Get Up & Grow

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop? "

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June 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Enter your password to view comments.

Happiness on the Horizon

I think this is something that I’ve talked about before but it i still something that I am working on. It’s so easy to see happiness as the next step. What I mean is…we spend so much time thinking about how happy we will be once ( insert event) happens. At this moment, I am so focused on leaving my current school and getting a “fresh start” and I am not working to find my happiness in right now. I’ll admit, I love to dream about and plan for the future and most people do but what is lost is the ability to appreciate what is going on in our lives at this exact time. Ever since I got the job offer at my new school, I’ve done nothing but think about what my new apartment will look like…how I will decorate it…getting new utility accounts….teaching without a co-teacher…working evenings instead of days…etc. I have taught myself that until my current contract ends, I have no business being happy.

Happiness should not be something that is always just out of reach. Once this contract is up and I move into my new apartment in July…start my new job in August…there will be some other life event that I will be depending on for my happiness. That’s no way to live but…how does one focus on the joy in today? (Esp.when they do not like their current situation…) I think that’s something I might want to look into…read about…do some soul-searching about.

June 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

You Can’t Hide

I remember being a teenager and deciding that by the age of 25, I would either be married or in a serious relationship and headed in the direction of marriage. I decided that by age 30, I would have my first child and I’d have the perfect career. At that time, I didn’t want to avoid growing up, I was looking forward to it.

As the years went by, I quickly discovered that things don’t always go as planned and I’d have to be flexible. 25 came and went and I’m still single. I will be 30 next March and there is no child. I think that as I came to understand that I wasn’t always going to get what I wanted out of adulthood, I stopping looking forward to it. It’s kind of like the child who is losing the game or not getting his/her way and all of a sudden doesn’t want to play anymore.

I have to work to support myself. Plain and simple, that’s the truth. I have yet to find that dream job and honestly, I don’t even know what exactly I want to do at this point. What I do know, is that I wake up 5 out of 5 work days dreading going to work. I’ve taken more than my share of sick days that were actually ” sick of work days”. This behavior has been tolerated up until now….not in Korea. I know find myself in a situation where my ” I don’t wanna” days are noticed and used against me. I’ve learned my lesson for sure and I’ve adopted  new attitude. Nobody said this thing was going to be easy. Nobody said that it was all fun and games. I have got to learn to get up and push through even when I really don’t want to.

I know that my attitude toward working in the past has been effected by my depression as well as the people around me. I’m not going to find a perfect work  place where nothing ever goes wrong and where people are always kind of considerate so I’m the one who has to change. I can’t let people who are really NON FACTORS have that much power over me.

As for the depression, I am also working on that. I refuse to go back on meds. I’d rather find a therapist because I have been working through this for almost a year without meds and I’ve made a lot of progress with it.

I don’t exactly know how I have made it this far without taking full responsibility for myself but it has to change NOW.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pity Party

Everyone needs to have a pity party from time to time. I find that when I get down low enough to have one, I end up finding the strength from somewhere to pick myself back up and continue. Yesterday felt messed up but then I realized how healthy it actually was. Just like we talked about in my Group Counseling class….conflict doesn’t always have to be negative and you have to work through it. In this case, it was a conflict with myself and I’d say that I’m working through it rather than around it. However, I still couldn’t talk myself into going to work today.

I’ve realized that I need a plan…not one that is so tight that I don’t have room for detours but…I need to figure out what I want from this life and start conducting myself accordingly. Obviously teaching…or maybe just the environments in which I’ve been teaching…is not meeting my needs. I cared deeply about what I was doing in the States and the kids I taught and basically I burned myself out. Now, I’m at the other end of the scale and I find that I really don’t care much about what I do now. I don’t care to get to know the kids personally. I don’t care about going to school everyday. I don’t care about anything other than proving to my colleagues  that I am capable.

I have a long while before I will be finished with the degree that I’m currently working on. I figured out that I will finish my course work in July or August of 2014 and then my pre-practicum and 4 sections of practicum start. So we are looking at 2015 before I’m finished. Once I’m finished, will I want to start a career in counseling or not? I am deeply interested in Counseling so I think that it is a real possibility. I also think that a career in counseling could possibly offer me more flexibility than teaching. Because of my personality and the nature of my own emotional and psychological challenges, I need a field where I can have some flexibility.

