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“Know”

12 Jun

Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/daily-prompt-bookworm/

Image result for know

A fitting image for the time. I’m an elementary teacher, and this is a daily occurrence in my classroom. Before I can even fully form the question, before the other student’s get a chance to think a buzzing chorus of, “I KNOW!” from the same 5 students erupts, disrupting the thoughts of the others.
“I KNOW!”

Followed by the answer.

Lesson and processing over.

At times I’m quite upset with these students for taking away the learning of their peers. At other times, I feel guilty for not having another activity or question for these particular students to think about. It’s really not their fault they run on a different pace. I don’t want to be the human responsible for them holding back their own potential because it’s not polite. We may have student centered practices, but in many ways the classroom is still a teacher-centered world.

Perhaps I should post the dilemma to the students. If there’s any time for an “I KNOW!” this would be it.

 

 

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17 Jan

I think–I think when it’s all over,
It just comes back in flashes, you know?
It’s like a kaleidoscope of memories.
It just all comes back. But he never does.
I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen.
It’s not really anything he said or anything he did,
It was the feeling that came along with it.
And the crazy thing is I don’t know if I’m ever gonna feel that way again.
But I don’t know if I should.
I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright.
But I just thought, how can the devil be pulling you toward someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?
Maybe he knew that when he saw me.
I guess I just lost my balance.
I think that the worst part of it all wasn’t losing him.
It was losing me. -Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”

How Did I Get Here Again?

15 Jan

It’s been a long time since i’ve been on here. Turns out I don’t tend to write when I’m happy- I just live. Judging by the fact that it’s been about 10 months since I’ve posted anything of my own I’ve been really happy for the last 10 months. As is the nature of most of what comes and goes regarding my need to write- this is again dealing with a relationship. Last April I mentioned that there was a great guy I’d met who kept me waiting for an answer, and had told me that we’d have to be just friends and not pursue a relationship because of complications. If you do the math between the time of that post and this, you could probably make an educated guess that we ended up dating shortly after. And it was fantastic- until it wasn’t anymore.

breakup

We had a great time together. We had a similar sense of humor, he was considerate, my friends loved him, I loved him, he stayed with me through my surgery and recovery period when I broke my heel (that worst of that whole process was a solid 3 months- and could not have been easy in a new relationship), and I finally put down my guard and stopped trying to act like the Stepford wife of girlfriends.

As it turns out, after the first few months he stopped seeming so interested. He didn’t even say or do things that made me think he was really into me. I knew he cared, but I didn’t feel WANTED anymore. I brought it up and he reiterated that if he didn’t want to be with me he would tell me and that he just wasn’t expressive. Then he had a funny little way of never admitting to things, but showing that he listened by making minor changes like communicating more- until he didn’t, again.

We had one huge blow up about 6 months into the relationship. He’d traveled to New York for business and friends. I hardly heard from him. His social apps all around showed constant activity. He never allowed pictures of us together to be tagged and up. There was a picture of him with a very attractive blonde up a few days later. I wanted to see him the day he got home. He wanted to wait til the weekend. I expressed that I was upset. We got into a fight. He stopped talking to me for days. I thought we sorted it out by talking. He didn’t. We almost broke up. I cried, he cried, we had wine. We had sex. We said sorry. We talked about change. We stayed together. Things got better.

Until they didn’t. Again.

I stopped expressing my feelings. Everything that wasn’t what he wanted or thought was right, that I fought against was an impending threat to an eventual break up. I just had to accept everything he said and did and still know that he cared about me without him expressing it. After all, isn’t that what trust and love is all about? He never told me he loved me. I never dared express it outloud.

Fast forward 4 months. I’m going home for Christmas, and had booked my flight home late so I could see him for a few days after work ended before i left for 3 weeks. He had to go early on a business trip, so I didn’t see him before I left. He didn’t contact me the day I was leaving to tell me he’d miss me, or even to have a safe flight. He’d been posting on Facebook- I didn’t look for it, it came up on newsfeed. When I’d asked him why I didn’t hear from him and he told me he’d been working and had no time I brought up what I saw and asked him not to lie. I wasn’t trying to fight wiht him, I told him that I’d drop it but wanted him to know it bothered me. He started a fight. Refused to answer the phone. He stopped speaking to me for 4 days. We talked on and off about a week while i was home. A generic Christmas greeting here and there, a few pictures of our climate through Whatsapp, me getting excited about coming home to see him. Him promising that I was all his the night I got back. I didn’t even ask him to get me from the airport, I just wanted him that night.

