reflection

Yesterday was officially my last day as an ENL Instructional Assistant at Woodbrook Elementary School. Though I was quite sad to be leaving my students and the job that helped me to realize that I enjoy teaching language, I was overjoyed that the last day finally arrived. The past few weeks I have been only doing enough to get by and to survive. The last two weeks of school, I was pushing 55 hours a week between my three jobs, and that didn’t even include driving time, which counted for at least another 10 to 12 additional hours a week. So, needless to say I’m exhausted. I also realized that I haven’t been on my medicine for almost two weeks (medicine I need to balance out my thyroid) because I ran out a couple of weeks ago and because I haven’t had time to fill it, I kept forgetting to try to make time to fill it. So, that doesn’t help my exhaustion either.

When I first started working this many hours, I kept telling myself “France will be worth it. Traveling will be worth all of this exhaustion and lack of eating healthy or eating at all and lack of exercise and not so great sleep.” However, after this last week especially, I realized that I don’t want to move to France completely exhausted. Moving to another country for 8 months is already going to be hard enough in and of itself. I don’t want it to be made more difficult because I drove myself into the ground the months leading up to it. So, I decided not to pursue finding another job for the summer. Instead, I asked for more hours at the Bookstore and Nanobrewery that I work at. So, now I’ll be full-time there (averaging about 40 hours a week), and doing a couple of hours of tutoring on the side. Unfortunately, I won’t be making as much money doing this, however, I decided that my physical, mental, and spiritual health are worth way more than any amount of money that I could possibly receive for working all of those hours.

Since I decided to do that, however, I’m worrying a little bit about being able to save up enough money for moving to France. The numbers are all a little overwhelming, and there are days when I’m not so sure that I’m going to make it. To combat that though, I’ve been trying to stick to my budget and to put back as much savings as possible. The donations that I’ve received from my generous donors on my Go Fund Me page (http://www.gofundme.com/tmj8n4) have also been a tremendous help.( Thank you again to all of my donors! I seriously greatly appreciate it, and I’m so thankful for your help in pursuing my dreams and my career.) However, I still question whether or not I’m going to be making enough to pay my bills and other things that I need to pay for in addition to saving up enough money. I guess though, that that’s where prayer comes in. As a Christian, I do believe that God will provide, to an extent. My trust towards anyone, let alone God Himself, has been really difficult for me in the last year or so due to personal circumstances, but that is another important aspect of my life that I hope to work on during my time in France.

This past year has been extremely difficult for me. I came out of college feeling more clueless about what I wanted to do with my life than I did when I went in. So, I spent the whole year depressed and anxious not feeling like I had much guidance or ideas really about who I was or what I wanted. That’s when I decided to just make a change. I applied to and got the job at the Elementary school, and I decided that I was tired of feeling scared and unsure. I wanted to just go for it, to stop living in fear. I wasn’t going to get anywhere and figure anything out if I stayed in one place, if I stayed stagnate. So, I applied to TAPIF, and now that I’m for sure going, I feel as though I have so much opportunity to pursue what I feel I want. I’m still trying to figuring it out, but that’s what this whole opportunity will provide for me in all aspects of my life. I’ll be able to pursue things that I love (teaching language, traveling, speaking another language, meeting new people, etc.), and I’ll be able to grow in so many ways, not just professionally but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m not afraid because I totally am. Even though I don’t feel much afraid right now, I’m sure I’ll be feeling terrified once I board that plane. I have to push myself though. I have to put myself out there, and if I make mistakes and fail along the way, though it will be hard, I have to do it. I want to pursue a life of fulfillment and happiness, and I want to find those things within myself, not from other people. Starting anew in France, I feel will help me do that. I’ll be stripped of everything that I know to be familiar, and I’ll be thrown into the wild essentially. Sink or swim right? I’m determined to swim, but sometimes, (and my mother will attest to this), I have to learn things the hard way. I’m a bit stubborn. For those you who know me, I’m sure your nodding your heads right now. So, I think I need to just be thrown into a new community with a clean slate and try to figure it out. Sometimes, that’s the best way that I learn.

So, a bit of an emotional post, but I felt the need to reflect a little bit about everything that this move to France signifies for me. It’s more than just a career move. It’s my opportunity to find happiness within myself (something I am starting to work on now, just to say).

As to logistical things, still not much on the contract front. I probably won’t get my placement or my contract until at the earliest in a couple of weeks, but even that time frame is not guaranteed. So, until then, I’m just planning all that I can and just trying to focus on what makes me happy.

A plus mes amis!

Here I come France….well in 4 months.

Not much has happened since my last blog post, except my flights are officially booked! Thanks to my generous donors to my Go Fund Me campaign, I’ve been able to do this. I am overjoyed! I have one last thing to worry about, and it cost me way less than I was expecting. I will be leaving Indianapolis on September 21st and flying to Boston on Southwest airlines where I will have an 8 hour layover, and from there I will be taking a flight through Icelandair to Reykjavik, Iceland where I will have an 18 hour layover. From there I’ll fly to Paris! So, I’m going to be spending a day in Iceland. I decided that if I’m going to travel, I’m going to really travel. That, and it’s way cheaper to fly through Iceland for some reason. I know that when the time comes, I’ll be extremely nervous about exploring a foreign country potentially by myself (though I might have some company if I meet up with other assistants), but right now, I’m just so excited! I’m going on an adventure, something that I’ve been aching for since I came home from France the first time.

