all good things must come to an end

On Friday afternoon, I said goodbye to my first classroom and my first group of students. As I stood in the classroom at the end of the day, with all of my belongings, it almost brought me to tears. I did it, I thought to myself. I followed my dreams and (hopefully) touched the hearts of 15 little kindergarten kids. A bittersweet feeling.

I think back to my first day in September. I couldn’t sleep. I was anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. Basically, I was being thrown to the wolves. I had to make my own path, set my own classroom rules, be the teacher I had always dreamed of. I was just trying to figure things out day by day (with the help of my teaching partners of course). And, although there were endless work nights, and days where I felt tired and run down, it was all worth it.

Not only did I grow as a teacher, but I grew as a person too. Patience. Compassion. Flexibility. Parenting. Sense of humour. Open-minded. Firm. Just to name a few. 

For 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. 5 months of the school year. These children were learning with me. Growing and maturing. Interacting with other kids. Developing their self-regulation skills. Yes, there many times when I felt frustrated. Overwhelmed really. After three months of school, I felt like some kids still weren’t quite getting it and that worried me. As a result, I was really hard on myself. What was I doing wrong? What could I be doing better? Am I really cut out for this? 

I doubted myself at times. After all, they do say we are our toughest critic. But, this process taught me not to be so hard on myself. Sometimes I had to take a step back and appreciate these little humans for who they were. Take each day as it comes. Enjoy the little moments. Learn from your mistakes. And remind yourself, that it’s okay to cry on your drive home from work (as long as it’s not every day).

During my last couple weeks at my school, the other teachers were asking me if I was feeling happy or sad about leaving. I always kept my head held high and answered, A little of both. Truthfully, I was looking forward to taking a couple days off for myself to get caught up on some work at home. Some much needed “me” time.

But when Monday came this week, I woke up feeling like something was missing. I missed interacting with my fellow staff. I missed being greeted by my students when the bell rang. I missed the excitement of when my students learned something new. I missed the little letters my kids would leave for me. I was feeling emotional. I know this isn’t the end for me, but this is the last “first” teaching experience I’ll get.

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So as I sit here, I can’t help but think, I hope my students remember me. I hope they know how special they are and how much of an impact they had on my life. And, if I could tell them one last thing, it would be from my favourite children’s book:

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

– Dr. Seuss

Sometimes, good things come to an end, so better things can begin. On to the next teaching adventure…

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teachers have ‘first day of school’ pictures too.

 

travel more. worry less.

Traveling has changed me.

As a child I was fortunate enough to go on frequent family vacations. I am forever thankful to my parents for providing me with those opportunities. Together we created memories that will last a life time. Something to look back on and reminisce about.

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Although these trips have been special, I believe traveling as a young adult is different. It strengthens you. It allows you to grow and get cultured. It makes you appreciate the little things. And it ultimately defines the rest of your life.

As you know, over the past year and a half I’ve done a bit of traveling to Europe (Finding the Inspiration) to visit my boyfriend. I’ve always been a nervous flyer. I don’t enjoy being on a plane, especially when I’m by myself, surrounded by complete strangers. What am I supposed to do for 7 hours? Who can I talk to? Where do I go when I get off the plane? Will I have enough money? What if I get lost? These thoughts floated around in my head incessantly. Until I decided to let go. I chose to let these worries escape me and learned how to go with the flow (a skill that is difficult to master). It ultimately opened my eyes and changed my attitude into a more care-free, positive, enriched attitude.

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I’ve discovered new things about myself that will stay with me throughout my life. Lessons that I’ll be able to hopefully one day share with my children. Ideas and thoughts that I would like to share with you now.

5 things traveling has taught me:

  1. Experiences over Material things. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to shop. But, I’ve learned to recognize my needs vs. my wants. Happiness isn’t about getting those pair of shoes you’ll probably never wear, or that new handbag that is similar to another one you already have in your closet. Happiness is about making memories and embracing new experiences. My travels have taught me to buy experiences, not things.
  2. Taking a break from social media is okay. We have become so dependent on our phones and computers, that we often forget how to live our life free of them. I’ll admit, I’m still learning to master this. But, traveling has taught me to break free from social media and take time to enjoy what I’m doing, in the moment, rather than spending my time showing everyone else what I’m doing.
  3. The best restaurants are hidden away from tourist attractions. If you’re looking for delicious food at an affordable price, avoid the high traffic tourist areas. Yes, it might be nice to sit under the Eiffel Tower for dinner, but you’ll pay the price for it and it probably won’t be the greatest food. In my opinion, I got more joy out of stumbling upon a small, quaint restaurant down a cobblestone alley than going to a fancy, extravagant lounge.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone. Meet new people. Try different foods. Speak the language. Be adventurous. Say yes. In our lives, we often get scared of trying new things. But, I’ve come to learn that the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. This March, Justin and I are traveling around Switzerland and we decided to go paragliding during our time in Interlaken. I’m terrified. But I know it’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  5. Appreciate the beauty. Breathe in the culture and nature while you’re visiting a new place. Sometimes you have to put your camera down and just enjoy where you are, who you’re with and what you’re looking at. Let it sink in and envelop you. Because that is what you’ll carry with you forever.