He had other plans in mind, and when he mentioned them, I told him he should go to his family dinner, but I was probably not going to be up for it after traveling 12 hours. Not once did I tell him he shouldn’t go, but I did express that I was really disappointed because I was expecting something very different after not seeing him for a month.

Selfish. Possessive. Nuerotic.

Those are the words I got to describe myself according to him for how I felt about the change in plans. Once we were in the heat of it I didn’t express myself very well, but I don’t think enough to merit those descriptive words (especially this only being our 2nd flight in 10 months), and to hear,

Actually, I was excited to see you tomorrow, but I really don’t want to anymore.”

However, by this point I had accepted this as part of who he was. Quick easy temper when he feels defensive. Oddly long cool off period. Whatever. It stung but I wanted him, and I wanted us, so I didn’t push him.

I also didn’t hear from him the day I flew home. Or the one after.

I gave in the day after, explained what I meant, and things seemed to be resolved.

They weren’t.

Fast version: He comes over, says things haven’t changed and we had the same exact discussion when he came back from New York. There’s a pattern. It’s when we travel. I’m too needy. I’m too possessive for wanting to see him immediately after travel. He’s not expressive. It’s not going to change. He wants to be with me, but he’s not going to. If he hurt me, he’s sorry he didn’t mean to. He wants to stay friends. Doesn’t think I should shut him out totally. Do you want me to go? I’ll stay or go. Doesn’t matter that he’s going to leave anyway. He leaves. More tears. Distress.

And now I’m here. Waking up alone. All the habits and traditions and plans of the last 10 months smashed to pieces.

This Is What Happens When You Love Someone Who Has Built Up Walls

24 Apr

I feel as though this explains so much about me that I’ve been unable to explain about myself. Worth the read.

Thought Catalog

Loving someone who has walls up is not a careless decision. It takes a conscious commitment to assign yourself as the one to take the first strike at the concrete surrounding their heart. These are people who have painted over their fragile skin with instant-ready cement, blocking out the feel of fingerprints and the echo of empty promises. They tell themselves that all the little nuances that make them secret romantics have to stay hidden away.

But despite it all — despite the walls and the “do not enter” sign they hang around their neck — you might just fall for them. And in some miracle of ways, they might fall for you, too.

For them, loving you will be like walking into a construction zone: messy and just a little bit dangerous. But it all will come with the promise of tearing down old walls to make room for…

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When Loss and Guilt Catch Up: A Reality Check

27 Mar

I think up to this point in my life I’ve been quite blessed. I’ve got a wonderful, healthy family. I had a great school experience from kindergarten to my masters year in college. I got a teaching job in Costa Rica right out of college, and have made wonderful friends and gone on wonderful adventures. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and beaches. I’ve been able to fly home during Christmas and the summer, and relax with my hometown family and friends.

Yes, I have been one of the lucky ones and I’ve never stopped being grateful for every bit of it. The problem is, I haven’t exactly been realistic about it.

I gave up a lot of things when I moved to Costa Rica. I left the camp I’d been working at for nearly 10 years, with people who loved me. I left my family back in the states. I left my friends as they were entering new, and scary, and exciting chapters of their lives. I struggled with homesickness for a week or two every time I flew back to Costa Rica, but then life resumed and I continued on…checking in back home via Skype on a fairly frequent basis and remaining quite happy. It’s funny, actually, each year of my life seems to alternate between being rough and being fantastic. 24 was a great year…then came 25.

It seems that this year might be about loss.

While here, I was dating someone for about half a year, and I thought everything was going well but it turned out he was sleeping with someone else almost that entire time. (if you’re interested…full story here) I knew from the beginning we were never destined for marriage or long-term commitment. I probably wouldn’t have been so crushed in ending it if it had been of any reason other than not being enough for him even with all I gave.

However, that was just the start, and now in perspective seems like a rather minor loss.

I received news today that my cat died over the weekend. I’ve had her since I was 8, so she’s had a healthy 17 years. For years now my mother has been expecting her to pass away but she always pulled through and was there every time I came home. So, to me I had it in my head that it would always be the case, that since she was MY cat she’d be there and pull through until I was home again. Except this time she didn’t.

