Sunday, October 10, 2010


I know some people are super excited and have something special planned for today. I am not one of those people. I have no idea what I was doing on 1-1-1, or 2-2-2- or 7-7-7 etc. But I like the number 10. Plus 10-10-10 equals 30. I think for me it is more special the age I am. 30. I still don't feel 30 or what I think I should feel like based on what other people have said about turning 30. I am still almost always the youngest person out of any group of people I hang out with on a regular basis. There are many times I am more mature than some of those people. So while on the one hand I feel younger than them since I have no husband or children; on the other hand I feel older since some of them are still really immature. I don't know that I really feel like I am one age. I think I feel young or old depending on the situation I find myself in.
Being here for over a month now it still amazes me sometimes that I am living in a foreign country. When I am in my room working I almost forget that I am not in the United States. I don't forget that I am not living in my house, but it feels much like a dorm room that it really does not feel that odd. I read some other blog recently that says it takes at least 3 months to get settled. I think I have made lots of progress for being here a little over a month now. I kept waiting for it to turn out like when I moved to Idaho and got really sick from the stress. But I haven't. I think some of it is that I didn't feel stressed when I moved to Idaho, which was something new to me. My body obviously was stressed, and it manifested that in my getting so sick. Here I have felt stressed and so I think that has helped me to realize when I need to take a break and relax, take a deep breath and tell myself I can do this.  I know I am older, and I think I am wiser. I know now that everything does not have to be graded every night and handed back the next day. I know that it is ok to do some things outside of working and not work all the time. I know that people make mistakes and people forget things, and I don't have to be a perfect teacher. I know it is ok to admit that I have faults to my students, and they will be ok with that.

I know that as much as I like this and am enjoying it I don't think I want to live here forever. Part of me would like to return home after a few years, but part of me want to keep teaching overseas. I used to love to travel but then after September 11th I was afraid to travel overseas any more. Now that I have done it I know that it is ok. There are countries that are still great to travel too. I can be cautious and hope that nothing happens. Part of me was also afraid of getting some disease and being sick. But on the other hand I could stay at home forever and get cancer or something and still get horribly sick and die. So, I have decided I want to go back to traveling. It is so hard to figure out where I want to go first. I wish that I had someone to travel with though. I think that would be more fun to have someone along to talk with right there and experience the same things I am.

When I was in high school I was asked where I saw myself in ten years.  My answer was something along the lines of being an Elementary teacher, with a husband and two kids by the time I hit my 10 year reunion.  When I was in Europe back in high school I thought that I would like to teach overseas but I didn't think it would ever happen. It is kind of like I always dreamed of being a professional ballerina, but that was not meant to be.

I don't know where I see myself in ten years when I am 40. My dreams don't seem to line up with my life's purpose, so I decided instead of being the planner that I am I will just be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal-to some extent. I know now that I can do it. I hoped all summer that I would get a job where I had plenty of notice to pack up my house and move and unpack and get settled and get lesson plans done and then start teaching. Instead I had less than two weeks to pack up my house and move to another country (not another state) and then another week before I started teaching and trying to get settled and unpacked and do lesson planning. But I survived with no major crisis or anything, so I know if I had to do it again I am strong enough to do it. Maybe with my next job I will get it right at the end of my contract and have to move and start teaching in less than a week, who knows.  Not that I really want that to happen, but I know now I could handle it.

I know I joked on Facebook once my passport arrived that maybe before my birthday I was going to run away to some country and not come back until my passport expires in 10 years, 2020. Maybe that will really happen. I said I was going to run away to the place of my favorite movie. I never specified where that was and whose to say that I might not end up there eventually.

I had one of my students on that last day of class tell me that he hoped I ended up moving to some place warm. If only he knew that I did move to some place warm.

It is funny now looking back at all the little signs I was given that were pointing the way here, while I was looking for some gigantic neon sign in the sky with an arrow saying "BB, go here". (That is what I kept wishing for anyway.)

This summer when I was applying for jobs some of the ones I applied to I didn't have any actual teaching experience in. When I get done with this job I will have experience in every single one of those grades and areas.

It is funny too. I am a home body, but I have yet to settle down in one place for longer than two years. I enjoyed growing up and not really moving around like my Dad did when he was a child and some of my friends. I always thought I would find a teaching job in one place and be there for the rest of my life. Recently I was worried that would look bad on my resume and keep me from getting a job, but from what I am learning about teaching overseas that actually seems to be the norm. Many of the contracts are only a year or two, and they seem to expect that after that people will be moving on.  One of my professors back in college was from Belgium and taught in Europe before teaching a couple places in South Dakota. I kind of looked up to her thinking how cool would all of those experiences be.  Maybe I will be a gypsy instead and wander around the world for the rest of my life. Eventually I will have to return to the US for a period of time to figure out what to do with my possessions. My kittens have become super attached to my parents so there is no problem there.

Not that I want to rush to the end of my life but it will be interesting to see how it all turns out in the end. Where I will go from here.

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