Not Being the Best (At Least Not Right Away)

So today I found myself sitting on my prep period with relatively little to do.  It’s the second day of the semester so I don’t have any grading, and I’ve got all my planning done and handouts made for the week.  Still wanting to be productive, I decided to poke around Pinterest for some inspirational ideas to use in my classroom.

Holy moly.  Bad choice.  After about 32 seconds I was feeling like the worst teacher ever.  All I could see was how creative these other teachers are and how much I suck and am failing my kids.  I started pinning all sorts of ideas and trying to figure out how I can make my classroom Pinterest-worthy.  I started feeling overwhelmed, and then the paranoia kicked in a bit.

I did what I always do in times like these–ran next door to my mentor’s classroom.  I am SO SO lucky to have an incredible mentor teacher.  I told her how I was feeling like a giant failure, and she gave me great advice.  She said to close Pinterest and focus on tomorrow’s lesson plans (which, coincidentally, is watching a movie.  Hey, Hercules can teach them a lot about ancient Greece!).  She reminded me that I am a first-year teacher, and I’m not expected to be amazing right out of the gate.  I was thrown into a role that no one has done before (we are doing this weird block scheduling at my school this year and I”m expected to teach two different classes in my block) so my biggest focus should be on doing the best I can this year.  Then I have all summer to look at what I did, make adjustments, and add new things.

I needed this perspective in my life.  I’m such a perfectionist so I always want to be the best.  I have been overtaxing myself trying to add all these great things to my classroom, but in the end I was just hurting my students.  I’ve been tired and trying to do too many things that aren’t my style and don’t work for me.  I’ve been working on accepting that my lesson plans might not be perfect this year, and that’s ok.  As long as I give my students my absolute best every day (and make sure I cover the required standards) then I can consider my first year in the classroom a success.

I’m trying to apply this to other areas of my life as well.  If something isn’t perfect right away, that’s ok!  Life can be messy, and it can require some tweaking.  That doesn’t mean we just give up on things or that they won’t work out well eventually!  Any other first-year teachers out there who can sympathize, we will get there!

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Resolutions

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I think part of that has to do with the fact that I’ve always been a student or a teacher, so for me the new year begins in August. January 1 didn’t seem like a fresh start so why bother making all kinds of promises I probably wouldn’t keep anyway?

This year is a little different. I did make a resolution this year. There were several events that led me to do this. Two of my best friends from high school got married over Christmas break. While I had an absolute blast at both weddings, there was a little nagging feeling I had at both. I found myself stressing that everyone in my high school group is now married and I’m still technically single. I do think this impacted my experience at the weddings (but not too much, because like I said they were a blast).

On my plane ride home from Denver after the second wedding on the morning of January 1 (yes, it was a New Year’s Eve wedding–SO fun) I realized that is crap. I’m too concerned with comparing my place in life to where others are. I’m too concerned with planning and calculating things. That’s what almost ruined things with A back in November. So my resolution this year? Live in the moment. Stop worrying so much and just enjoy life.

I know it’s only been three days, but I can already feel the impact of this resolution. I came home yesterday after being gone since December 23 and A immediately planned this whole night out (so adorable, and made me feel like he has really missed me). Instead of spending the evening overthinking everything he said and figuring out what everything meant, I just had fun. I really tried living in the moment and to just enjoy what was going on. And you know what? It worked. We had a great time and he actually ended up just crashing at my place because he said he didn’t want to go home. There was no drama, no me asking what our status is and what’s going on, no pressure.

Of course, it’s a bad idea to completely ignore the future. We do have to make plans and figure things out. But I was obsessing over things. I think if I can keep this up my life will actually change and I will be a lot happier. Here’s to 2015 and all the great things it will bring!

Thoughts on the Past Year

Merry Christmas everyone!  I know, I’m the worst.  Not even going to waste time explaining or apologizing :).

2014 is drawing to a close.  I’m a very nostalgic person, so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the past year.  On Christmas Eve, one of my aunts came up to me and one of the first things she said was “It’s the anniversary of everything happening with C.  You look great!  I definitely think you came out way ahead of everything that happened!”  That was a nice compliment, but it got me thinking.  How on earth has it only been a year?  It seems like it’s been at least 4 or 5.  Not only because everything seems like it happened so long ago, but also because I feel like a completely different person than I was last Christmas.  When I think about the person I was last Christmas, I’m almost embarrassed.  I was a girl who was so desperate to not be alone that I was willing to overlook some major red flags in a relationship.  I was so concerned with staying on track with where my friends were in life that I didn’t do what was best for myself and my situation.

