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!

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