, friends, coworkers… even my dogs. I find it ironic (in a sad way) that through all of that love, even still your heart can be breaking. I find it horrifying like a sick, sarcastic joke that even while my heart is breaking, from the outside everything looks perfectly normal. More than anything, I find it frustrating that people don’t understand my exhaustion, my lack of motivation right now when it comes to my work, and sometimes my need to just do absolutely nothing but lose myself in a good book or a movie. 

So what is this heartbreak I speak of? It’s the kind of hurt that comes from a vicious, evil enemy that I cannot actually find a way to fight. I’m powerless to strike out at the foe that is holding me captive this summer. Worse, I know I’m not the only one in its grasp. That evil is cancer. 

I’ve come to learn over the years that cancer isn’t an end-all-be-all thing. It’s not a death sentence or a tyrannical monster that will never be beat. What I have learned about cancer is vast and yet probably not even a percent of the things that humans overall know about its evil.

  1. Cancer doesn’t always kill and is more treatable now than it ever has been before. 
  2. It doesn’t matter what kind of cancer you have, it seems to encompass and affect all parts of your body, even if its only your strength and appetite.
  3. Cancer doesn’t always attack those who are the oldest or the weakest; it strikes wherever it feels like it.
  4. Unless you’re a doctor, cancer is an enemy that you cannot see or really feel.
  5. Most importantly (at least from my perspective right now), cancer rips apart families and kills even those who are not actually inflicted with its disastrous disease.

Let me explain that last one. Someone I hold very dear to me has cancer. My mom even told me yesterday that the person I speak of almost seems like my second mother. She helped to raise me when my parents were both working and continued to babysit me even when my parents needed to go Christmas shopping or take a break from their kids. But before I get into too much detail about how amazingly special she is, let me keep explaining…

The woman that I speak of has had cancer numerous times in her life. She’s beat it twice that I know of (though I think it may be 3 times). I guess she’s either lucky or her doctors really know what they are doing. Unfortunately a month or two ago, it came back and reared its ugly head in a new form; lymphoma. 

We (or at least me anyway) felt pretty disastrous after we heard. It’s hard to know that someone is getting older and that this horrible sickness just keeps trying to take them down. Then when the doctors said there was an 80% survival rate, I don’t know about any of the rest of my family, but my heart soared.

And its been like this ever since we heard she was sick to begin with. One rollercoaster hill after another, followed by a cliff or a huge jump… it all just depends on the day. Cancer is exhausting. Well… I can only imagine how it feels to actually have the cancer inside of you, but even for me (since that’s the only perspective I know), this cancer has been exhausting. One minute you’re thinking everything is okay and we’re all going to continue to live our lives after a few months of chemo and it will all be back to normal. The next minute it seems like there has been a death sentence laid down.

I would do absolutely anything for the woman who is suffering right now. I would do anything for any of my family and friends. I think the bigger issue with this for me right now is that I don’t know what to do and I don’t have the expertise to be able to do. While cancer is horrifying and scary and ruins people’s lives sometimes, right now the only thing it’s doing is making me feel stressed and stuck.

You would think a married woman in her 20s would know enough to at least be able to lend a bit of a hand, but I have still been unable to find a way to make it evident to everyone that I want to do what I can.

Part of my personal struggle with this comes because there are already too many hands in the pot. She has five children, each with their own spouses. I am not one of those ten people. And while some of them appear to be helping more than others, there still seem to be too many helpers as it is. One day I realized the best I could do was be there for her, visit her, and spend as much time with her as I could. 

I drove to visit at least every other day while she was in the hospital. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get there, and it was exhausting. But I felt good about being able to have conversations with her that I feel like I’d been missing out on all these years. My introverted self has not made nearly as much of an effort to visit as I did when I lived with my parents and could just go along to her house for the ride. 

Once she came home, it seemed like all hell broke loose. Between all of the appointments and needing 24/7 care, I was never 100% sure what was going on at her place. To just drop by felt rude, but every time I’d call she’d seem overwhelmed to the point that I thought a visit would maInterke it worse. And so I stayed here, at home, without visiting.

At one point I came up with the idea that if I just visited while my dad was there, things would be less awkward and stressful for me and maybe for her. She wouldn’t feel so much like she had to entertain me and I wouldn’t feel so anxious about running out of things to say. But expecting my father to baby me while trying to take care of someone else who is actually sick makes me feel like an idiot. And it’s pretty unrealistic unless you’re a selfish prick, which I hope I am not. 

So I’ve resigned myself to visiting when I can, which may not be often. I’ve come to realize that I cannot expect to make up now the time that I lost in the past. I try to regret nothing in life, but one thing I wish I would have done better is to keep the relationship as strong as it was when I was little. I should have remembered everything she did for me and how she was there for me even when she didn’t understand the struggles of a teenager living in the 21st century. 