Educational Administration is something that I got a Masters in and knew from the start that I didn’t want to be an administrator. I just wanted a Masters in Education that gave me the option of moving up the ladder if I wanted to. The only way that I would consider being a school administrator is if I were working in a school with a Fine Arts signature or if I could go into a situation like in AZ where they hire an assistant principal for all areas. ( Instruction, Registration, Student Opportunities,etc) I would want to be the Assistant Principal of Student Opportunities so that I could work with athletics, The Arts, and Community events. I think that it would be nice to have someone in that position who is not an ex-athlete for once and have someone who actually has a background in the Arts. So many times, these administrators favor the athletics teams over the Arts and I wouldn’t want to favor anyone over anyone else. I would want to do the job so that I could help everyone understand that what they do is important and that athletics and Arts can co-exist without drama.

One question keeps popping into my mind as I think about the steps I have already taken and the steps I’m considering. How does all of this fit into my biggest long-term goal…my real dream…my Arts academy? Before it was a dance school but I think that I would really love a place where students could specialize in Dance, Theater, Tech Theater, Visual Art, Vocal music, or Instrumental music. I think that by giving myself all of these options for careers, I am creating the stability that I will need in order to start planning my academy. I will need to get myself straightened out financially before I can even consider starting any plans.

People are always standing on the outside looking in and telling me how much I’ve accomplished and how prepared I am but…to me…I feel like I’m stuck at square one.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If it ain’t broken…

I wish I could go back in time and set things back the way they were. I was perfectly happy with that and then I let things go too far. Not every opportunity is a good one for me and I need to remember that.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fall into Me

There has been something on my mind lately…

I want to be a safety net. I know that sounds kind of dumb but I have come to realize that it’s exactly what I crave. I find myself getting so hurt when I find out about something that a friend is going through AFTER the fact. I have had friendships end because the other person just refuses to talk to me about whatever is going on in their life from day-to-day. If you want to call me your friend…why can’t you talk to me? Why do I have to find out from someone or somewhere else that you are having a hard time or that something great happened to you? I want to be there to help you bounce back or to celebrate with you…why is it that I get locked out?

I am turning into my Father. When I was younger, I just couldn’t understand why he was so bothered by the fact that I was growing up and could do things on my own. Sometimes I saw it as an attempt to control me…but now I see it for what it really is. My Father wants to be a safety net. Hell, he IS and always has been my safety net. Now that I am older, I’ve come to understand what is really happening. I’m not trying to control anyone or be nosey. I simply want to do what a friend should do and when they keep me from doing so, I’m hurt. I take it as an attack on our friendship.

I’m not always the easiest person to talk to but I have never turned a friend away or made them feel small because they were going through something. I don’t downplay their success either.

I will just have to accept that people aren’t always going to look to me for advice. I’m not always going to be the first person they go to with great news. I don’t have to understand it…I simply have to accept it in order to control my emotional responses.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

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April 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Enter your password to view comments.

I really don’t have to…

Just when I started to revert back to old habits…I sit straight up in bed and think to myself ” I really don’t have to be with anyone at the end of it all.” That’s the best thought I could possibly have and I don’t mean to shut myself off from the world like I did before ( another bad habit broken) but to stop being so damn desperate. Why sit around and worry about who to pick or who is the best for me when I can just spend time with people and have fun? Why force myself to make choices that don’t need to be made at this point? I’ve realized that just because someone has expressed some interest doesn’t mean that I have to be so eager to make it into a relationship. Just because two or more people have expressed interest doesn’t mean that I have to choose. What I’ve learned is that I really don’t have to do these things and my world won’t come to an end if I don’t take stuff so seriously all the time and over analyze everything. For the love of God, woman….just have some fun!

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Big Deal…Celebrating Excellence in Black Students

Black KingsRecently, I saw this picture posted on Facebook by another Black women teaching English here in Korea. The caption explained that there were the young men of Chicago Urban Prep, a  school in an area of Chicago that is considered to be “bad”.  The story is that for the third time in the school’s history, 100% of their graduating class  has been accepted to a 4-year university. Yes, you read that right. Every one of these young men has been accepted to a university.  This is something that no other public school in the country has done. This all male, all Black school has done this for the third time.

I was beyond excited about this. I posted this picture and story next to my desk at work.  I can’t begin to explain how proud I am and this feeling has lasted for days. When I read some of the comments under the story on the internet, I was not surprised to find people who had negative things to say. There were people who were excited as well. Some of the comments I read were things like ” Why aren’t there programs like this for students who aren’t black?”, ” This isn’t a good thing because college isn’t for everyone.” ,   “What’s the big deal?” and  ” Why do Blacks always get these types of opportunities?”

What’s the big deal?! Really? You need to be told what the big deal is? The big deal is that Black students…esp. males, don’t always get these types of opportunities.  When minority students in these types of neighborhoods fail, most people act like that’s all they expect of them because they are minorities with low socio-economic status. Let’s not pretend that there aren’t stereotypes out there about minorities not being as intelligent and capable as White people.  Many times, these students are assumed to be future gang members, prisoners, and general trouble makers. It is rare that someone takes them and holds them to higher standards.