Several people have commented that I must be so ready for 2014 to be over.  Yes, there were definitely some crappy things that happened this year.  Without a doubt this has been the most difficult year of my life.  But I don’t think I would change anything.  It sucked, but I’ve learned so much and really grown as a person.  My life is so much more together and stable than it was a year ago.  I’m more financially stable than I was, and my stress level is way down.  I have a job that I absolutely love.  I truly feel like I am on the right path.

Then there’s the whole relationship thing.  The break-up with A lasted like 30 hours.  The next night he texted me saying he thinks he screwed up because it had only been a day and he missed me.  We decided to put all the drama behind us and start fresh.  I’ve stopped trying to put pressure on the situation and force things, and it’s been wonderful.  We’ve just been getting to know each other and having fun.

I’m trying to be chill, but sometimes I do get a little stressed about it.  What if we keep hanging out and I like him more and more but then get friendzoned again?  How do I know if this is worth it, or if I’m just wasting my time?  I’m someone who likes knowing where things are going, which is why before I was constantly asking him what he’s thinking and what we are doing, etc.  My gut is telling me to keep him in my life, but it’s scary.

One of my constant prayers is for guidance with my relationships.  I really feel like I’m on track career-wise, but relationship-wise I’m a little foggier.  My New Year’s resolution is to live more in the moment and try to stop planning and worrying.  I really think if I can do that, 2015 should be an interesting year.

Any advice on how to stay patient in my relationship situation?

I’m Really Bad at Keeping Promises

It seems like my last 4 posts have all started with “I know I’ve been horrible at keeping this updated but I’ll get better…”  I clearly fail at keeping this promise.  It was much easier last year when my job was much more low-key and I had a lot of free time during the day.  Now, between teaching and coaching I am busy basically every day from 7:30-5 or later.  Not a lot of extra time for blogging!

Not surprisingly, I’m back because I’m dealing with hurt again.  Things officially ended with A  yesterday.  Things were STILL moving at a snail’s pace after 4 months of hanging out, so yesterday I needed to get some answers.  It all boiled down to him saying “I think we need to work on getting to know each other and being friends.  I don’t see a relationship continuing at this point, but who knows in the future?”

I had been given similar statements before.  Almost 2 months ago I asked where we were, and he said he definitely sees potential and just wants to take it slow and do it right.  I saw that as a sign of hope and promise.  The fact that I am still getting the same stuff 2 months later tells me it’s time to be done.  At first I almost said ok to his suggestion, but I’m trying to be strong and do what I know in my head is best for me.

Guys, it SUCKS.  He ended the conversation by saying “I’m really sorry we are on such different wavelengths.  This really sucks.”  Pretty much everything I was worried about happened if I allowed myself to become vulnerable happened.  He just didn’t reciprocate my feelings.  I can’t fault him for that.  Sure, I’m annoyed that he led me on, but it’s not his fault he doesn’t share my feelings.  Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.  I spent the evening heading down the spiral of all kinds of self-doubt.  What if I was prettier/thinner/funnier/cooler, would things be different?  What is wrong with me that he didn’t feel everything that I did?

Even though this wasn’t an official break-up since we weren’t officially dating, it’s still hard.  We’ve spent the last 4 months hanging out.  We would text and Snapchat every single day.  There are a lot of things that remind me of him and it’s tough.  In my break-up with C I was just so hurt and angry that it was easy to wipe all signs of our life together away.  It’s not quite as easy with A.

Every part of my being wants to text A and talk about how hard this is.  It feels a little like New Girl episode when Nick and Jess break up.  No, I don’t live with A but he was the one I would talk to whenever I was having a tough day and now that’s gone.  So far I’ve been able to hold out and be strong (ok, I did send one Snapchat last night o_o) and I just hope that can continue.

I’m just trying to focus on me and surrounding myself with my friends.  It’s sucky that all my best friends live so far away, but I’m trying to make plans to visit them.  I’m also working on the few friendships and I do have in Fargo and taking a break from boys for a little while.  Even though this sucks, at least I know C didn’t ruin me forever and I can still have romantic feelings.for someone.  I’m just trying to look for any silver lining I can.  In the meantime, you can find me indulging in lots of chocolate and Christmas movies.