Now that I say that, another thought comes to mind. Maybe even those few short, simple conversations that we’ve had recently are enough. Maybe it means the world to her to be able to talk to  me like an adult and be open and honest about how she’s feeling and what’s going on in her mind. Granted, I know she doesn’t tell me all of her thoughts because she’s still got that part of her who is trying to protect me and treat me like the little kid that I am in her eyes. Yet I also remember a conversation we had about the reality of this illness. It could just be possible that she knows I am going to be strong no matter what. 

I am suddenly getting very tired of typing about this particular topic and don’t want to go into too much detail since this is the Internet and people will be able to read this from my blog. So let me just end by saying through all of this, the strength that I have found in myself over the past few years has led me to a point where I am able to handle the reality of this situation no matter what happens. I do not feel super confident all the time, nor am I happy about anything that is happening; what I do know is that I will be able to survive this situation just like the rest of my family by being the support system that she needs in whatever way I am called to do so. And just as I’m sure everyone else is doing right now, I’ve found that praying almost constantly and focusing on my religion is helping to ease my mind about many of my thoughts right now too.

Believe me or not, I truly do think that I was working to prepare myself for this situation without even knowing that it was coming. While I wish things were different for her and for my family, the least I can do is be grateful that I’m in a better position to help now than I would have been a few months ago. I thank God for my husband, so my parents don’t have to be my support as well as supporting everyone else. I thank God that I have a home to escape to when being around everyone in this situation gets to be too much. And I’m most thankful that I’ve been through everything that I have. If for no other reason than to get me where I am today.

~B

P.S. As all of my friends already know, prayers are much appreciated! 

 

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Back at it!

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It seems like every summer I come back to this, back to this webpage that very few pay attention to. Yet being able to write without my hand cramping quite so quickly is a good way for me to get some thoughts out and process the things in life that just seem to be a bit too overwhelming. During the school year, I normally resort to a good old paper journal, but that’s more due to time restraint and loving the feel of paper and pencil than anything else. 

Here I am again though, sitting at my kitchen table and thinking about so many things that I cannot keep my mind straight. So I come back here, to this blog that I started so many years ago. At the time I wasn’t sure what my intentions were or what the result would be. Surprising (or not…) this page has basically become a hodge podge of my life. I’m a teacher, I’m a christian, and I somehow have a lot to say. 

So I think I’d better start again… since last summer (or whenever my last post was), a lot has changed. I’m married now, to that man I’ve mentioned many times by the name ‘T’. We’ve got our own house and two precious pups (Jasper and Zoey). I’ve gone through a job change that almost resulted in a full-out career change. And more than anything, I’ve gone back to my roots. 

Starting in September or August of last year, I returned to the place where I originally did my student teaching. In case I never mentioned it before, it’s just a little Catholic school in the middle of a tiny town that very few people have ever heard of. The only reason I know of it is because we always go through it to get from one town to the next. In any case, this small school holds a huge place in my heart. It may not have changed much since 2013 when I last visited for a few months, but it seems to always be there when I need it. When I was offered a job there for the 2017-2018 school year, I had no idea that it was also a way of God telling me that I needed to get back to my religious beliefs and my kind and concerned self. Somehow I started to lose those things over the stress of a career that wasn’t super fulfilling and time restraints that it invoked in my life. 

Not only did this job change really start to point me in the right direction, but I also returned to my church practices. Let’s be honest, my church had a change in leadership a few years back and my attendance there quickly dwindled. I’m not a very good Christian by saying that, but there have always been preachers and pastors who really spoke to me… and unfortunately those who have talked either around me or straight over my head. As a young person in today’s society, it has always been hard for me to get my butt to church on a regular basis when the preacher doesn’t ever seem to reach me with their messages. This caused me to fall into old habits, and I had stopped going to church completely a few years back.

Luckily, I decided to get married and knew how important it was to my family (and more importantly, to myself) that I get married in a church. So I did a lot of work to seek out a pastor who would perform the services for us. Doing so changed my life, possibly forever. I was so fortunate to find a pastor who I was easily able to connect with and who genuinely cared about not just my religious self, but my husband’s not-so-religious ways. He was caring and kind and gave us so many assurances about how strong of a relationship we had.

I started attending his church for two reasons: it’s in the town where I now live with my husband, and I was curious to see the preaching style of the man who was going to marry us. I’m so fortunate that I did! For about the past year and a half or so, I have been attending church on a much more consistent basis. What really amazes me about this is not the fact that I have returned to church, but the fact that my faith has grown so much even having been away from a Sunday service for a year or two. Plus, the pastor I have been speaking of has an assistant pastor, and somehow they both speak to me! Some days I’d swear that the sermon is directed right at something going on in my life. Which has taught me that maybe it’s not the person delivering the message after all; maybe it truly is the message that needs to get to me when it is given. Like many people say, God will get you what you need when you need it. Clearly these two men have come into my life right when it’s necessary. 