So, I have one last thing to worry about for the next 4 months, and I have an exciting adventure to plan. I can’t plan what I’m doing or where I’m going once I get to Paris yet because I haven’t received my placement yet. However, that time will come. Right now, I’m just delighting in the fact that I’m going to get to travel again very soon. I have so much confidence in myself that I can do this. Plus, I’ve decided that I’m really going to push myself this time around. I missed out on so many awesome opportunities the last time I was in France because I was too afraid to try something new or too afraid that I would mess something up. This time, none of that! or at least not very much of that! I’m very determined to push myself this time. I really want to make the most of this time that I will have to travel and to grow in so many ways.

Another great thing is that other assistants are going to be traveling through Iceland as well, so I’ll have a chance to get to know some of them as well, even if we won’t all be in the same Academie. I’m ready to start branching out and pushing myself to get out there. I’m only 23, and while most of my best friends are settling down (getting married, starting their careers, going to grad school, etc.), I want to just be me and to just do me. I have determined that doing that means traveling as much as I can, trying new things, and just figuring out what I like and what I want to do. I’m so excited for this adventure to come, and I just feel so thankful and so blessed that I received this opportunity.

So, thank you to everyone who is supporting me in all the ways possible. I don’t really have much else to say. I just wanted to talk about the fact that I’m officially going to France, that I’ve officially booked my flights ’cause honestly, I just couldn’t wait any longer. too impatient! too excited!

Well, anyways, until next time!

A plus mes amis!

Moving forward, getting things done

As the school year draws to an end and the weather starts becoming warm and beautiful again, I’m realizing that my time until I’m in France is growing shorter and shorter. Though I am overly excited about this, the financial side of things has become a large source of nervousness and stress. In about a month, I will be losing about half my monthly income due to the fact that the school year is coming to an end. I am in the process, in the rare occasions that I do have time between my two jobs, to look for a good summer job. Thankfully, I’ll still have my second job and hopefully I’ll be able to get more hours there, but there’s no guarantee in that. Looking for a new second job is kind of stressful though. I really only need the job for the summer, and it has to be a job that I can do in the mornings since the majority of my hours at the used bookstore and brewery are in the afternoons/evenings. So, needless to say, I’m kind of stressing out about whether or not I’ll be able to find that second job. Hopefully though, I’ll stumble across something soon.

To help with my financial needs though, I’ve created a Go Fund Me campaign (located here: http://www.gofundme.com/tmj8n4). I know that this trip is for my personal experience and my professional career, but I would like to think that there are people out there that are willing to help a girl to pursue her dream. I honestly would try to do the same for someone I care about. Also, after much thought, I realized that it can’t really do much harm to do a fundraiser because if no one donates anything, at least I tried and at least I know where I’ll end, right where I am right now anyways. So, why not try? Also, it helps that my friends think it’s a good idea too. Creating a Go Fund Me campaign also helped to remember what other goals I’ll have in France besides teaching English, and one of the major one of those is to get involved with and to serve in the community. I’ve always loved helping others, and I think it would be especially rewarding and an amazing experience to do so in a culture that I don’t call my own. So, all that said, if you are reading this, I would be forever grateful if you donated to my campaign, even the smallest amount will be put to good use.

Now, onto other things that I’ve accomplished. I’ve managed to find and to purchase a decent computer that fits all of my needs and wants for under what I budgeted for it. I feel so relieved to have one huge thing crossed off my France list of things to do and to buy before I go. In fact, I’m typing on it right now, trying to still get a feel for how it runs. It’s super small and sleek, so it’s perfect for travel. Having a new computer will also help me keep in touch with family and friends back home as well as write lessons plans for when I’m teaching over there. So, that’s one last thing to do before I go.

Also, yesterday, I felt like such an adult! I applied for a credit card so that I won’t have trouble purchasing my plane and train tickets and so that I have something to fall back on just in case there’s an emergency. I’m really hoping that I get approved because it will give me a source of comfort while I’m over there. I have a good feeling about it though because according to the bank I have good credit from paying on my student loans! Who knew that paying student loans would be good for something? lols.

Facebook is such a great source of networking, which everyone already knows, but I’m especially grateful for it now. I have been able to connect to so many other assistants on Facebook. Doing this has allowed me to get to know other people and exchange ideas and thoughts on differently logistical things, like where to find the best and cheapest flights as well as who might be interested in rooming together once we get there. It’s also really cool getting to know new people who have similar interests as me.

Overall, I am moving forward in this whole process, and I am getting things done, even though I work so much that I question whether or not I’m getting things done even slightly. It will all be worth it in the end though, right?

Thanks for reading and until next time mes amis!

A plus!

P.S. I’m going to have to figure out how to make accents on a PC. The downsides from switching from a Macbook to a PC.