Don’t Worry, I’m Not Dead!

Holy moly it’s been a loooooong time!  No, I didn’t fall of the face of the earth.  I’ve just been super, super busy (I know, we are all busy and it’s the lamest excuse in the history of ever).  I have been taking some flak recently for not updating this (I’m looking at you M.R.K.) and I finally have a spare moment at school so here goes!

I am LOVING teaching sixth grade.  We have 88 wonderful students who both drive me crazy and make me love life.  The kids get on my every nerve yet they also make me laugh every single day.  I’m finally getting into the swing of things with school and don’t feel tired 100% of the time.  It’s very different than when I worked in the library and just showed up, hung out until the final bell, and then went home.  Now I have to spend every extra minute of time either grading or planning lessons.  I think I’m starting to get the hang of it though, and it’s totally worth being tired.

Last time I blogged I mentioned something was starting with a certain gentleman but I didn’t want to talk too much about it.  Well, things are still going with said gentleman.  The story I mentioned last time about HIMYM and me drinking too much was basically that I was out at a bar with friends and drank wayyyyy too much and basically ended up blacking out.  This was right after this guy (let’s call him A) and I started talking.  He ended up picking me up from the bar because I was no longer coherent.  He lived really close and ended up taking me to his house.  We had talked about how I love HIMYM, so when we got there he put on one of my favorite episodes (Slapsgiving) and tucked me in to bed.  It was really super sweet.  But apparently while I was blacked out I made a REALLY big deal about wanting to take things slow because I had been enjoying talking to him and I didn’t want to screw it up.

Well, it’s 2 months later and we are still moving at snail’s pace.  I guess he took me pretty seriously, which is great that he’s so respectful but sometimes I get a little frustrated.  However, I really like spending time with him and getting to know him better so hopefully it will be worth it.  I also keep reminding myself that I moved WAY too fast with C and we all know how that ended up.  The way things are going with A is probably much better and healthier (sidenote: literally EVERYTHING about A is opposite from C; he’s a college grad, has a really good job, just bought a house, is tall, can grow a full beard, etc. etc.).

While this whole thing is fun, it’s also kind of scary.  I can feel myself developing feelings and I’m scared.  What if he doesn’t reciprocate?  What if he meets someone that is prettier/funnier/smarter/he likes better?  What if I get hurt again?  I don’t want to deal with break-up hurt again (although I’m already positive A would never hurt me like C did).  I’ve never really appreciated how fricken scary feelings and relationships can be.  I was invincible before.  Now I’m a chicken.  But I’m not quite chicken enough to not get out there and try, so that’s good, right?

Time Marches On

Wow I am really bad at keeping a blog during the summer. It’s kind of ironic, because I definitely have a lot more free time than I do during the school year. I think the problem is that my life is actually kind of boring during the summer months. I spent most of the month of June working and taking online classes, and during July I’ve been working and have actually gone home a few times to visit my family. Nothing super blogworthy.

I have also been maintaining a fairly steady dating life. I think last time I blogged about this I was talking about Mr. Chivalrous. That kind of fizzled before it even got going. I was a little bummed at first, but now it is NBD. I’ve gone out with a couple different guys and met someone who I am pretty excited about but I think I’m going to refrain from sharing too many details (call me superstitious but did I jinx things before?). I promise, I will keep you updated on how things play out with that situation (I do have a good story involving How I Met Your Mother and me drinking way too much, but like I said, I’m going to withhold details for the time being).

As far as things with C, I’m really starting to feel a distance from all of that. I think the wedding date being past was a major help. Before, I could talk about how much I was healing but I still had that speed bump to get through. Now the whole thing really is behind me. Before, when I met someone new I felt like I had to reveal that story almost immediately. I don’t feel that need for immediacy as much anymore. I also don’t feel the need to share as many of the gory details. All the new guy knows is that I was engaged, found out he was using meth, and dumped his sorry ass. Maybe if things progress I will tell him about the robbery and how awful the breakup was, but I don’t feel a need to now. It’s like those gory details used to be such a big part of who I was as a person that I couldn’t not share them. Now I’m starting to feel as if they were a huge part of someone I used to be, but I’m starting a new chapter so they are only a little part of what has made me the person I am today.

It’s funny, it’s been almost 6 months since I started this blog. I’m really glad I did it because I now have a chronicle of my survival of the worst breakup of my life. When I started the blog, I was having a tough time imagining the future. Every day was so painful to try and get through. I didn’t know if I would ever get to a place where I am now. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m completely healed and totally over the whole situation, but I’m sure as hell a lot better than I was before. And it feels pretty great to have gotten here.