And so, to tie all this change together in my life, I originally thought that this was all just a path to God, to my beliefs, to the person who I used to be and have always wanted to be. I have been so ecstatic and happy about all of these changes. I love being able to be myself and do the things in life that I have not stopped doing during my absence from this blog. Yet I have also been reminded that at the end of a long day, I can sit down in my house with my family and realize that I am doing my best to be a good person, that I am being led in some fashion through my Faith, and that I am able to learn more than simply what a college course can teach me. I learn every day from these kind and caring people who have openly joined me in belief of God. And while I’m no zealot or anything extreme, I feel like I have become a better person by focusing more on the good that I am supposed to accomplish in life, the good that I can hopefully teach to my students, and the happiness that you can very easily impart on any person at any given time. Yet as this summer rolls by, I’m starting to see that this new focus is not even half of the reason that I’ve been led back to God in such a fast and strong way. I think more it’s that God knows I’m going to need my Faith and my belief in him very soon, and possibly more than I ever have before.

But more on that later… 

~B

My Work Mom

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I’m going to sound really silly (or so I feel) writing this, but about five years ago, I met someone that I never realized would impact my life in such huge ways. She taught me everything practical there is to know about teaching, and she has been there watching and helping me grow in my profession ever since.

I remember entering the school in December, right before Christmas break. I met a bunch of people whose names I could not remember. I walked around some hallways that I would never remember how to navigate when the holiday was over. And then I went on my merry way, to try to gear myself up for the anxiety I was sure I would feel about starting to teach in an actual classroom.

Many of my friends know that I have always wanted to teach. Fewer know that I never thought it would be possible for me because of my anxiety. There were so many obstacles to maneuver around, that finding some retail sales job or simply living with my parents forever seemed like good alternatives to college and a career in education.

Somehow, while skirting around the high anxiety of actually staying on a campus and attending classes in a lecture hall, I managed to fairly happily make my way through college. Until that December. I struggled for weeks if not months to find a school that would allow me to complete my required student teaching hours. I never ever thought that the school I would go to was the one that everyone in my town always “hated”. I mean, some of us attended there, but when it came to sports, we were rivals in everything!

But I had no other choice at the time and I did what I had to. Which meant working meeting a bunch of new people and (hopefully) surviving the next three months teaching in a foreign place to me.

The funny thing is I remember leaving that day and feeling so much better about the entire situation. I felt my anxiety decrease tenfold, but I just always assumed it would come back the day before I was supposed to start working. That’s just how my body is. There was something that day though, about how welcoming the people were, that gave me hope that maybe I could keep myself under control and survive through those next few weeks.

Ironically enough, I was right. But I didn’t just survive without panic attacks; I feel like I excelled. Within weeks, my proctor and supervisor was pushing me to focus on the more minor details of my teaching techniques. He encouraged me to circulate the room more, or work to stop repeating the same words over and over again (which unfortunately, I still do quite often). He, like many others who got me through my life so far, believed in me and saw the best that I had to offer. He pushed me to bring that “best” out of myself and really make some progress in my career.

And while my family was always there supporting me, I feel that the biggest reason I was able to remain calm, work ahead, and truly ease my anxiety throughout those weeks was not one of those people.

No. It was the somewhat sarcastic, often funny, openly honest person who taught me what a “career husband” was and led me to believe that I could actually make something of myself in terms of teaching. I never thought I would want to teach at a brick and mortar school, but she taught me that even that was pretty cool sometimes.

I remember making so many embarrassing mistakes because of my young mind and my oversight of how different words and jokes can affect others. She was there through that too, teaching me that everyone makes mistakes, but you remember your’s and vow to never make the same ones again. She taught me the best method for running a classroom was through open and honest communication, but that it’s also always better to have a plan that can be changed at a moment’s notice.

By the time I left those three months, my position at that school was well known. I remember the salad and lemon cup that I ate for my farewell party, hosted by none other than the person I have been discussing. I still have all of the gifts that everyone gave me for my own classroom (though I’m unsure what to do with my name plate once my last name changes in a few short weeks).

My co-teacher even helped to land me my first job. First, as a substitute in the middle and elementary schools. Then, a few short months later, she pushed me to make contact with another person who not only gave me a full time job but also pushed me even farther in my career. And here again, my anxiety took over, and against her advice, I didn’t reach out to him myself. I was worried about the long drive, the fact that I would have to teach Calculus (which I HATED), and just the overall idea that I would have a major career where I would be impacting other people’s lives. But you know what? She didn’t let me skirt around that opportunity. No, she contacted that principal herself and shared my contact information. Before I even knew it, I was starting the first big job of my life.

I hate to admit that I lost a little bit of contact with her after I started my new job. I was pretty busy and spent a lot of time in my car after all. But for those first few years, I always remembered to send her anonymous birthday flowers and to make sure she knew I never forgot all that she had done for me.

