Spring Has Sprung (and other life updates)!

So, I’ve been a bad blogger. Like, really bad. I love the idea of being a blogger. I love reading blogs and keep up with a good many, but when it comes to my own, I’m lacking.

Starting in a few weeks though, I will have one month off. No work, no school. Just a few speaking commitments, some interviews, and a jumble of doctor’s appointments. May will be a time of wrapping up life in DC and re-starting life in Baltimore and I couldn’t be happier.

Wait, what? Guys, I’m moving! After two years of working in Northern Virginia in fields that I can not envision myself enjoying in 10 years, I will be moving back to the city that I grew up in and the city I love. I’ve been accepted into a highly selective teaching program in Baltimore City (the Baltimore City Teaching Residency) where I will be teaching elementary education starting in Fall 2013. My summer will consist of long days filled with classes and student teaching as I fast track my way to the classroom.

I’ve always been the kind of person who feels best when helping others. It’s why I try to participate in as much advocacy as possible. It’s also why my most memorable experiences in life to date have been while helping others. I made a decision this past fall that I didn’t want to spend my life working in an office. I didn’t want to spend my life being good at my job without really enjoying it. I wanted to have a job that I felt passionate about.

I officially put my notice in at work today. This was a huge weight off my shoulders since I’ve known I would be leaving for almost two months now. No more being sneaky about what I did over the weekends or when I was going to start looking for a new place to live (everyone knew my lease was up). So here it is office friends and other friends alike:

1. Since February, my life has been crazy! I have had to take the Praxis I and Praxis II. They aren’t cheap tests. They aren’t easy tests. I studied a lot throughout the month of February and March. Sorry that work and life was put on the back burner, but not really. The tests were important. I passed the Praxis I and should hear about the Praxis II any day now. Just in case, I’ve registered again so my life might go on the back burner again.

2. I should mention these tests are extremely stressful to study for and take. They are also stressful because my continuation in the program will only happen if I pass. Any day now, ETS!!!

3. While I’ve told people that I’ve been looking for places to live in DC and Arlington, the fact of the matter is I extended my lease to May 1 and will be moving back in with my parents. I’ve slowly been packing my apartment up now, so when you ask what I did over the weekend, it probably included some packing that I didn’t mention. That’s also why I’ve been hoarding boxes in the storage room.

4. Yes, I just mentioned that I’m moving back in with my parents. Programs like Teach for America, the Peace Corp and the New Teacher Project (the program I’m in) are all about ‘giving.’ We all have to go through a training period before we are able to give though. That training period is not paid and while some programs provide housing. mine doesn’t. Luckily, I have parents who love me and are able to let me live rent-free through the summer.

5. I’m completely excited about this new opportunity! I’m excited about becoming a teacher. I’m excited to go back to Baltimore (peace out NoVa!) I’m excited to work with and help kids and make a difference.

This all brings me back to the fact that I will be moving in a few short weeks and will have a month off before starting my summer training. One glorious month! I have program stuff that I’ll have to do and I was asked to speak at my university, but other than that, the time is mine and I’m pretty excited about it! So I don’t become a lazy lump on a log and sucked into Netflix, I have set a few personal goals for myself. I’m putting them out there for all to see:

1. Find a gym and continue with fitness goals. Over the past two month or so, I’ve become really dedicated as far as fitness goals. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, but I’ve also gained muscle. I’m not a naturally thin person, so I don’t expect to ever fit my wider hips into a size 4, but being really toned is something I’ve never been… it’s a process and I’m finally ready to embrace the process. “Slow and steady wins the race” right?!

2. Blog. Every day I promise myself to blog about something. It will be my thirty day challenge that I can hopefully extend into something longer.

3. Read. I’ve been reading a lot of fun and frilly books lately while working out on the elliptical, but I have a list of heavier books that I’ve been wanting to get to.

4. Write the reviews I promised myself to write. Even though I have been reading a lot of nonsense, I’ve also read some really great books and gone to some really great events pertaining to diabetes. I want to share all of them!

5. Cook. Well, this is a given. I always cook. The difference is that I usually cook for myself. Since I have the month off and will be living with my family, I figured the least I can do is take that off their hands. I hope they are ready for the weird things I eat! I don’t think it will be a problem though since I’ve already converted them on a few things.

6. Prepare for the challenges that await me. I have not idealized my summer into thinking it’s going to be a cake walk. I know my days are going to be long and tiring, and that’s just the beginning. The hardest year for a teacher is their first, or so I hear from my friends who have been there. I’m ready for the challenge though, and I’m excited.

7. Watch Netflix… ok, ok. I want to do all the other things I mentioned, but let’s be real here! Netflix has basically been my significant other for the past six months and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon!

So there it is! The biggest part of my life at the moment on blast. Now if only the weather would cooperate and actually be Spring-like instead of 90 degrees… but I’m not complaining 🙂

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Well Hello, 2013!