Even though the expectation has been there for awhile, it still broke my heart- and not just because she’s gone, but because I was gone when it happened. I left her behind when I started working at a camp in the summer for a 6 weeks at a time during high school, then I was gone for months at a time when I was in college, then I moved here and I was only home 10 weeks out of the entire year- if I was even at home. I left her behind and kept living, and I wasn’t there for her last days. I feel this enormous sadness and guilt, that she knew I left her and that I wasn’t there in the end.


But I don’t think that’s what’s so overwhelming. I loved that cat – but it’s more than that. That was my reality check, no, reality slap. Even though I am living my life and feeling fantastic, I’ve left everyone back home and time continues on. There are so many things that could happen to anyone that I love at any point in time, positive wonderful things, or terrible things, and I’m not there to support them and share with them. I feel guilty living such a wonderful life here when at any given moment someone could be pulled from this earth, and I wouldn’t have been there. I’ve gone on these 2 years thinking (not delusionally, just thinking as it’s always been) that everything will always be the same when I come home- but starting with these losses I’m not so sure.

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.
-Miranda Lambert “The House That Built Me”

Where is the balance between living your life happily and living with those you love so far away? How do people leave home forever and not feel the guilt and worry? I’ve seen so many friends lost family members and friends and have thanked God, or whatever force is out that that I have not- and now doubt begins.

It’s a struggle I find myself facing now, as I know I’d want others to go on great adventures and see the world – but at what cost?

 

Day 198 – A Victorious Song

26 Mar

Not mine, but I love this poem! Especially the first two stanzas!

Charlotte Cuevas

Whatever you do in this world,
you don’t stop singing.

Forget the world you’d drum up for yourself,
in this one you never stop singing-
hymning or bellowing or chorusing or scatting
but you don’t stop.

You can’t-
melodies flow out in tears plinking down,
footsteps ring out down the sidewalk
hearts thump bass lines behind xylophone ribs
while blood rushes throughout in metered time
and life is exhaled through the diaphragm,
lungs, esophagus, lips
so that the act of merely being alive
is a glory, is a song unto itself.

We are born of music and to make it,
we are composed of harmonious thought,
of instrument bones and particular strains
which weave and crescendo through our vibrating minds
and which emanate outward in waves
from which sounds the echoes will continue to move
long after the source has stilled.

You are a musician because you’re alive,
you’re a…

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Progress Achieved: Now Please Return to Square 1

19 Feb

SQUARE 1: Uncertainty, comparing new prospects to old ones, complete lack of dating life, missing the old relationship, irritated with overly-public couples, still feeling pretty strange about dating in general.

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Way back in September 2013 I published a post called “The Overly-Committed Commitmentphobe” where I stated,

“Relationships? Ppsh, not unless I think we’re getting married. Not that I want to get married, but if you’re not freaking awesome and I can’t see the long-term with you I’m probably out. Once I’m in, I’m usually in until you break-up with me. No matter how unhappy things are.”

Well, my friends. I’ve done what I never thought I could- I ended things with someone first. What happened?

Long story short – was dating him for about 6 months, nothing was ever officially defined but he had said on multiple occasions that he was absolutely not dating/pursuing/hooking up with anyone else. As I’m not the the to  pry and I give people the benefit of the doubt I was quite happy with things and left it at that. One beautiful Saturday morning I get news that a friend had found out he was seeing and sleeping with another girl that he’d met at my work Halloween party (note: do not mix work and pleasure). She was not from my work but nonetheless since that time they’d been seeing each other. She was aware that they were not exclusive- I on the other hand was not. I had him come over to talk in person and to give him the chance to come clean himself first and then again when I told him what I knew. Total denial. I felt awful about this potential lie so I had my sources double checked- and directly from said girl got the details that made the accusation even more concrete. As I don’t accept lying and cheating- at least not when it’s right in front of my face, I ended it.

I thought it would be easy- calling out the lie and being the strong one to end it and stand up for myself. I thought I’d feel proud and empowered. Nope.