June 22

I made it.  The day I was supposed to be getting married has passed.  

I would be lying if I said it was totally easy to make it through, but I did it.  Overall I think I did pretty well.  I had a few breakdowns last week (like when I got emails confirming the rehearsal dinner or when I would hear a song that reminds me of C) but for the most part I was able to distract myself.  Yesterday wasn’t too bad either.  I really tried not to dwell on what could have been happening.  There were a couple of times when I looked at the clock and thought “It’s 9 a.m.  I would probably be getting my hair done now,” but I really tried not to do that.  

My cousin came to visit, and we spent the morning shopping and then went to lunch.  That provided a good distraction.  In the afternoon we went back to my apartment just to relax and nap.  If you are trying to distract yourself on your non-wedding day, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.  That’s when my mind started racing and I had my breakdown.  I sobbed for about an hour as I waited for my emotions to catch up with my logic.  Logically I know it is good that I wasn’t marrying C that day.  He’s a drug addict.  I don’t want that in my life.  However, it took my emotions some time to catch up.  After that breakdown we ordered Papa John’s (it was my non-wedding day, I got a free pass on calories) and then got fancied up and went out on the town.  A couple other friends met us out, drinks were had, poor decisions were made, but overall I actually had a lot of fun.

My friends and family have been amazing through this whole situation, and yesterday was no different.  The texts and calls started at 8:30 and didn’t stop all day.  It was kind of hard to have those reminders coming in all day, but it was also nice to know that I had so many people who were thinking of me.  I didn’t have to be strong on my own.

I’m just so glad the date has passed.  Now I feel like I can actually start putting this whole ordeal in the past.  Before, whenever I would tell someone what happened to me, I had to say that the wedding date hadn’t come yet.  I don’t have to say that anymore.  It’s over.  This whole ordeal is in my past.  My dad (who is currently in Puerto Rico with my mom and sister) texted me last night and said “It’s June 22 here.  You made it.”

I did make it.  Time to leave the past in the past and see what life has in store for me.  I’m going to make it great.

The Week From Hell

Well, it’s here.  The week that was supposed to be my wedding week.  I honestly, honestly thought this week wouldn’t be that hard.  It’s been almost 6 months since I called off the wedding.  I’ve got a new apartment, new job, and am dating again.  I’ve moved on.

I’m a day in and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  My sisters visited this weekend and that provided a good distraction, but as soon as they left I just fell apart.  I started to get it together but things keep happening that remind me of what was supposed to be going on this week.  Yesterday morning I woke up with an email from the hotel we were supposed to stay at on our wedding night that wanted to confirm the room.  The room had been cancelled, but a glitch in the system caused that email to go out.  Then today I got an email from the owner of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was supposed to be wanting to confirm that.  C’s mom had taken care of that and apparently hadn’t called them to cancel.

I thought I would have it pulled together, but I don’t.  I can’t seem to make it more than an hour without crying.  Then I get frustrated with myself because I don’t want to be crying over that piece of crap anymore.  Logically I know that I dodged a huge bullet by not marrying him.  I know he wasn’t good for me.  I know my life would have been hell if I would have gone through with it and married him after I found out he’s a drug addict.  So it frustrates me that I’m having such a hard time this week.  Why??

Anyone have any suggestions on how to survive this week?

Back (for real this time)

OK guys, my blogging hiatus is officially over.  I’m settled into my new place (and my sisters are visiting this weekend so we’ll get to actually decorate the living room and kitchen!!) and no longer feel like the noob at my summer job.  It’s time for me to stop making excuses and get back to blogging.

If you were hoping this would be a DIY decorating post, sorry to disappoint.  Today’s subject is all about online dating.  At my last check in I had gone on my first date and thought it went well but was not 100% sure because we had spent 5 hours at a bar and I had several glasses of red wine clouding my judgement.  Well, I’ve since seen that guy again and felt no connection.  It was a little disappointing but it was a definite no-go.  Then I had to deal with the awkward situation of telling him I didn’t want to see him again.  I decided to take the easy way out and do it via text.  I figured it since we had only gone out twice it wasn’t a totally skeezy thing to do.

