Just a few days ago I was shocked that it was December already and now I’m 10 days into the month! Eek! December goes so fast. As it is, I completely omitted my traditional birthday post (on the 8th)! I’ve been so busy teaching the kiddies that I completely forgot that I have a fawning public waiting patiently to hear me give my yearly update of where I’ve been and what I’ve done and where I plan to go from here. *waves to readers*
This time last year I was so depressed, cold, alone (and now I have a k’s Choice song stuck in my head) in my little apartment in the next town over with Allan one-hundred miles up the highway with piles of papers and planning. I’ve come a long way. Now, instead of being depressed and alone, I’m simply dealing with the rest. And I’m not overwhelmed, either. It’s amazing how much happens in a year.
Here are the accomplishments and growths during my twenty-sixth year of life:
- I landed my first position in my career.
- I survived my first year of teaching and learned a ton of technical and social education skills.
- I learned that I can live on my own but I don’t desire it.
- I founded the Monmouth Academy Anime Club.
- I began running for the joy of it (read, being healthy and hot).
- I ran my first road race.
- I am currently receiving medical care for my shoulder and I should be functional again soon!
- I sought medical care for my back and it is better, too. (Thanks Dr. Lawson!)
- I married my best friend on my own terms.
- I reconsolidated my loans in a program that will forgive the remaining debt after 120 payments (10 years and I’m free!).
- I completed my first lace project.
- I completed my first sweater project.
- I figured out that I am, indeed, an awesome teacher.
- I gained some confidence in myself and my abilities that had been lost sometime in college.
Where do I want to go from here? That’s a mighty big list of accomplishments for one year of life. I do have some goals for the next year, though.
For health and running:
- Continue running and improve my form.
- Improve my time for 5k runs.
- Increase my weekly and daily distance.
- Run some more 5k races and try a 10k.
- Continue introducing new fruits and vegetables into my diet.
For my career:
- Continue to improve my curriculum.
- Continue to seek out feedback on my performance and make measurable and concerted effort to improve.
- Find a better method of record keeping (grades, plans, behaviors/contacts, etc).
- Seek out new methods of engaging students.
For my relationships with my husband, family, and friends:
- Improve the frequency of my correspondence with loved ones far away. (In other words, pick up the phone or send an email!)
- Continue to discuss rather than argue with Allan about tension-promoting issues.
- Get over my preoccupation with being judged all the time (I’m so self-conscious!) and just enjoy being with them! I don’t have to be perfect; I have to be my loving and warm self!
For my finances:
- Continue to make progress on my student loans.
- Start a retirement savings program and put in as much as I’m able.
- Start setting aside money for big ticket items (a new car and/or a house).
So that’s the bullet point list. The narrative version goes something like this:
I’ve grown so much as a person this last year. Once timid and reserved, I started getting over some of my self-consciousness that prevented me from being more open with those around me. Much of this stems from my childhood experiences, many of which are mentioned if not discussed here on this blog. I’ve grown less angry, though no less resentful, and more willing to reconnect with those from the past, namely, my extended family.
Much of this personal change climaxed when I married Allan. After getting married, I had this sense of security that I had been missing in my life. Not that I didn’t feel secure in my relationship, that wasn’t it at all. It was more a sense that finally, after all the broken promises of childhood, I was making a promise with someone I know would follow through. Our lives settled down tremendously. I’m so content now. I feel even tempered and more open to love those around me because I’m not holding onto myself so tightly.
Further, I’ve gained a significant degree of confidence in myself as an educator, too. Last year was rough and this year had some bumps and I truly questioned whether or not teaching was a good career choice. I have no doubt of it now. Much of this confidence came when I simply told myself to smarten up and do what needs doing and not worry about the rest. And even more when I took up a video game that occupied the same space in my brain as teaching so I wouldn’t obsess. If I have a fault, it’s obsessing over situations, comments, and my areas for improvement. I often have a hard time accepting that I don’t have to be perfect and that includes my career, too.
But I’m getting better! I’m coming to accept my personality and view of the world (I once masked my perspective for fear it wasn’t as good as that of others), my physical body (I feel so powerful when I run!), and my life with all its history. As Dido says in one of her songs, I’m finally feeling safe in my own skin.
With warmest wishes, Little Bee.