Rolled a Lucky Pair of Dice

It’s hard to believe that a year has past.

12 months ago I was manic with packing my life away, settling things at work and emotionally prepping to live away from all that I knew for an entire year.

And now it’s over.

And I have changed.

I don’t really know where I want to go with this post…I haven’t set time aside for a long time to put the thoughts in my head down on paper…but I feel like my journey deserves recognition.  There is not a lot in my life I’d say I’m proud of myself for…many things I’m extremely happy about but pride never really fits with me.  I think it’s probably because of my quiet personality and my own weird issue that if someone feels proud about themselves its a bit too showy (but I don’t feel that way when others say they are proud of themselves…my own silly issue).  It’s funny because I feel proud for so many of my loved ones but don’t really allow it within myself.

Until 2014.

I took a huge gamble in March of 2013 when I applied for a teaching exchange to Australia and to say it worked out well is an understatement.  I packed up my life, said goodbyes to my family and friends (and my final goodbye to my dog) and sorted out my last few days of work and then shipped myself off to the unknown…granted, I knew a few people in town before going, but it still is quite a daunting adventure.

Everything was new.  New house, new job, new town, and (having to make) new friends.  I’m almost 40…you don’t really make new friends when you’re almost 40!!  And, with being an introvert, this was one of the scariest things I was faced with.

The main reason I wanted to do an exchange was to get out of the funk I was feeling at work.  Teaching, for me, had become too routine.  I needed a bit of a challenge and I know I needed to grow professionally.  In Australia I was thrown into a system I knew nothing about (still aspects of it I don’t totally understand) but instantly fell in love.  My new work colleagues fit nicely into my life and it was just “easy”….the work aspect was hard, and for the first month my head was spinning with all the differences and changes, but in terms of who I was working with…it was eerily easy.

I just fit.

A year later and what I have come away from all of this with, besides saying ‘reckon’, is such a greater sense of self.  In all aspects.  It’s funny because just a few days after my arrival home I ran into a friend at the supermarket and he asked “well did you find yourself?!”…a question I didn’t really think I needed to be focused on during my exchange…but has been, in the end, what it was all about and one of the greatest gifts this journey has given me.

I know now, more than ever, who I am, what’s important to me and where I belong.  I have realised that for the past ten years I have been living a life that is not true to me, my heart or soul…but boy am I excited to start!

And that is something to be proud of.

May you all live a life that is true to your soul.

Happy New Year!!!

~ Hugs and love ~

 

I’ve Got Two Tickets To Iron Maiden, Baby

Teenagers.

I hated being one and then decided to spend my life teaching them and being surrounded by them on a daily basis…a LOT of people ask ‘why’?!

It’s difficult to explain, and I don’t know what it says about me, but, I just get them.  Yes they can be gross.  Yes they can be rude.  But what a lot of people don’t see is that most of them are amazing.  I’ve had my run in with some very unpleasant, rude, mean spirited and sly teens (and I’m positive I have had dealings with their future grown up selves) but when you look deep inside, and really get to know them, teenagers are inspiring.  They are dealing with an incredible amount of pressure and are still trying to develop emotionally…it is the time in their lives where their adult coping skills are being developed while at the same time having to deal with their still present internal little kid. I have the greatest respect for the struggle they face on a daily basis.

Just over a month ago, I had the pleasure of joining my homeroom year 9 group on their camp.  (In Australia each year group goes on a camp for a few days during the year…I LOVE this idea and wish we did this at home but due to numbers it’s near impossible).  It was an intense week (16km canoe, 20km hike and a 50km bike ride) and there was whinging and some not-so-shining-stars…but I came away completely inspired by my group of eighteen 14 year olds.  They were challenged both physically and mentally but they came together as a group and made it through…and as an outcome, a much stronger group because of it.

I am so incredibly happy that I got to experience Australian camp and even more so because I got to experience it with so many outstanding human beings.