I celebrate these young men because I believe that Black men ( like all other men) are Kings and these students are living up to that title.  All people are born with the potential to be great but in some cases, they are held back because society tells them that they can’t do it…they don’t have the money…the resources….the intelligence. The worst part of it all is that they ALLOW themselves to be held back because they start to BELIEVE these lies.

This story came about at a crucial time for me. I am working and living in a country that knows very little about who I am as a Black woman. The people stare at anyone who is different and the students snicker and make African jokes in class at anyone in the book or on the screen who is Black. I have allowed myself to be become frustrated and hurt by their ignorance.  For me, this story represents the true spirit of my people that many do not get to see or understand because of the way we are portrayed in the media. The only movies I see around here with Black people are things like The Help ( which I’m sure is a lovely movie but it’s about Black people being servants and I’d love for people to see us as more.) and The Blindside. ( Again, lovely movie but Blacks are seen here as nothing more than poor thugs and there is already a general thought that Black people can only achieve things through the help of White people. I’m serious…there are people here that think and say that.) Not to mention the fact that if The Help had been a book written by a Black woman instead of a White woman nobody ( Americans included) would have taken any notice of it. Before you get all upset at that statement…take a look at the Black authors out there who have been telling these stories for years and nobody ever approached them with movie deals. Their actors did not get nominated for prestigious awards.

Bottom line is even if you don’t want to admit it, there IS such thing as White privilege…it pretty much prevails EVERYWHERE. This affects all minorities, not just Black people and it’s unfortunate. I live in a place where White teachers are preferred over minorities and the people here strive to live up to European standards of beauty. Please don’t try to tell me that White priviledge does not exist.

But, this story..amoung others…gives me hope when I start to feel that being Black is perhaps the worst card I could have been dealt.

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A lesson in Letting Go pt.1

I was awake at 3:30 this morning. I woke up from a disturbing dream and automatically reached for my phone. What I found there was equally disturbing and it brought me around to realize that I needed to finally let go.

AJ has been my friend since I first moved to Arizona. I met her at a local club honestly, I didn’t like her. She was drunk and obnoxious and had a hard time keeping her hands to herself. I refused the drinks she offered to buy but the friend I was with gladly accepted. “You know your friend is just selling you to me, right?” AJ slurred in my ear.

At the end of that night, I was feeling a bit differently about her. Maybe she wasn’t always like this. Even though her friends had warned me that she was an a**hole, I could see something in her eyes that told me otherwise. I thought that maybe she was friend material. We ended up becoming friends and soon we were inseparable. The only problem was that sometimes AJ got a little weird.  There have been about 3 or 4 times during the course of our friendship when she has just kind of gone crazy. The first time, it was because I ended up not going to a concert that she invited me to because I was sick. She called and texted me during the concert and called me every name in the book. She basically told me that I was worse than scum. I was totally confused about what had happened.

So we didn’t talk for a long time. I was convinced that she was unstable at first. Later on, I started to miss her friendship. She was funny and loyal and I needed that in my life. I soon started to blame her behavior on alcohol. She has always been just a little too dependent on alcohol to alter her moods. ( Along with marijuana…but that’s a different story…) I started hanging out with her again. It took a while but her strange behavior came back. This time she snapped because I was trying to get her to talk to me about her upcoming time in jail. She’d been arrested for drinking and driving and she’d run into the back of a car in front of her. She was having a hard time because in her mind, jail was just like the horrible times she’d had in the military before we’d met. When I tried to be there for her, she snapped. Again she called me names and suggested that I was the worse friend in the history of the world. This time, it was about a year before we spoke again. I missed her again.

So this morning,when I looked at my phone, I found her response to my last message. I had commented about the pictures she posted on Facebook of herself and her girlfriend at a Turn About party. She is a stud and her gf is a femme. The point of the party was for them to switch roles for a night. We were always joking around about how doing something like this went against a stud’s sense of identity. It wasn’t unusual for us to express our feelings about such things. For some reason, after I told her that she looked nice but didn’t look comfortable or natural…as we usually say…she snapped on me. I woke up to two long messages about how even overseas, I’m a rude bitch. She said that I was use to being inside a box…me..of all people.  She said that it was one of many reasons why we don’t work.

That was the last straw. I decided then and there that I would let go of her friendship because with it came the pain from the things that she says when she gets drunk and angry. It’s hard to let go of someone who you’ve been through so much with…someone you care about so much. I have decided that I care about her but I care about myself more and I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I will not put myself through this anymore.

March 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment