Tag Archives: Inspiration

What You Never Realize (Until it’s too late)

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Still have not been doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog. I have successfully begun to journal again, but I’m finding it more relaxing to use paper most of the time.

Without getting into the details of the past month or so, I just felt it important to write a quick note about how things can change for the worst very quickly. And, unfortunately, in most of those situations, no one really understands what you go through in that awful time in your life.

This time in my life just happened to revolve around my teaching career, so I hope my teacher friends out there will take the time to read this. It’s something I wrote up a few minutes ago that I feel needs to be shared with each of you. Here goes!

Here’s the harsh reality of being a teacher: there’s no way you will ever get the respect and acknowledgement you deserve from the world. Namely because no one can ever step into your shoes. To all those out there with a teaching career, I’m sorry that I will never be able to put myself into your shoes. I too am a highly misunderstood teacher, and here’s why.

Being a true teacher (the kind you read about in Anne of Green Gables or other classic stories) impacts every aspect of your life. And every part of your life so far has impacted your career whether you realize it or not. You may realize that you are becoming the teacher your parents always were to you. It’s probable that you are now the teacher who advocates for students who very closely resemble the child you once were. Plus, if you’re a really good teacher, you become part of hundreds of families outside of your own.

As with every family, it can be hard to be heard in an educational group. You may put your heart in all the right places, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be acknowledged for your work. Think about the position of mom in a household. She continues to slave away at chores, teaching the kids manners and respect, and may even help with the income. Every teacher has suddenly volunteered to be the mom; the one who puts in the effort and works tirelessly for an outcome. The thing is, most moms are never thanked enough for all of the time and effort they put in. You, the teacher, will probably suffer the same sad  fate.

I also feel like teaching is especially hard on those who are very emotional. Seeing a kid in need is like watching one of those horrifying ASPCA commercials to anyone who is emotional. Trust me, I know. You’re sitting there knowing someone needs help but trying hard not to give away every penny of your money to the cause. The same goes for your students. The difference is that a teacher doesn’t necessarily need to give in the form of money. Every kid needs something a little different, and most often their needs require zero money at all. So we give and we give. Before I knew it, I had given so much of myself to one cause or another that I could not find myself in all the stress. And as outside circumstances add to your responsibility, you may find yourself in a similar situation.

For those teachers out there who become overwhelmed by the vast responsibilities, the politics, the emotions, and the stresses please know that you (we) are not alone. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. While I may never understand your position exactly because I was not raised or taught the same way you were, know that I too have experienced the best and the worst times that a teacher may ever know. You are not alone.

~B

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The Return of the Faith

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So it happens like this…

Life changes, you get a job, and all h*** breaks loose. But don’t worry, because that’s not the half of it! So many things have changed since I’ve last written and many of those things have tested me numerous times throughout the past 3 months. How I’m ever going to survive this year is beyond me. How things are going to work out is the last thing on my mind. Mainly, I just need to know how to get through the next day, hour, minute… 

The thing is, I am trying to do too much at once. I know it, other people know it; but I’m stubborn. After I heard back from the adoption agency, I picked up Jasper the next day. It’s nothing like trying to train a pup and make him part of your family when you are starting a brand new job that requires up to 15 hours of your day, 5 days a week.

So how do I do it? Who knows??? I honestly could not explain to you why my students say they love me so much or why my dog still greets me so happily every day when I return home. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what my coworkers think or how abandoned my sister must feel since I barely ever get to talk to her anymore, let alone doing anything else! 

And who’s idea was it for me to go back to college the same year that I started my first full-time job? Dog, job, college… possibly the stupidest combination that I’ve ever allowed my life to have all at once. It’s just too much. 

But I’m not writing this post to rant or make people feel sorry for me. In fact, it’s the opposite. I’m realizing, through all of this, that I need to focus more on myself in my downtime. Regardless of if that downtime is 5 hours or 5 seconds, I need to learn to step back, take a deep breath, and then keep plodding along. 

We ran a book drive at school a few weeks ago. Each of the teachers had the opportunity to make a wish list of books that they would love to have from the drive. I randomly picked one because I don’t have any kids (and most of the books were for elementary-aged students). Funny thing is, all of these books ended up being inspirational. I was pretty excited about reading them, but figured that I would never receive any. Not many people randomly buy teachers inspirational books for no apparent reason.

But someone did. Someone bought me one of those inspirational books. They made my day actually because they simply signed their name as “A Friend”. I have no idea who this person is and I probably will never know. So why does this make me so happy? Because someone did something nice for me for no reason. I mean, maybe I influenced them in some way or they are a friend of mine. The thing is though, I don’t know that any of these things are true. It could be that one of my students wanted to give me a gift, or my boss secretly buys a book for each new teacher. While I will never know the true circumstances, the thing that hit me the most was the anonymity. You don’t have to be famous to do something nice for someone. You don’t have to be thanked to do something good. Whoever this amazing person is, they did it because they cared. That’s all. A simple, pure reason for gifting someone a book. 