Sitting here today, I don’t know where my life is supposed to go or what’s going to happen as I start so many new adventures in my life. But I am more than happy to say that this friend of mine is now my boss, now my resource, and now the person who suggested I take over their classroom when they decided to make a career change. And though I know that this job may not last forever, I am again astounded by the fact that this one amazing lady (whom I call my work mom) has changed my life for the better again.

But more than anything, as I sit here reviewing her plans and lessons from previous years, I realize just how truly she impacted my own teaching. Her planner… looks exactly like mine from previous years. Some of our worksheets are exactly the same (though this could be attributed to the fact that we used the same textbook). Even our sense of organization and using binders for blank copies and answer keys are the same.

I’m finding that I suddenly don’t feel like I’m starting a brand new job, but that I’m returning to one after many years of absence. And while she won’t be in the classroom right beside me, I know that my work mom is just down the hall any time I need her and that she has saved me hours upon hours of work by teaching me her organization skills and teaching techniques so that when I take over her classroom (which in my mind will always be her’s), it will already feel at least partly like I am in control, know what I’m doing, and will not be bogged down having to recreate every assessment and assignment and lesson.

So to that person, who I truly hope reads this, I can never thank you enough. The progress in maturity and my career may not be solely attributed to you, but you’re the one who has always been there guiding me in the right direction. And even though I am determined to come up with another way to thank you, I hope for now just knowing how grateful I am and how much I am starting to take after you in terms of my career will help you to realize that every day I spend in the classroom is just another tribute to you and your amazing educational skills.

I’m excited to see what my new job is going to bring me this year, and I just keep praying that starting it in the same week as my wedding will not bring back that anxiety too badly. Here’s hoping anyway, right?

~B

A Tail of Two Dogs

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Things around here have been pretty intense lately. As if my life doesn’t have enough other facets right now, the dogs are becoming one of the biggest and most frustrating experiences in my current world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people who clearly does their research before jumping into something as big as getting a puppy, but it’s exactly like having a child of your own. You never realize just how much you’re getting into, even with all of the research and discussions you have with experienced people. Sharing the frustration with T has been a blessing, but I worry that the stress will just keep building. 

Zoey is great. I’m not going to complain about her. It’s just so hard to keep up with the constant needs that she has. With only one of us at home most of the day, that person gets to be the sucker who is stuck babysitting every minute of every hour. If we take our eyes off of her for even a second, she’s into something or making a mess. 

We went to the vet last week and even asked him about whether there was any problem with the amount of water she has been drinking each day. At one point, we calculated it to be well over 56 ounces in a few hours. He says we are fine though, so we just keep letting her drink.

Unfortunately, that means potty time is all the time. She has really been struggling to not go to the bathroom in the house. Which is why this post is SO important! Today, as of me writing this post, Zoey has only had one accident in the house. That’s much different from the 8ish times she goes in the house every other day since we got her about a week ago. 

As proud of her as I am for this feat, I also got pretty upset with the pups today. I took the risk of letting them alone for just a few minutes while I finished gluing some cards together. The dogs have never had too much trouble getting along before, though each one is willing to put the other in their place as needed. But they’ve never really attacked each other, bit each other, etc. So I thought they would be fine. I left them together in a secured area with plenty of toys and distractions to keep them busy (in a good way). A few minutes later, I hear Jas’ snarls and Zoey starts to cry. By the time I got to them, there were little drips of blood on the floor. I picked Zoey up immediately, which led me to have drips of blood all over my arms. And the weird thing is I still have not found out where that blood came from. I checked her all over (and then checked him just to be sure), but could not find any open wounds of any kind. As a puppy mom, I’ve never had this happen before, even with Jasper and my sister’s dog. I was completely unprepared and started blaming myself for leaving them be for a few minutes. Then you know what I realized? This experience is exactly like having a human baby. Every parent thinks they’re going to do their best to be absolutely perfect and treat their baby like it’s the most fragile and precious thing in the whole world. But we’ve all heard the stories of the moms who have multiple kids and by the second or third one, the kids are allowed to play in the mud and eat food off the floor. I guess it’s not that we lower our standards, but that we understand the reality of children. They struggle to listen, they struggle to learn, and as much as we try to do the best for them, we sometimes don’t succeed.  

As I sit here writing, it’s nap time in puppy world. One dog is laying at my feet and the other is perched on the back of the couch by my head. I’m not sure how long they will sleep or how good or bad this day will turn out to be, but I thank God for giving me these tiny breaks and the small improvements that I have been seeing today. I love these dogs so much and I want them to be both safe and happy. Hopefully this is just a small sign that our lives are starting to settle down a bit and we can get back to having some relaxing moments together as a family.

~B

2017 Means What?!?!

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There are so many things going on in my life right now, I just had to write. The story for tonight is mostly inspired by one small, funny incident that occurred today (that had started in Fall 2016), but I feel like an update is in order.

