Sunday, August 6, 2017

So Much Sky

2 weeks, 4 countries, 8 planes (1 missed flight), 3 trains 2 boats, a dozen buses, uncountable steps (only 1 blister!), lots of coffee, a fair amount of beer, some great food and some great music, tons of fresh air, one spectacular view after another, a good deal of courage and grace, little sleep, few showers, no phone calls, no TV, no news, no laundry, sometimes the wrong direction and sometimes no caught in a torrential downpour, got caught in a game of musical chairs with some Germans and Australians, got caught in a drunken Scotsman's birthday party, got caught in a number of ridiculous and fascinating conversations, caught a glimpse of Mel Gibson filming his latest flick, caught a free ride to the mountains, and caught a cold.

I spent a considerable amount of time being alone, though engulfed in crowds of people, yet not being lonely....sure there were a few times I wished to comment on what was happening and share it with another person, but I also had this somewhat weird (and surely selfish) feeling that this experience was "mine".  That's only so-so true, in a singular, narrow-minded regard, but I need to just hold on to things like that and internalize them sometimes. My trip certainly wasn't perfect and I know I didn't necessarily make the most of every opportunity, but all things considered (and there were numerous things to consider), I made out pretty well. There were parts of that trip were absolutely astonishing, and I can honestly say, nothing about it was a disappointment.  The fact that I put that all together on my own, and then went out and conquered it on my own. I've garnered a lot of courage and have learned to trust myself a great deal by venturing out on these excursions solo. And this time I had no one waiting on the other side.....I think that might be a first. It's not that I don't like traveling with people; I am just okay with myself. And that, I've learned, is a very valuable thing. So is the opportunity to just be  in nature.

I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence. - Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

With Not a Lot of Help From My Friends

I'm struggling a bit with this summer school idea. Its longer - no 4 1/2 weeks here. We go the full day,  full weeks (except this week) for nearly 7 weeks. I want to be thankful that I have time to take a trip, but I also feel like I'm rushing things and have very little time to recoup from the actual school year.
I feel a bit behind as it is. But I've kinda felt that way all year; ever since I changed jobs. There hasn't really been a moment where I felt like I hit my stride I don't think.  It's all still a machine I'm learning to pilot.

I'm excited for this trip; a little nervous to leave everything up to myself and a little worried I'm going to miss out on getting to do something....There's SO much to do, and figuring how to get there, the time and the money and what's worth all that is a bit of a crapshoot.  I'm trying to pace myself, but I also decided on 4 different countries when I should have maybe just picked 2.  I'm going to try not to be bummed about not getting to do certain things though and just thoroughly enjoy what I do decide on.  God willing.  But this is all me; no one else to consult or consider. That is liberating and intimidating....
Getting to take on something like this at all is a blessing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Then There's Tuesday

Tuesday has become volleyball night. After school we gather together in fellowship and drunken confessions and shenanigans to meet our defeat in a belly-rumbling display of antics. Well, we've won a few and somehow, the competitor in me has let that go and decided its not all about winning.

Initially, we just got together for the match and maybe hit the bar for a few drinks afterwards. Then we decided to pre-game it with a few drinks beforehand, and if we were victors or failures, we still capped off the night with some rantings and laughs over a few drinks. Once the indoor games got moved to the outdoors (sand is so fun!), we have been pre-gaming it almost as soon as school's out because sand means a park which means a pavilion which means a grill and there are so many more possibilities now that the weather is permitting it. Our Tuesdays have become a gathering for anyone and everyone....those who play and those who just watch, who cheer, those who eat and drink and chat and maybe never even witness the bump or set of a volleyball but enjoying being away, outside, and with others. A few of these nights have ended in the wee hours of the morning, as we've been unable or unwilling to pull ourselves away.  I've gotten to know a number of things about a number of different staff members. Things I'm surprised were shared with me, and I mean that in a good way.  There have been insightful and deep discussions in the midst of these stunts and escapades....both serious and hysterical. 
At first, I was pretty reluctant to attend or participate in these gatherings simply because I don't really know these people that well. For some that may be motivation to attend but I'm not one to just jump into these things without a safety net or parachute; I have to ease into these kind of things. Volleyball has been an outlet for me, and has also enabled me to partake in something a little different. 
Now that we're on hiatus I'm almost a little down about it. For a bit I thought it would be nice to have my Tuesday nights back again, but at this moment I find myself kinda missing it.  What can Tuesday hold now?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Finding Perfect Places