I think knowing that it was my decision to lose what I had is actually a lot harder. Not to mention he himself never confirmed things (he didn’t argue against it very hard either though) and it left me in this terrible limbo of not knowing the actual truth. For all I know I called him out and he was telling the truth, and I not only hurt myself but him. If it is in fact true though- I should feel good that I cut it off now- and yet I’m not angry. Let’s be honest here too, angry is a lot easier than sad and forgiving. My friends have enough anger for both of us – but I can only expect to feed off of that for so long.

Fortunately at the time, and unfortunately now – he was a part of my life for a good chunk of recent time with good memories attached and those are found in little places everywhere. A scent on the pillow case (wash them asap) , the extra charger he’d use for his phone, the toothbrush in the bathroom (toss it), the extra blanket I bought because he was always colder than me. Little things that serve as constant memories.

I know I followed through everything the right way from when we met to how I ended it. I am pretty proud of myself for the maturity and poise I didn’t realize I honestly had in me (I guess all those past lessons really did pay off). However, after doing the right thing I’m still feeling pretty low about how it ended and the sheer fact that he’s gone, AND as a reward for playing by the rules and having some respect for me I’m back to square 1.

And to think I’d almost forgotten why I never tried to leave it in the first place….

Looking up, here’s to freedom, truth, and self-respect. May it get easier in time.

Speak Up! What’s the most useful lesson or self-growth you’ve gained from a breakup?

30 Days of Gratitude

2 Nov

I know it’s an pretty cliche thing to do by now, and it’s not limited to November, but I still love this “assignment”.

I have started a gratitude tree with my students in the classroom, and I think it’s only fair that I also should express the things I’m grateful for in a form that will allow me to look back on it. So without further ado…

30 Days of Gratitude

1. I’m actually stealing this from one of my 3rd grade students, but I’m grateful for second chances.

2. Skype and FaceTime, or really any digital technology that allows me to call and see my family from another country as if I were right there with them is a godsend and makes it completely bearable to be away from them for such long periods of time.

3. Although I miss them now living in Costa Rica, I am still so grateful that I’ve had the chance to experience New England seasons enough to miss them. I have students who’ve never seen snow, or fall, or felt the melting and transition between the months. I’m so happy that I have.

4. On that note, I’m thankful to have this amazing opportunity to live in Costa Rica with a job right out of college. Many of my friends struggled or continue to struggle to find a job, and are scraping by to pay rent. Meanwhile, I had a job and housing before I even graduated my master’s year. To top it off it’s in a gorgeous country where I get to experience many new and wonderful things. I’d be a fool not to feel lucky.

5. I’m grateful that I had 4-H Camp growing up, and that it continues today. It helped me grow into a better person, allowed me to meet the most amazing people, and gave me the skills and strength I needed to be were I am today.

6.  I am grateful that my cat- my old, cranky, hatesmeforleaving cat- is still there when I come home. She’s made it well past her life expectancy and still has the attitude of a firey kitten. I know I can’t expect her to be around forever, but I’m lucky to have had this long.

7. I appreciate sleep. It solves so much. Exhaustion, sickness- not to mention when I get cranky I can usually just sleep it off and feel better. If only I’d understood this logic when I was a kid…naptime just makes so much sense now.

8. I am thankful for chocolate. Nuff’ said.

9. I am thankful that all of my siblings live in one place and I get to go home and see them at least twice a year.

10. I am thankful to have such inspirational and supportive family and friends who I can model my goals after.

11. I am grateful that everyday my students make me laugh and give me hugs.

12. I appreciate active activities I can do with friends, and keep things interested and dedicated.

13. Prep time – very much grateful to have a decent amount of it!

14. Tea is a blessing. Thankful for that- especially when I’m sick.

15. I appreciate lights and colors. They’re just such mood boosters!

16. I am grateful for Pinterest. I’ve been inspired to try so many new things! Plus I’m too lazy to keep a legitimate recipe book…

17. I am thankful for past experiences that hurt because they keep me grounded, but also wiser.

18. I appreciate times when I get to pick at people’s brains/perspectives on life. It’s just so interesting.

19. I am grateful that I had such a wide range of classes in college that exposed me to so many new ideas and subjects.

20. I am thankful that I have always lived within reasonable access to an ocean.

Quote

“Nobody said it…

25 Sep

“Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start”- Coldplay

Quote

Me? I’m scared …

24 Sep

“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”
-Dirty Dancing