This year is already turning out to be so ridiculously good, yet crazy, that I cannot seem to keep track of the events. Here’s the breakdown so far:

  • At the end of January, I decided to leave my teaching job for something a little less permanent. I went through the motions of exploring other career options, but landed back at teaching almost immediately. It must truly be in my blood; the thought of not helping kids like I love just haunted me for a few days. The next thing I knew, I became a substitute teacher for 3 different districts or companies. Now I can work easily every day of the week during the school year and have a pretty good pick of where and who I teach. It’s been just the stress relief that I need to rejuvenate myself in my career. It may be possible that I actually go back to my own classroom one day!
  • I spent all of February applying for/looking for jobs and trying to manage my money. Since that’s such a snooze, let’s just skip to March…
  • In March, I started to find my faith again. By teaching in a religious school, I found the motivation to reconnect with my faith. It surely hasn’t been easy. First of all, let me say that I never stopped praying, but I had not been to church in so long that I couldn’t remember the person who officiated there! As part of the Catholic school system, I am asked to participate as fully as possible in my faith. So, I started going back to church. And what makes me most sad is how politics and business get in the way of even things like religion and my praying. Due to these things, church can be so UNCOMFORTABLE! And it’s really a shame, because it’s one of the best ways for me to keep a special connection with my dad and grandma, as we are the ones who meet up at church every Sunday. I’ll be honest: I’m struggling majorly with the church right now, but at least I am back to praying and thinking in a more religious manner now than I was at this time last year.
  • Also in March, my sister, mom, and I took a girl’s vacation to the beach. It was FREEZING, but it was fun. That would also be the moment in time when my life really started to change. See, this is the first time I’ve been away from T since I moved in with him last year. It was awkward to not be together. Apparently, he felt the same. When we returned from our awesome vacation, he told me that he was going to get me a ring but didn’t know which one to get. We ended up shopping for engagement rings over the next few weeks, and then waiting what felt like years to actually get the custom order in! Even though I didn’t get a on-your-knee romantic proposal, I’ve come to realize that our memories of this time together are even more special than some big surprise. Let’s face it, T doesn’t really do the whole surprise thing anyway, and I would probably have just cried.
  • In April, we found out that the litter of puppies we were waiting on had been born. They were ready by the end of the month, so we spent weeks preparing for the arrival of our new little girl. Her name is Zoey, and she is the biggest handful ever! Never in my life, even while babysitting, did I ever feel so much like the mother of an infant before. I guess that’s because I’ve never had such a small puppy to care for in my life. Thankfully, T and I are working together to share our frustrations and excitements as she grows. Within this first week and a half, she has managed to learn many things. Things like: how to climb onto the couch, how to bite big brother’s tail, how to test our patience with going potty in the house (though we know this is not totally her fault), and how to destroy any stick or blade of grass in sight. Luckily, we both love her so much that it only makes us tired by the end of the day.
  • Now that it’s May, I’m in full swing doggy, summer, and wedding mode. We are getting married in just over 100 days! I only have 4 days left of work this school year, and we are watching a third dog for the next week and a half or so! (I’d really appreciate prayers for my sanity if you don’t mind.)
    • Our wedding is mostly all DIY. It’s going to be very small and very simple, yet nothing I’ve attempted to do for it so far has been simple at all!
      • My parents have been great at helping with the decorations and reception, but it took me almost a month just to find a pastor and make sure I could reserve the church for our special day.
      • I managed to get a dress pretty simply, but I had to order it on the first day I shopped for dresses since we are getting married pretty quickly.
      • As of today, our DIY invites are almost done (and are exactly what I wanted!) but they have even had their ups and downs. From a badly running computer program, to hand cutting numerous circles and shapes, to buying the wrong size envelopes and hot glue sticks. I PRAY so hard that nothing else causes too many hiccups. Yet, we have a long way to go. So mostly, I’m just praying that by the time August rolls around, T is not so frustrated with me and my wedding to-dos that he is still willing to put up with me long enough to meet me at the altar…

That’s it. Sorry I wrote in bullets and made this very short. The dogs are running around making messes and trouble as I write, so this is the best I could do for now!

Oh, by the way, the story I intended to write about in the first place…

Today I learned a lesson about relationships that I hadn’t yet learned before. For months, I have been teasing T about being careless with his car keys, his tools, and many other belongings. Since I have known him, I cannot tell you how many times he has run a battery dead by leaving the car lights on, or how often he complains because he cannot find his key to run to the store. A few months back (possibly 6 or more), T officially lost his car key. It’s one of those expensive German things that cannot be cut or bought anywhere besides the dealer or it messes up the car and its engine. Anyway, he had to resort to the spare because neither of us could find it after hours and hours of searching. Today, as I reached in my purse to find a pen, I was poked with some long pole-like object. It was the end of his car key. Needless to say, I feel really bad and totally regret all of the teasing that I did. He is more than happy to pay me back by laughing at my stupid mistake, but we also never even thought to look in my bag before! I guess I’m learning that it really does take the both of us to keep a house and lifestyle going that is similar to what we were both use to at our other homes. And even then, sometimes it’s not enough to feel those mountains (or even just those mole hills) that have been popping up in life lately. But like I said before, hopefully he will continue to be willing to put up with all of it for the sake of having me in his life. I’m not quite sure that I’m so worth it, but I know for a fact that he is.