As it is, I have not had a lot of time to open this book and actually read it. But I’ve been so excited, that I quit working early yesterday in order to begin reading it. Funny thing is, after I read the Foreword, I realized that the book is aimed at an audience for which I do not belong. Particularly, women of color. I mean, I have color in my skin, I’m not albino. But the authors made it very clear by Chapter 1 that they had written this book to empower black women. 

My first thought was “great, why did I not read the foreword before putting this on my wish list?” My second thought was similar: “What am I going to do with this book? It is an amazing gift but I won’t get anything out of it!” Boy was I wrong…

I persevered and decided to read at least the first chapter. By the time I did, I realized more about myself than I think I ever have before (at least in such a short time). The book is all about finding yourself and not settling for less than you are happy with. It’s very interesting, with true stories of women who have struggled through life, with questions to make you use your critical thinking skills, and with those random comments about empowering women of color (which still make me feel awkward, even after I’ve read the first 3 chapters!) 

I actually feel sort of sad that the authors of this book did not pick a more general audience. The power these words could have on ANY woman must be extremely great. Yet many of us will never learn this because the target audience does not include our circumstances. 

In any case, I decided to start posting again because of this book. It actually occurred to me for a few reasons.

1. I want to make record of the answers to the questions that are asked within the book. I was going to keep a journal but am not sure I have enough time to honestly sit and write out all of the words without them being completely illegible. 

2. I realized that I am not taking enough time for myself and the things I love to do. I love to read, I love to write. So why have I stopped? A new puppy might be a good reason, but my job and my schooling are not good enough reasons to throw my passions away! 

I’m sure there are more reasons, but this is all I can think of right now. I’m hoping that tomorrow night I still have time (between constructing a circuit and feeding the dog his supper) to be able to post the answers to the first question in the book. 

Stay tuned….

Oh, and by the way, I am trying out this new technology! Please feel free to leave me feedback below! I would absolutely love to hear from you. 

 

The Garden of Inspiration

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So I had meant to follow up yesterday’s post with the rest of the story once I had charged my laptop. Unfortunately, life gets in your way sometimes and the follow-up post had to be put on hold. Here I am again, trying to finally get some new content on my page! Sorry to those of you who follow me on a regular basis and are missing out on all of the daily posts. I didn’t have a Saturday Reader’s Choice topic, so I’m just going to finish up yesterday’s story instead…

As I was saying, I find inspiration in a  lot of different forms and places. My dad is the one who truly inspired me this time, to find some motivation (or at least try to fake it). While I don’t have any kids or pets to look after, who rely on me for love and nourishment, Dad has a garden. Over the past few days he has been calling me throughout the day and asking me to do small chores for the good of the garden. It started with picking the peas, then thinning out the green beans. We also had a plot that had not been sown yet, so one night he came home from work and asked for my help in that task.

It seems silly, and even I myself thought that it wouldn’t be enough of a distraction for me. But it has turned out to be a great help over the past few days. The thing is, taking care of that garden is almost like taking care of a pet or child. Not nearly as needy maybe, but just as alive and important if you think about it the right way. 

I’m a farmer’s daughter, and though we no longer live on a farm, it makes me happy to see that I am able to grow something so well without killing it, harming it, or ruining anything. Seeing the growth of the garden is exactly what I need right now to realize that I am better than I am feeling. I can get out of this slump- maybe not today or even tomorrow, but I can if I just hang in there. Because not everything in life is bad, not everything is negative. 

Just as the garden goes through its seasons, so too do I go through phases in my life. While humans might make life more complicated, hectic, and jam packed than I believe it ever need be, the garden is less crazy. But it still grows and moves on. 

As I was weeding yesterday, I realized, maybe God gave us nature for this reason: for us to be able to relate to it, for us to be able to enjoy it, for peace and some small form of understanding. It makes sense, at least for me. I feel more peaceful when I’m by the ocean, around animals, or out in the garden. Sure, the extreme heat or freezing cold puts a damper on things, but when the weather is decent, nature comes out in its best forms. And I, for the most part, am at peace. 

So thank you Dad- for the inspiration to get outside and do something with myself, and for your support in all things. Thanks to the rest of you who have given me support, even if it is just a comment on a single post of mine at some point. And lastly, thank you to God. For I know you lead me in the direction I need to go whether it be easy or hard. Yet at the end of the day, you give me the piece of the puzzle that I need to find in order to be able to regain that peace of mind that I normally carry with me. 

I may not be feeling better yet, but I’m feeling more hopeful, and maybe that’s all that matters. 