I was not having the best of luck.  I had been messaging a few guys, but they would always say something that was too forward or gross and it totally turned me off.  There was one guy that I was getting along with really well, and then he asked how long after we meet before he can start kissing me.  That was super awkward, because we had never even met face to face yet.  For a little bit I considered that I was being too harsh, but then I realize that I don’t owe anyone anything with this dating thing.  If it makes me uncomfortable, there is no reason for me to keep on with it.  I told him I wasn’t comfortable with it, and instead of just accepting it he spent HOURS texting me to try and convince me that he’s a good guy and I need to give him a chance but he hasn’t been “this intrigued by a girl” in a long time.  The situation just got worse and worse.  That wasn’t fun.

Time out for a little online dating advice.  If things are making you uncomfortable, there’s no law that says you have to keep up with it.  I mean, things are probably going to be a little awkward.  It is online dating after all.  But there is a difference between feeling a little out of your comfort zone and feeling truly uncomfortable in a situation.  If you are like me, you can struggle with telling people “no”.  It can be an awkward thing to do, but you need to do what’s right for you.  If you don’t, you might find yourself engaged to a guy with a meth addiction (read my early posts if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Anyway, I had gone on a couple more dates but nothing really clicked.  That is, nothing clicked until last night.  Then I went out with a new guy (let’s call him Mr. Chivalrous).  This was totally different than the other dates I had been on.  He is smart, funny, has a good job, and was really well-dressed (call me shallow, but I think how a guy dresses for a date says a lot).  He picked me up and we went out for beers at this German bier hall.  We were only supposed to have one since he was driving, but we weren’t ready to go so he asked me if I would be down for having another and then going for a walk after.  We did, and then had about 4 glasses of water each.  He said he still wasn’t comfortable to drive, so he offered to walk me home.  It was about a mile and a half walk, but we set out.  As we were walking, he made me switch spots with him so he could walk next to the street (hence how he got his nickname).  We got to my apartment and he asked if I wanted to hang out and watch TV for awhile.  We watched an episode of Orange is the New Black and then he walked back to his car to head home.

I didn’t feel like this after any of my other dates.  I’ve spent the morning over-analyzing EVERYTHING about last night.  He wanted to stay for another drink, and then he wanted to hang out in my apartment for awhile, so that means he was interested too, right?  On the other hand, when he left he shook my hand.  Yes, I got a handshake.  Not even a hug.  A handshake.  How the eff am I supposed to interpret that??  Was that just him being respectful and old-fashioned?  Or does that mean that he didn’t feel any connection?  

As awful as the over-analyzing is, it feels good to be doing this again.  I haven’t cared enough to try to interpret a man’s actions in a long, long time.  I think I might have a little crush.  That means I can still feel.  C and all the awful things he did didn’t break me completely.  It also makes me glad that I didn’t pursue conversations with other guys who were ok, but I didn’t feel great about.  I had started to think that maybe I’m not someone who feels connections right away, that maybe I need to give guys more chances.  Mr. Chivalrous showed me that I can feel giddy after a first date.  I’m not, like, ready to jump into a relationship or anything dumb like that.  I just have a crush:)

Now, the waiting game starts.  He seems old-fashioned, so I think it’s totally legit that I wait for him to make a move for Date #2…

Bad Blogger!

I’m such a bad blogger–2 weeks since my last post!  There are many reasons for my absence (several graduations, staying in Dickinson for a week, moving into a new place) but still, they are all excuses.  I’ve gone on a couple more OkCupid dates and I’ve been doing a lot of DIY in the new apartment.  I also started my first week of my summer job this past week.  So yeah, life has been crazy over here!

Unfortunately, I’m going to continue my streak of being an awful blogger.  There are a lot of things to update on (specifically, dates and DIY projects) and I need to figure out how I want to approach everything.  In the meantime, I will leave you with some pictures of what I’ve been doing in my apartment.  My bedroom is the only room that is complete, because my sister (who is living with me) is in Dickinson for the summer and I promised I wouldn’t decorate the common areas without her.  Any decoration you see in the pictures below are things I had in my old apartment and will potentially be replaced when Sis comes to town.  Hope you enjoy–I’ll be back to explain things in more detail later!

 

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I like this view of the living room–makes it look less sparse

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This big blank wall stresses me out…hopefully Sis and I can figure out what to do with it

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Bedroom!  I count 5 DIY projects in this picture, so get ready!

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Other wall (did I do too much?)

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The room looks claustrophobic in this picture, but I promise my bed is just large!