 

~B

Everything Falls Into Place… Or Out of It

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It’s funny how things happen in life. Whether you believe in God or not, there’s something about events in life that make you question coincidences and fate. At least I can’t imagine not thinking about fate myself.

Just a month ago, I was a full-time working teacher who barely had any time to devote to my family or my faith. It was sad really, how much time I spent devoted to my job and my students. I loved making a difference, but I never realized just how much of me I gave to something that gave nothing back. I didn’t mind being selfless for a while, but recently I’ve come to realize that when you least expect it, your family will need you the most.

I just started substituting again this past week. First, let me just say I am absolutely in love with being able to work in a school setting with kids who are appreciative of my time and talents. Yet the minute the school day is over, I’m able to come home and enjoy my family and my free time. It’s almost like the best of both worlds.

This has also been the opportunity that has allowed me to face my religion again. I’ve actually had time to go to church lately, and I’ve been praying every day as I help students in a Catholic school. I may not be Catholic myself, but our religions are not so different that I can’t say some of the prayers along with the kids. And thank God I have been.

Because last night, well yesterday afternoon, I realized just how much I need God in my life. I will never shove my beliefs down someone else’s throat, but I do not understand how I could make it through some of the things in my life without feeling like there is a higher power leading me in the right direction and helping to challenge me to make me stronger.

Anyway, the big deal yesterday was that my boyfriend got into a motorcycle accident. And we were extremely fortunate. He has a pretty serious collarbone fracture but is totally fine besides that. He was able to actually stand up and walk away from the scene. And even the bike has fared pretty well, considering the worst damage is some mis-aligned tires and handlebars.

I wasn’t there at the time; I was on my way home from work where I had just gotten done listening to a Congolese refugee speak about the child soldiers and human rights in Africa. I was in such a good mood because the weather was so nice. And, because of that presenter, I was feeling extremely grateful and thankful for the way my life has gone thus far, for all the gifts and privileges I have had, for the ability to be so close to my amazing family. I never thought that I would be taking T to the emergency room just minutes later.

I guess the reason I am writing this is because I need to write about something today. I feel that itch in my bones that makes me realize I need to get some things down on paper or otherwise. But mostly, I don’t know how else to express my thankfulness for the people who helped him after he had crashed. I don’t know who any of the people are (besides family of course), but I do know that he was on a back road by himself and could have been much more seriously injured. The fact that multiple people stopped to help him means that there are still many, many good people in this world. And in light of how our government is acting and how people have been fighting recently, I am just so eternally grateful to anyone who chose to be a good citizen yesterday on that windy back road.

The next few weeks might not be easy for us here, but he is going to heal just fine and we will move on with our lives, this accident left as only a faint and awful memory. But thank you again to anyone who may have already forgotten it happened. Thanks to some of you, my man is okay, the bike made it home, and we are left with only a broken collarbone to deal with. Thanks also to the manufacturers of his armored jacket and his helmet. Even the ER nurse was astounded at how well he was able to move around yesterday. I know not many cyclists are quite that lucky after flipping their bikes.

I honestly will be eternally grateful to all of those who helped. From God to the nurse and the doctor to anyone we may meet over the next week as his arm gets set correctly for healing. If I ever lose him, I just don’t know what I would do. So yesterday and in upcoming days, any of you who have made an impact… I just hope you realize how you didn’t just help save his life yesterday; you helped save mine too. Thank you.

 

~B

Fall Means Plenty of Stumbles

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It seems like every time I write on here anymore it’s for a negative reason. I don’t mean it to be that way, but I have found that I am a lot happier living my busy life rather than writing about it these days. It’s only in these moments when I feel the need to come back and use my writing as a tool to help me sort out all of this unexpected.

Not even sure where to start really, so I’ll start with this: does anyone ever feel like people from the past continually try to pop back up in your life even if you consistently try to forget about them? That started happening to me about a month ago. I tried not to let it bug me but I guess the truth is that those people still have the ability to affect me, even when I don’t understand why.

Even now that nonsense continues, but at least I know I am not the only one struggling with this fight. My family doesn’t appreciate the actions of these others either, actions that I can only seem to describe as intrusions.

Work started about two weeks ago now, and I knew from the first day that I was in for some kind of new experience. I never realized until just this past week that the place I once knew is different now. And I realized that sometimes it’s not the place at all, but the people who make places feel like homes. Last year that place was a home to me,  at least in some sense of the word. But now that the family has left in numerous directions, it has been feeling more like that building is an empty barn. I am really trying to make the adjustments that this year will require of me but I know that so far I have been completely unsuccessful.

