Friday, February 5, 2016

Gawl-lee it's been a long time. I don't even know what my last post was. Let's get down to the most important life updates.

In November, I went to Hawai'i with my family for Thanksgiving vacation. It was our first trip all together as a family since Benn left on his mission. (I don't even know if I wrote about that? My brother Bennett got home from Romania in October.) I woke early each morning and ran downstairs to walk on the beach and watch the sunrise. For the first time in a long time, I was excited about living. I noticed each moment and appreciated my good fortune, and was filled with life and purpose again. It was lovely and though it wasn't what we thought it was going to be (it rained most of the time we were there), I left and felt as though something had changed - as if I had changed in some small way.
I noticed this mostly on the flight home, where I had a panic attack and cried most of the way. I was dreading the life I had to go back to, which is the way that nobody should feel, in my opinion. One of the biggest things that I was sad about leaving was the "aloha" way of life, as well the Maui time. Maui time is all about "no hurry, no worry." I was all worry all the time, and I wasn't especially eager to head back to that.

The biggest problem was my job. I had plans to leave in September, and was offered a position as a sales assistant. I will admit that I was swayed by money momentarily, mostly because I was tired of being poor. Money does not usually motivate me though, but after a few months I saw that I was even more miserable than before. It takes a very specific type of personality to feel comfortable in sales, and I am not one of those people. I knew that though it would be difficult, I had to leave my company. I put in my (three) weeks notice without having anything lined up.

Weeks went by and I didn't hear from a single place that I had applied. I was discouraged. Sitting in my living room one friday night, Tim was over studying and he suggested I apply at schools in the area. I laughed it off and told him I'd look into it, but he sat there and made me fill out applications. The next week and my final week at work, I had 5 interviews for different positions at elementary schools.

I accepted a position at a school around 3 miles from my house as an instructional aide. I work individually or in small groups with kids who are behind in class, with either math or reading. I started on January 4th and it hasn't been easy, but it's always felt right. I have not felt a moment of regret since I left my old job. There hasn't been much training and my paycheck is going to receive a sigggggnificant cut, but I love my kids.

I've gotten to learn so much and it's funny to see the love I have in my heart for all of them - even the ones that are a bit rebellious and make my job a lot harder. It's fulfilling for me to see when their eyes light up as they're telling a story, or to see them finally understand a concept - and that's what I needed/was looking for all along. Prestige or impressive career moves don't appeal to me. Maybe I'll be poor forever and people will think less of me for quitting my job when I could have moved up, but I honestly don't care about any of that. I'm glad I realized that early on, instead of in my 30s or something.

The other big event that happened recently was the fact that Brianne moved home for a few months. Her mom got sick and she felt strongly that she needed to go take care of her and be with her family. It was really really difficult to hear that, because she has been integral in my dealing with depression. I fully acknowledged that it was selfish, but I thought back to where I was in early 2015 and how it was the darkest place I had ever been. Where would I be without her? I didn't want to go back to that place, but what kind of friend would I be if I wasn't ok with her doing this really selfless act? It wasn't easy or convenient to put her life on hold, but she knew she had to. And I knew I had to get on board.

It's only been a month (the longest month of my life) and it's been really difficult, but I'm getting along. In some ways, I'm doing better and in others, I'm not nearly where I want to be. I have to learn not to hold myself to impossible standards. I vacillate between ambition and not wanting to get out of bed, loneliness and satisfaction, and I honestly just have to take it a day at a time. Some days are better than others. I just remind myself that someday, hopefully soon, the snow will melt and we'll see the sun again and Brianne will come back and maybe I won't have to feel alone all the time.

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