I've been planning and forgetting and trying to plan some more but then just doing, and I have a feeling that's how a lot of this trip is going to go.  The past 3 weeks had been packed full of encounters and shenanigans that have left me feeling both energized and exhausted....
As much as I love connecting and exploring and experiencing, sometimes the on- the-go lifestyle and consistent presence of others gets me feeling overwhelmed and even lost. Between the old crew and the new crew I've been kept plenty busy, which can also good for me but I know myself well enough to tell when I need to stop and breathe. When I need time to myself. It becomes a necessity, and luckily I found a couple nights this past week to introvert and reflect. I like to call it collecting myself after being socially exhausted. Whether its sand volleyball and picnics and happy hour and coffee talks and more picnics and lunches and birthdays and rock painting....yes, rock painting...I've actually enjoyed the encroaching summer months, that time when the days are longer and the weather starts to swelter (that part will be really old in about a week though). It seems almost like possibility. Almost.
And then Scandanavia is on the horizon.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Born To Be Wild.....until about 11p.m.

Prom happened. And then other things happened; a really long night that turned into morning. I haven't been out that late since....ever?  No, there was my last Friday in Korea, and last Friday I was out till 2am. But 4?  I am too old for that.  Fun times for sure,  but a whole day feeling like you've been sacked like a quarterback in the Super Bowl and needing most of the weekend to recover = not so fun. It started as just socializing with my co-workers (I'm still in the newbie phase) and needing something I couldn't really excuse myself out of. I mean, volleyball is going well(now sand!) and Thursday I made a splash (even got a trophy) for writing a kid up....who wasn't even at school....
Yup, that's me, breaking the mold. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

If You Need to Break Down

"Teaching is like trying to hold 35 corks underwater at once."      - Mark Twain

I'm exhausted - physically, mentally, and emotionally. The physical aspect may have been contributed to by a bit of illness which has seemed to subside, but the weight of the last month or so has been very noticeable. It hasn't stopped me; I've ran and climbed and lifted and explored, enjoying a wonderful and needed spring break. But even that week of "me-time" didn't seem to quite shake this feeling of suffocation. I can't quite pinpoint it, as is often the case with my restlessness and/or agitation. It's not depression or anxiety ( I can put myself in a good mood relatively easily),but it does become something I have to focus on ridding myself of. I think that's the tricky part; its not just putting myself in a better mood. I feel like a million things are spinning around at once, and I can't quite sort them out or put them into their proper place. I have accepted that not every kids is going to like me; some will love and some will hate. But when I mess up or don't get it right in front of peers, that really rocks me. There's making a mistake because I just didn't know, and then there's making a mistake because I wasn't thinking right. 
I would generalize that most have been patient and understanding. I'm probably harder on myself more than anyone else, but there's frustration in knowing that I could do better.... 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ink Over Bruise

I still have some adrenaline pumpling through me. I ran a solid 8 miles this afternoon and should have kept going. I feel I could go out right now and just run.  But rather, I'm trying get paperwork done, contain my restlessness and focus so I'm not just out trying to entertain or distract myself.....
Its a bit difficult after yesterday. Yesterday was intended to be a bit daring, a bit of an adventure, but I got more than I think I bargained for. I intended to get inked, and that I did without much difficulty. A little bigger, a little more expensive, a little painful, but I'm highly pleased with what I got. 
I did not intend to have someone break into my apartment. Attempted break in, forced entry...whatever it was, I'm still playing it over and over in my head and what else I would have done if my initial attempt hadn't been successful. I had the door closed but unlocked, and saw someone on my porch who didn't respond to me; within a minute they were inside my apartment and I didn't even think. I reacted with a charge, a shove, and we both stumbled backwards out the door. It took me a bit even after they took off to decide I needed to call the police because of what happened. But in the moment, I had no fear. Fight or flight was at the forefront, and I suddenly was ready to fight. There wasn't any time in the moment to really think about anything; I just reacted and it happened to work. I thought all night about how it much worse it could have been. Even though I felt empored and full of adrenaline, I didn't think any through.
I'm not worried now....I think things have been taken care of and are under control. Its just an incident I that has two sides of: something I don't want to happen but I found out a little of what I'm made of.