I’m sure as a take flight and explore new destinations, I’ll add more lessons to this list. I look forward to exploring and experiencing life the best way I know possible.

separated by ocean

For those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend of a year and a half just moved out to Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Being separated by 3212 miles is not the most ideal situation for the two of us. However, I’m so unbelievably proud of all his hard work to get to where he is today and I stand by him 100%.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean this hasn’t been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Leading up to his last days in Canada, I was handling it all very well. Being supportive and positive. But then we had a going away party for him, and it was all downhill from there. I was an emotional mess. How was I going to survive without my best friend?! There would be moments before he left, where we would be hanging out together – I would look at him and just start crying. I kept thinking about all of his little quirks and the memories we shared. There was no doubt in my mind that our relationship wouldn’t work, but I was faced with the reality that it was going to be tough at times. Luckily for me, I have an extremely compassionate guy who reassured me things would be okay.

For those of you out there who are going through a similar long distance love, just remind yourself that distance means nothing when the person at the other end means so much. I understand it may be hard at times, but there are so many different things you can do to keep the relationship alive. Justin and I really try our best to keep our relationship thriving. Here are some ideas that we’ve done so far:

1. Text/Video Chat. We talk everyday, even if it’s not for long. Fortunately, we have grown up in a time where technology is so easily accessible. It’s nice to feel connected to one another while you’re apart. So whenever time permits, we update each other with what’s going on in our lives.

2. Writing. Seeing as I’m also a bit old fashioned, I think it’s important to write each other every now and then. Whether it’s a postcard or a letter. Everyone loves getting mail and it makes it that much more romantic when it’s from the person you love and miss.

3. Date Nights. I know, this sounds silly. How are you supposed to have a date night when your significant other is on a totally different continent? Well, it’s possible! What we do is, we decide on a movie to watch together. Get a few snacks before hand, then video chat each other and start the movie at the exact same time. It feels like you’re side by side, laughing or crying together. I highly recommend this.

4. Trust and Open Communication. Two of the most important qualities to ANY relationship really. It’s very different being so far away from one another. That’s why trust and open communication is so key. Be honest with each other. If something is upsetting you, talk about it and come to a solution together. But, trust in the love that you share and know that it is okay to be apart and have “me” time. As long as you’re being respectful to your partner.

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I’m confident that it will get easier. And, we’ll be a stronger couple because of it all. I’m only about a month into this, so I’m sure there are other strategies to learn in the months and years to come. We really do appreciate all the love and support that we’ve received from family and friends. It’s nice to have a good support system standing behind you!

it’s time to live your life

Starting a new year is a funny thing. We all vow to change ourselves for the better. Claim that this is the year we’re going to try something new and exciting – take risks. Maybe we try and be kinder to those around us. Or aspire to live a healthier, active lifestyle. I say it’s funny because every new year that approaches we become obsessed with it all (myself included). But do we ever really stick to our resolutions for those 12 months?

You may not want to hear this, but no, many of us don’t. We fall off the wagon and lose inspiration to stay on track. Discouraging, I know. Personally, I can count on all 10 fingers and toes how many times I haven’t stuck to a resolution. Reality of it is, life gets in the way. We become busy and tired and it’s much easier to lose that motivation rather than feed it.

So what’s different about 2014? Nothing really haha. However, I’ve decided to take on the challenge of sticking to my resolutions. Not too sure what I was thinking when I decided to make multiple resolutions, seeing as I usually can’t keep up with one. I guess I just felt like I needed a positive change and this was the first step to accomplishing that.

411bded171c5553f3c9e6d66d2b2690dI thought my blog would be the perfect opportunity to update you all on my progress so far, in hopes to pass on a little inspiration to those who are feeling defeated. And, to kill two birds with one stone, by sharing with you all, it helps me stay accountable!