Friday Mash-Up: Maybe the Inspiration I Needed

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There are about five million thoughts running through my head today. That’s how it’s been lately; that’s why I haven’t been writing much. I continue to strive to pull my mind together and get focused on any one topic for a certain period of time, but those topics that jump out at me and stick are all negative and stress-inducing. After the past few days, these are the last things that I need to be thinking of. So, instead of forcing myself to suffer through for the sake of my blog and my strength of character, I have copped out and avoided writing for the past few days. I think I may finally be coming back to it. Slowly, one second at a time, I think my life might start feeling like mine again.

All of this may seem sort of confusing to you all, especially since nothing tragic or drastic has happened to me in the past week. But anxiety has a funny way of sneaking up on those of us who think we have control and are purely happy with our lives. In an instant you can feel like a stranger in your own world, uncomfortable around your comfort zone. This is what has happened to me recently; and it isn’t the first time it’s happened either. I’m growing, unhappily used to the procession that my life decides to take. Sometimes I have control over it, and sometimes I don’t. Maybe in truth, sometimes I don’t want to. God makes everything happen for a reason, that I truly believe. But believing that makes taking a stand against things that occur in life even harder to deal with or justify. 

Anyway, the inspiration that I needed may have come in a very familiar form, one of my personal favorites. People may think I am the clingiest, most childish person of my age group. Because the thing is, my rock, my inspiration: it is my family. There are three other members of my little clan, plus a bird, two dogs, a kitty, and a fish. Some of them live what seems to be worlds apart, but they all hold a place in my heart and help me even when they do not realize it.

So while I’ve been waking up late, sitting around on the couch all day, and falling to sleep extra early, these people that I love have been encouraging me to get off my butt and do something with my life. It’s true and I know it; I need to find my balance again and get back to being my happy self. The only way to really do that is to DO something! I know, but I’m reluctant. I’ll keep being reluctant until I can put all of these scrambled feelings behind me. 

I’ve been talking a lot to my boyfriend about difference of opinion lately, and being openly, brutally honest with those that I love so much. Especially those that I love so much. He has helped me grow in more ways than one, even in the last few days.

My sister is my hugger. She gives the most physical affection of anyone that I’ve ever met. She has inspired me to believe that hugs are good things, that physical touch doesn’t make you weak, and that you don’t have to be five to tell someone you love them. So lately, she has been my hugger. Every time she sees me, I get a hug. She tells me she loves me, and doesn’t pressure me for more. That, to me, is help enough.

My mom is the hard one, the one who keeps saying “You’re stronger than you think,” while I sit here trying to cop out of everything. She’s got this tough, brutal love about her, but deep love that means the most at the same time. She is the one you go to when you don’t want to do something but know that you need to do it. She tells you the truth regardless of situation, at least as it stands from her eyes. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not, but regardless, she is there.

Finally, my dad- the worrier of the group. If anyone has ever had such unconditional, ridiculous, incomprehensible love for someone else it is my dad for his family. Sometimes I cannot get along with him (probably because we are so similar), but most of the times knowing he has my back is all it takes to snap me out of my funks. This week he encouraged me to get off the couch and move. To do something, just like everyone else has been saying. But instead of giving me emotional reasons why I need to (like my head needs to get focused on important things again), he gives me physical work to do to help me get motivated. And so, thanks to Dad, my new motivation has become the garden. 

I’m a farm girl at heart, one who can easily be at peace with nature. As long as it’s not some scary, dark forest with weird noises or anything horrific like that… So the garden, at least at this time in my life, has become the perfect distraction. I have made it my goal to clear all of the weeds, appropriately thin out the beans, discover all of the new pickles, and create some bigger, better, straighter rows of plants than our garden has seen in years.

Anyway, my laptop battery is about to die, and while I have a lot more to write, I guess it will have to wait until I get inside to plug this baby in. (Don’t expect to hear back from me for a few hours- I’m unwilling to give up the peace and quiet of the nature outside just yet.) But when I do, I’ll tell you some of the small things that I realized when working in the garden today that many of you may never have even thought of. And, E, if you are reading this, I am going to write that little piece about my childhood that you and I had been discussing. But like you said, it takes time for genius- there’s no rushing about it! 

Talk to you all soon!

Inspiring Blogger Award

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Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Well hey everyone! I had just intended to get on here this afternoon to create a new post that I had been inspired to write this morning— turns out, I was nominated for a blogger award while I was away!

I know that many people have been nominated for this award and that I have very little, if any, hopes of winning, but the nomination is absolutely thoughtful and inspiring in and of itself! I am so thankful to the person who nominated me, even though I don’t even know them or follow their blog! It is amazing to me how complete strangers can make someone feel so happy and accomplished (possibly without little or no effort too!) 