Then there’s life outside of work, which is again working through some strange plan of God’s that I doubt I ever understand. I’ve been having trouble going to church still, and I’m no longer sure it would help if I did go. But what I do know is that God has taken a lot of hope from me recently. Early last week my family learned that my aunt probably doesn’t have much longer to live. That is hard enough to deal with, particularly to someone who has too many emotions like me. But on Thursday she ended up in the ER. That makes it seem worse or maybe like death is faster approaching.

That same day one of my friends lost his battle with bladder cancer. It was some form that is really rare and wasn’t really treatable. I’m going to go see his family tomorrow night but I know my timing is already tight because of an appointment I have beforehand. Hopefully it all works out.

I think the best thing about all of this mixed up nonsense is that it gets to weasel its way into the other corners of my brain too. Who would have thought that a death or the hopelessness I am starting to feel would have such an affect on every part of me. This weekend I even threw all of my caution to the wind and took a risk in my life. I’m still not sure that it was the best choice, but I definitely don’t regret it. In fact it turned out really well. So am I growing up or simply growing careless?

I fear it may be carelessness simply because my brain has been able to run rampant recently, though I feel as if I have been trying to remain calm. Even things like my boyfriend and my family have been stress triggers. Those people haven’t done anything wrong, but my brain seems to believe that my status with them is going to change for the worse somehow and that it will be my fault. Keeping thoughts like that at bay is extremely difficult, but trying to explain them to someone else, even just to ask for help, is way harder than dealing alone sometimes. So many bad things could be inferred from any of those feelings of mine. At least I feel solid in my relationships and I know what I love and want. I just hope when everyone else hears my thoughts they will understand what I mean too and will keep in mind that as strong and smart as I am, I don’t always choose the feelings and worries that my mind chooses to give me. Trust me, I wish I did.

Career Confusion

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It’s after 9PM and my boyfriend and I are both still working. Well, I guess I’m technically not working, but I haven’t stopped thinking about work since about 8AM this morning. He’s had an even longer day, and I wish I could do something more than Skype him to make up for it!

Not sure what to say about his work day, so I’ll just share details of mine…

Today was a weird day. I forgot my laptop at home for one thing, which is basically a teacher’s sin. Or something like that.. maybe committing teacher suicide? In any case, one of my family members was nice enough to drive it to work for me so that I could actually accomplish something with the remaining 8 hours of my work life for the day.

I actually got quite a few things done, but I chose to work in a coworker’s room so that I could talk to them and we could listen to the radio together. With that being said, our conversations were pretty short and terse. We were both so distracted by other things that were going on that we just weren’t focused enough on each other’s presence to pay attention to a conversation of any substance. 

At one point my coworker had started to say something that I took in a sarcastic way. No big deal, but apparently my laugh bothered her. I mean, I cannot be certain that she wasn’t teasing me right back, but she made a weird comment that has me questioning myself and my status at work now. I don’t understand how her new task of assigning classrooms to teachers should have anything to do with my status or attitude towards her. She mentioned something about me “needing to be nice” to her or I would never get a classroom. First of all, I thought she was joking. Secondly, I am now stuck wondering if people actually think I would be one of those people. 

You know the people right? The ones who would rather see you dead while they inherit your money than to see you healthy and happy without their own monetary gain. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I’m not exaggerating by much. Why would I ever treat someone differently just to get what I want.

Okay, at home I tell someone that I will do one chore for them if they do one task for me. That’s a little different though; I still do random acts of kindness at home on occasion. And even if my family understands that we are just swapping jobs and helping each other out, I wish I knew that people at work did not see me in this kind of light. I would never put others above or below anyone else just for my own gain. 

I know, I know… most people in this day and age would slit throats to get ahead in their careers, to make more money or to have more vacation days. As much as I would love to have a classroom for easy access to my supplies, a place to make my own comfort zone, and a quiet place to work during the day… I’m not going to suck up to someone to get it.

I feel it is wrong for me to be this upset about something that was said, but to clarify, she said it at least two times to me throughout the day. I still cannot tell whether she was joking and am unsure that I will ever be able to tell. So, for whatever reason, I’m praying right now that things don’t become awkward between the two of us. I know not to trust people outside of my family very much at all, but I thought that she was someone I could at least rely on a little bit. Was I wrong again? 

Misunderstandings

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I guess the thing is this: I see where Joe is coming from, but I also understand where Gina has been. If I am not directly involved in a situation, it is so easy for me to have this wide open perspective. I wonder if that’s why I sometimes struggle to get along with people.

Why am I writing about this now anyway? I still have other feelings I need to write about and get out of my mind. I guess the only reason I am even thinking about this perception now is because I saw it firsthand tonight.