Happy New Year!

I truly hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. I spent most of my vacation at my parent’s house in Baltimore, where I laid around by the fireplace watching Netflix and reading for countless hours by the light of twinkling Christmas lights. Great food was consumed, presents were exchanged and traditions highlighted everything throughout. Family took center stage this year as I opted to stay in and celebrate my Mom’s birthday (New Year’s Eve) with lamb and flourless chocolate cake, with an interlude of yoga, bubble bath, and nap before midnight where my younger brother and Dad set off an arsenal of fireworks and my Mom and I cheered and hollered at the dark sky as it lit up with festive reds, greens and silvers. I will remember the end of 2012 as relaxing and while I’m sad to see the holidays in my rear-view mirror, I’m excited about the upcoming road ahead!

snow

Snow and Christmas lights…love!

"The stockings were hung on the chimney with care"

“The stockings were hung on the chimney with care”

tree

Christmas Morning… first awake!

I’ll be honest and say I had a crap of a year in 2012. I was blinded with positivity and optimism at the beginning of the year, in a relationship that I knew deep down was failing. That positivity that I’ve carried with me throughout my life was tested as I hit one of my hardest walls in the spring and summer of 2012. Struggling to stay afloat and out of the depression that threatened to grab hold of me was my biggest challenge. My breakup left me torn up and confused. 2012 threw a lot of shit my way, but it also showed me that I’m pretty damn strong. I literally dug my nails into the Earth as I climbed up out of the hole that I was quickly falling in to. And somehow I managed to come out of it a better person. I have a long way to go from where I want to be but I ended 2012 on much better terms than I started it.

I also have to give myself a pat on the back for managing my health so well through all of it. It’s easy to let life take over and stick diabetes in the trunk. I think I knew somewhere in the back of my mind, though, that if I wanted to get better emotionally and mentally, I needed to at least maintain some control over my blood sugar. I think if that had started spiraling out of control, things would have been a lot worse.

While 2012 was hard, I learned a lot and I don’t want to take any of that back. It’s true that I cringe when I think about some of the stuff that happened in the past year, but I smile after because I know that I’ll never have to deal with that again. Learning lessons. Life is all about them! I’m taking my lessons learned into 2013.

Call me crazy but 2013 is going to be awesome. 13 is my lucky number and my birthday is February 13 (2/13). 0 is just a great number. All of that combined means 2013 is MY year. Ok, I don’t necessarily believe in all that superstitious stuff, but honestly, it can’t get much worse than this past year.

I don’t have any specific resolutions. I feel like New Year resolutions set people up for failure and would much rather make resolutions and goals along the way. I would like to focus on health and fitness more in 2013. Clean and mindful eating, building strength and endurance. I want to meditate more. I want to learn more and experience more. Travel is always a goal, but this year I’m going to do it with books too.

I vow to be present. Too often people are consumed by unimportant things and more focused on putting on a show (gotta Instagram what I’m doing!) rather than enjoying the show. I work in social media and have to live tweet all of the events I go to. For that reason, it’s probably why I don’t live tweet when I go out with friends and why I barely was on my social media accounts throughout the holidays. I don’t want to miss the joke because I was too busy posting a picture from five minutes ago.

Focusing on myself will continue to be the theme of 2013. For once in my life, I don’t feel the pressure to date or have a boyfriend. I don’t feel the need to kiss someone because he wants to kiss me. For too long I’ve spent my time making sure someone else was happy. I’m not saying I won’t ever be ready to make some guy feel like the center of my universe, but for now, while I’m in my 20s, I think it’s acceptable if I’m the only person at the center of my universe.

Also, I will be true to myself. Going along with focusing on myself, I will not lie to people about who I am. I tend to mold myself into what a person expects or what I think they would like (mostly with guys). I know the error of my ways, which is why I’m telling everyone now. If you don’t like what I’m saying about gun control or think I’m a prude because I won’t kiss you on the first day or think I’m a slut because I will, well too damn bad! I can’t be everything to everybody or even everything to one body and I want to be done trying. So I will stop and be everything to myself. From there, I can give you, whoever you are, all of that.

As always, I promise to love. I promise to love myself and all of my flaws. I promise to love the sunrises and sunsets, delicious enchiladas, salted caramel chocolate cheesecake, laughter, couples holding hands, drunk/sober nights with friends, my family. I promise to try and practice zen when it comes to everyday frustrations like traffic, rude people, petty arguments and bad coffee. I promise to try and release the anger when it comes. I promise to just try. I will try at everything I do and try to be the best person I can be. I think that’s a resolution everyone should make because in the end, people won’t remember if you lost 20 pounds or cut sugar out of your diet. They’ll remember the type of person you were, so isn’t it important we be the best we can be?