Anyway, as excited as I am, there are also some rules for nominees that will be explained and completed below. If you aren’t interested in that part, feel free to stop reading here. However, stay on this page and scroll to the bottom! After a little while I will post 15 blogs that inspire me! You should all go and check them out too. 🙂

  • Step One: Name the One you Inspired!Thanks to Megan (at InvisibleWorldd) for the nomination! I am going to check out your blog as soon as I am done with this post!
  • Step Two: Name the Rules-You must post the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on your blog and post a link to the blog by which you were nominated.
  • You must choose 15 bloggers to nominate for the award as well. Notify them in a comment on their page, and create a list on your own post (such as the one below).

And finally… My Nominees:

  1. Message From the Field — unfortunately not because I have read and love your blog posts for so long, but because the ones I have read are greatly inspiring to me and others who comment on them. Also, for the comments that you have left on my page that are truly supportive and inspiring on a more personal level. Thank you!
  2. A Sign of Life — for inspiring me to take the time to write more about silly, random topics than serious, stressful things that my brain normally likes to focus on. For reminding me that it’s okay to be an adult with childhood memories that are pure, innocent, and simple. Thank you!
  3. Infinite Free Time — for inspiring laughs, happiness, and a camaraderie that I have not felt with a stranger in a long time. The ability to comment on your post as a fellow educator and person who sometimes just struggles with day-to-day makes my life just a little bit better. I aspire to one day write the way you do— at random, with hilarity, and the pure truth.
  4. All those bloggers over at Small Act of Kindness — Your posts are by far my favorite to re-blog. You inspire me to be happier, complete random acts of kindness for random people at random times, and your posts are often simple and quick reads. The ability to read your posts so quickly and carelessly allows me to read more and more! That is what I want for my blog one day; for now I just have too many thoughts to make that happen!
  5. Dorky Mum — For giving me real, down-to-earth stories about your kids. Even if I never have kids of my own, your blog reminds me of my home, my family. That in itself is an inspiration! To be able to make someone feel so much comfort and likeness through your words is something that I will always strive to achieve!
  6. Jeyna Grace — For inspiring my Thursday blog posts and making me consider writing fiction again. I’ll never write as much as you (or be half as good as you either!) but the ability to share my story with more people in this world is all thanks to you and your inspiration!
  7. Vinnie Harned — For having a similar background to my own and inspiring me to write about it without feeling like some back-country small-town nut job! Most people don’t understand the life of a country girl, but you do and for that I am grateful! Plus, if I had accomplished what you have by that age, I’d be inspired by myself!
  8. Daily (w)rite — For giving me the idea to have a daily blog post regardless of what else is going on in my life at the time. I know I have failed with this schedule before (and will probably do so again), but my blog has received dozens of extra followers because I have decided to write about different topics each day. Thank you for the inspiration!
  9. Post Secret — For inspiring me to think outside of the box; how you ever came up with your idea is beyond my imaginings, but it rocks! You also inspire me to value the simpler things in life by posting these secrets of strangers who I can relate to. And, sometimes, you inspire me to just have a good laugh for no darned reason! 
  10. GodInterest — Thank you for inspiring me to look deeper into my Faith in numerous ways and for showing me that there are more believers out there than I will ever know! You inspire me to be more open with my Faith and to learn more about it as well. Thank you!
  11. Moments — Thank you for writing inspiring posts! I don’t read a lot of them and I don’t relate to some, but you write about things that matter! You have made an impact on my day more than once lately, and you always seem to brighten my future through your words. 
  12. Project Light to Life — For inspiring all of us bloggers to get out there and be active with our lives! And for inspiring me to think of my own bucket list; while not as inspiring or intriguing as your’s, I am having a pretty good time trying to complete some of the items on that list! Also, for being at an age where you can prove to others that our generation is not just a bunch of lazy, video-game-playing losers. We impact the world more than most think we do!
  13. Try Defying Gravity — For inspiring me to snuggle up in pjs and a blanket and read about someone else’s life for a change. The love and care you show to your children is an inspiration! Also, the closeness and amount of time that you share with your family inspires me to never stop giving my time and attention to those that I love! Thank you. 
  14. Dream, Play, Write! — For writing about those things that all of us as writers should be thinking about! For inspiring me to take a closer look at my writing before publishing it, and for inspiring me to be a better editor! I know I still make mistakes when I write my posts, but thanks to you, I am catching more and more of them each time I write!
  15. Digital Dimensions — For explaining to me the electronic mumbo jumbo that most of us just don’t understand without some help! You have inspired me to write pros and cons lists, do more research on electronics, and to realize that (even in every day life) sometimes there is no wrong choice, only difference in point of view. 

Thank you again to all 15 of you who have inspired me so much. And to those of you whom I follow and have not nominated, I am sorry I ran out of spaces! I expected making this list to be much harder than it was. Next time I’ll try to get everyone a nomination for the every day inspirations that you give me!