I absolutely love spending time with my boyfriend and my family. I know this love and want and need stems from how I was raised by such a close knit group of parents. But what I struggle to realize sometimes is that not everyone had the amazing family that I had growing up. Not everyone actually understands what it means to be a part of a true family. So maybe my people take the crazy and the love to the extremes sometimes. They are still the ones who love me and they always will be.

I guess the thing my family doesn’t realize is that I have someone in my life who means the world to me but doesn’t fully understand my upbringing. And it seems that person also doesn’t understand why my family is the way it is.

I would like to tell everyone how it truly is… how things look from my outside perspective. Because, while I love them all, I get a little lost in between their differing beliefs sometimes. That alone is confusing to me. I can see things from so many different points of view that it’s crazy. Just the other day a friend asked  me about what kind of Lutheran I am. I honestly couldn’t answer her, because even if I had attended the same church my entire life, my beliefs are pretty scattered. I’ve had time spent in a UCC organization, but I then moved to a Lutheran church. In between that, I was a Catholic school teacher and attended all of their mass services. See what I mean by being able to understand all kinds of things? Heck, I’m even a fairly religious person who is also a scientist and mathematician; explain that one once!

The point being is that I hope I didn’t upset any of my family or T by speaking out tonight or over the past few nights. I know my attitude and personality is not always fun to get along with. In fact, I often blame my anxiety on the fact that even I cannot get along with myself. In any case, I hope that we are all mature and strong enough adults to be able to talk through things, work through other situations, and form even stronger bonds than what we already have. I’m sorry for the crap I’ve put you all through; wish I could do more to guarantee it’ll never happen again….

~Me

Not Just Another Memorial Day Post

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First, I don’t want anyone to think I am rude. I am thinking about those who we are supposed to be celebrating today for Memorial Day, however; I don’t have a whole lot to say on the event, unless you consider discussing BBQs and cookouts as an actual Memorial Day “part”. I know the holiday is about more than that, but since I don’t know many who have been in the military, I don’t have any of them to hang out with or thank today. Hence, they are in my thoughts, but this post is not about the day.

You know what I have come to realize this weekend? Quite a few things actually. From staying over at my boyfriend’s house for hours and hours this weekend to going to a party for the first time in a couple of years to being outside and getting attacked by my allergies.. this has been a super eventful weekend. Here are the main things that I accomplished this weekend.

  1. Went to T’s graduation. (See previous post…)
  2. Spent a day with my mom for the first time in… forever!
  3. Spent almost 3 whole days with my boyfriend. Yay!
  4. Watched a whole bunch of people drink and act like idiots.
  5. Watched a creepy guy flirt with multiple girls at once.
  6. Watched creepy guy accidentally flirt with me while my boyfriend wasn’t around (coincidence or no?)
  7. Went to the park and took a hike around the lake with my entire family.
  8. Slept in way longer than I should have on any given day.
  9. Received my diploma in the mail (finally!)
  10. Ate at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate T’s graduation.
  11. Went to the drive-in movies and saw Tomorrowland.
  12. Gave the dog a “spa day”, including a good brushing (or three), toenail trimming, and some hair cutting… plus a bath!

I think those are the main things. But through each of those events, I have learned at least one thing. I think the biggest thing I realized is that I sometimes need some time alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love having time to spend with the four people that I love most in this world, but I am so relaxed to just be able to sit here right now and type without worrying about a schedule, timing, etc. I don’t need to be anywhere today, I don’t have any major responsibilities today, and I have no pressure on me right now whatsoever. This feeling feels… great!

Second, I have learned that it is ridiculously impossible to schedule equal (or anywhere close to equal) amounts of time with everyone that I love and who deserves my attention. I have had moments recently where I feel like I am neglecting those I love, and that feeling is awful. I mean, I’m not neglecting them, but with everything going on in my life this weekend (and right now in general), I feel like I barely get to see some people. I don’t think I’ve seen my grandma since Dad’s birthday in April… 😦

I also think it’s important for me to realize that this is my last day of freedom for quite a long time. As I glanced at my calendar this morning, I realized that I will be late home from work every day this week except for Thursday. Yay me! And what’s worse, my anxiety is on high alert because of the crazy schedule, my break in routine from this weekend, and a couple of other things. As much as I was looking forward to going to Hershey Park last week, I now wish that I didn’t have to go at all. But I know the kids (at least some of them) are relying on me to be a buffer between them and some other chaperones, so I know I have to go. It’s just too bad that it’s so late at night that I will be getting home and so horrible that I just get nervous about these things instead of excited or happy. 

Oh nerves… I think that is what really wraps up what I am feeling right now. I’m just a bundle of nerves. About work, about my schedule and routine, about people that I care for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a full blown panic attack or anything, but I just feel this underlying nagging sensation… like any minute, everything will start to seem way worse than what it is. 

I have to go now… my schedule is calling me again. Wish me luck!

~Me