My light and my love can only spread if I choose happiness.
It has been a while since my last post, but it's only because I've been so busy and living life and creating myself! Rest assured I have been happy while I've been away.
The past six months have been a roller coaster of emotions and personal growth. In a very short summary, I have been tutoring three clients, substitute teaching, stepping up my fitness game, and have taken a particular liking to painting. Wonderful things! But that doesn't mean I don't ever encounter stress or complete and utter breakdowns. I think I've just gotten better and not projecting those thoughts into the world.
First, tutoring. Love it. I finally have something that is my own, that I created, and that I continue to create! This "outside the lines" job has provided me with experience that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else in such a short amount of time. For two of my students, they are extremely gifted, and I was brought in as a supplement teacher. Considering my day job, it's a breath of fresh air to be with children who love to learn, and love me! Regardless of my day, regardless of what we are doing in session, they love to work with me and they are always eager to learn. I've been with them for a little under a year and a half and I've grown in so many ways with them. With my other student, he needs tutoring as any child does, for help because he is struggling. I love to work with him as well! He provides me with the reminder that I can change the world by empowering a child. I love him so much, he has a sweet heart and every time I show him that he is capable of something, it touches me in a way nothing else has. Gifted children are just that, gifted. And when they do struggle, the effort they put in to overcome it is so willing and almost effortless. With a child that needs help, when they put in the effort and see the results, for some reason it's much more magical to me. All of my kids have their strengths and weaknesses, that's why I am in their lives! But I think I am finally discovering my actual teaching style, and my personal philosophy on education and learning and all my tutoring kids helped me create that. I am so thankful, especially since they are all continuing to challenge me and force me to get creative!
As for my personal philosophy on learning: Children don't learn from people they don't like. Empower them through knowledge, and play, because play is research. Play is learning.
Second, substitute teaching. I loved teaching over the summer. I loved playing with my kids. I call them my kids because that is the place they hold in my heart. They are children whom I love so deeply, and want nothing but happiness and light for them. And I will do everything in my power to help that be a reality, no matter how dim the outcome may seem. If you don't know my day job, I suggest reading one of my past post, you'll understand why the only way to have the job is to love the job. Now, I love my job! So deeply passionate and in love with the idea of what I do. That doesn't make it easy. That doesn't mean I don't want to go some days. My job is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It's not something I can walk through, it's a marathon. Basically, I endure the wrath of very angry children. They have every right to be angry. And my favorite, most precious thing, about my job is that not only do I get to help them through that anger, I get to teach them how to let it go. Or at least try. I don't necessarily teach all the math and reading that I should or want to, but I, along with every other person I work with, get to teach them how to become better for themselves. I always tell them, I can't make them happy. I don't have a button I can press to make all their anger and worry go away. I can help them by providing ideas, coping skills, an ear to listen, but I can't make them happy. They have to choose happiness. Only they have the power to lift themselves. I do everything that I can to make that as easy as possible, but it isn't easy for anyone. I love letting them know that they have power. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But every time, I feel fulfilled. Just a child hearing that they have power changes a tiny little thing inside of them. It changes a tiny little thing inside of me. It's a struggle to constantly have the belief, but if I don't remind myself from time to time, I won't be helping them. And I love them, I do believe in them, and they should know it.
Spreading kindness in the best ways I know how!
Third, stepping up my fitness game. Ok, granted I did take a week and a half off somewhere in there, fitness is no longer a battle! When I didn't work out for a week and a half my body really missed it. I've also been incorporating new versions of exercise into my routine. I really tried to resent yoga for a long time, and then I did a little bit of a pilates mixed with yoga...and it wasn't half bad! So that's where I stand now, pilates mixed with yoga. Hopefully someday I'll just try full on yoga, but baby steps. As for everything else, my body feels different, which has changed my ind to be different. It's so crazy to me to see how a very simple change can make such a huge difference. Putting my body and it's well-being on my priority list has only been a benefit! I've also tried going vegetarian throughout the week, and reserving meat only for weekends. That plan didn't work out 100%, but I will say that about 70% of my diet is vegetarian for the most part and it's been really opening my eyes to yummy recipes and new ideas about food. I try my best not to eat processed or unhealthy foods, but french fries and donuts are my weakness. I have accepted that and now just put in those extra minutes at the gym! (slash my dining room) As for all my yummy healthy food, I try to keep it raw and natural. Loads of veggies and lean meat and healthy whole grains. When you start with good product, the end result will be good and yummy, unless you cover it in butter and salt and sugar (which makes it taste DELICIOUS, but not super nutritious). I usually don't drink extra supplemental drinks, as my holistic approach to my diet has served me well and sustains me throughout my 10-12 hour work days. But everyone has a different diet and everyone finds what works best for them! I am lucky that I find my inspiration and drive from a wonderful co-worker and friend that I see most days as well as from my old friend/healthy lifestyle mentor Jess, who you can check out here. Both of the ladies I look to when I'm in a moment of weakness or just...plain tired are so wonderful! Overall, I'm happy with my progress. It's a slow steady one, and that's better than none at all!
Everyone has a different diet that works for them!
My fitness isn't a goal, it's a lifestyle that I want to nourish and grow in through all of life!
Next, painting! I have taken a recent liking to painting. It started when my oh-so-fabulous mother-in-law (who I like to simply refer to as Mom most times) got me a water coloring set for Christmas. It took me a while to break it open, but once I did it unleashed a whole bunch of pent up creative energy. I haven't had the same opportunities to be creative like my later college years, and I don't write as often as I should, but it's been so great for my soul! And you can even ask my boyfriend, there has been a change in our home...and for the better! I love this new outlet for my creativity and it's a wonderful coping skill for my stressful weekdays. I felt my creative candle dwindling, and then a gift set fire to it again. I am so grateful and I hope to never come that close to losing such a beautiful piece of myself ever again.
Whew- well that what as quick as I could make that update! I hope to post again soon, as my life isn't all roses and well-wishes, and writing about my hardships and struggles really provides great reflection for me. But I was just so at peace with the world today...I had to put that light out there!
Until Next Time...