~ Hugs and love ~

It Ain’t No Trick To Get Rich Quick

I woke up this morning with a clear mind and a happy heart and I spent some time thinking back to the time just before I headed out on my current adventure.  I remember wondering why I wasn’t feeling much about it.  Excited yes, but contained excitement and absolutely no nerves…which for me is very VERY strange.  I am quite the introvert and even though I do push my own limits and put myself in uncomfortable situations, in terms of my personality only, not safety, I am often racked with invisible anxiety (I am planning on writing a bit about my internal challenges soon).  Upon reflecting on my previous feelings and how I am currently feeling I understand why I wasn’t nervous…when I landed I felt like I was coming home.  My soul is at peace here.

My first day at work went well and I am very much looking forward to the new challenge and fresh start.  A lot of new information and new routines but a shake up is needed and one of the main reasons I decided to do this!

Today is going to be a day full of meeting new people and making new friends (hopefully!)

Hugs and love

Livin’ In A Land Down Under

G’day!!

Well I made it.  After 30 hours of travel time I arrived safely in my new town, new home and I am happy.  The first day and a half have been busy settling in and getting comfy and now the real work begins.  There is still work left at home to complete and tomorrow at this time I will be on my way to my first day at my new school!  I couldn’t be more excited to get the adventure started!

My flight over was quite uneventful.  I didn’t say more than 4 words to the guy who I sat beside for my Toronto to Vancouver flight and then from my Vancouver to Sydney leg I had the complete opposite…Ken…one of those people who really loves to hear themselves talk…you know, they ask you a question and before you can answer they start commenting?!  Ya.  So I “slept” the entire way…and let me tell you I needed it!  After about 3 hours on the 15 hour flight I feel asleep but only for 3 more hours…leaving about 9 hours of flight to try to get back to sleep.  I woke up again just before landing in Sydney feeling very rough but while waiting in line for customs I got my second wind and was feeling fine getting on my flight to Melbourne.  Simon picked me up at the airport and we made our way to Echuca.

We arrived in Echuca and stopped by the house that I will now be calling home and started to get familiar with my surroundings…Simon took me out for a nice welcome dinner and then it was off for my first sleep back in Australia!

My first full day was spent getting groceries, becoming more familiar with the house and enjoying the weather!  I met a few new people and am looking forward to meeting more!  Today is my second full day and I think it’s starting to sink in that I am in, full on, for one whole year!

Tomorrow is the start of the new school year here for me.  The first few days are without students and will be spent learning the ropes and meeting new people.  Very exciting!

You will find in this post my first ever attempt at vlogging!  I am learning and am hoping to do a once a week vlog including all the fun (or even mundane) things I get up to whilst here.  Be kind as I am learning…as I get more comfortable with the editing software I am hoping to make them a bit more interesting!

I will sign off for now and will promise at least a weekly update!  I am hoping to post Wednesdays and Sundays to keep everyone up to date on the goings on and my adventures!

Off for a run and to enjoy the cooler morning before the heat of the afternoon kicks in!

Hugs and love!

Blogmas Day 28!!!!

What are you looking forward to?!

I’ve talked about it enough but definitely my teaching exchange. More importantly I’m really looking forward to being ready to go. All the packing, cleaning an organizing I’m not looking forward to but having it all done and being relaxed and ready I’m looking forward to the most.

I’m also incredibly looking forward to seeing my friends again and continuing my friendships.

Crazy that it’s only 19 days till I leave!!

What is on your agenda that you’re looking forward to?!

Hugs and love

I Never Saw The Good Side Of The City

Blogmas Day 17!!!!!!!!!

What is your most proud moment?

This is a no-brainer for me.

It was the day I got hired on as a teacher.

I was hired at the end of October 2004, after what had been one of the most difficult summers I had ever faced.  A relationship had ended badly, I was heartbroken and the life I had planned had fallen down all around me.

I had moved back to my hometown after completing my teaching placement and was officially allowed to apply for jobs.  I was still working through my heartache but had made some professional connections and had an interview all set to go.  My first ever career oriented interview!  Not knowing how how I did I returned home that day just happy to have been given a chance and to get some interview experience under my belt…not expecting in a million years they would give the job to someone so green…but they did…and I will never forget that feeling….

Thankful…blessed

PROUD

What a day!

What are you most proud of?

Hugs and love

~Deb~