Resolution #1: Try a new physical activity (long-term goal: to lose some weight and be healthier). I decided to try hot yoga. I had heard many great things about it so I said, why not? The week after new years eve, I dragged my boyfriend to a hot yoga class at Moksha Yoga in Milton and signed up for an intro month. Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since. Not only is it relaxing, but it strengthens and tones muscles I didn’t even know existed. If you’re looking for something new to try, I definitely recommend this. It may be a bit difficult at first, but it becomes easier over time (I promise).

Along with hot yoga, I’ve been using a (free) app called My Fitness Pal to record what I’m eating on a daily basis. It just helps me monitor the things I’m having and keeps me motivated when I add in cardiovascular/strength activities. Here are some screen shots of what it looks like – As you can see, I’ve been good and have logged on for 18 consecutive days!

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Resolution #2: Keep my room clean and tidy. I know what you’re thinking…Shouldn’t a 25 year old always keep their room clean and tidy? I’ll go ahead and answer for you….yes. However, being a working girl who likes to socialize from time to time, it’s difficult to always maintain that cleanliness. I’m not saying I’m a slob, but when I’m deciding what to wear, clothes usually end up everywhere (bed, ottoman, floor). By the time I actually figure out the perfect outfit, I don’t have time to make my bed because I’m in too much of a rush out the door. It’s a vicious cycle. But, that was the old me! The new me has been very diligent about keeping things in a neat, organized manner. Don’t you think?

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Resolution #3: Floss my teeth at least once a day, every day (my dentist will love me for this one). I obviously brush my teeth, but I’ve never been big on flossing. I had braces, so trying to get that silly threader underneath my bracket is always a tedious task. It was laziness really. So, I decided this was the year I was going to make a conscious effort to floss once a day, every day. So far I’ve been really good about it. And I’ll have you all know, my dentist applauded me on finally listening to him after all these years! Hopefully I can keep it up.

There you have it. New year. New me. (And new blog theme).

This too, is your year to stick to it. Another chance for us to get it right. What are your resolutions?

the good, the bad, the ugly

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty stand up, honest person. If I’m feeling a certain way because of something someone did, I’m going to let them know. I don’t think I have always been this way necessarily, but as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realize that things won’t change until you let people know what you want changed.

When it comes to relationships with others, I strongly believe that you should be open and honest about anything. Whether it’s telling your friend that the shirt she is wearing isn’t the most flattering, telling your significant other how something they did made you feel (good or bad), or talking about an issue that arose based on someone else’s actions (or lack there of). I’m not saying that being rude or blunt is the solution. I just think, that if you are truly upset because of something that happened, you need to determine what that relationship means to you. If it’s an insignificant bond that you don’t overly care about, then it’s probably just best to leave the issue and focus on other relationships in your life that make you happy. However, if it’s someone you deeply care for, then an expression of how you feel needs to be shared, regardless of how difficult it is. That’s the only way you can hope for a positive change with him or her.

I know what you’re thinking…easier said than done! Everyone knows that the truth isn’t usually what a person wants to hear. Reality check: It’s not always going to be rainbows and butterflies! Many of us dread telling people how we really feel. But the way I look at it is, if the person you are addressing is a true friend or a dedicated partner they are going to respect you. Yes, they may feel a little attacked at first (I think it’s only natural). But, once they’ve had time to decompress and think about it, they’re going to listen to you and try to solve the issue together because they care for you just as much as you care for them.

If they don’t do any of the things above, well then…maybe it’s time to re-evaluate and reflect. Is that the type of person you want in your life? Do they value the relationship as much as you do? Do they care how you feel? Will they stick around through the good, the bad, the ugly?

It’s difficult to face the reality of these questions because we don’t want to accept the truth behind them (probably ’cause we know the truth ain’t rainbows or butterflies!) But maybe this truth will set us free. Maybe knowing the answers will allow us to make a tough, but necessary decision about the status of the relationship. You get to decide.

I know for me personally, I’d rather have a few truthful relationships, than many disloyal relationships. What about you?

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the greatest revenge

Throughout our lives, it’s common to lose people who were once extremely important or close to us. Whether it’s a boyfriend or a best friend (or maybe someone you wanted out of your life for good) – the initial reaction is to be nasty! I think being mean is just a coping mechanism for some people to make everything easier. It helps us develop a sense of anger. And when you’re angry, it makes it easier for us to not miss that person. Sometimes you’d even go as far as to hurt them personally.

While being mean and hurtful are EASY (and maybe even enjoyable for some!) it’s only bringing yourself down. You’re still consuming yourself with that person. You’re keeping your emotions wrapped tightly around someone who you don’t really want or need in your life to begin with.

Instead of getting mad or being mean or trying to get even. Try being an adult. Remind yourself that you’re better than that. And, of course, find an even better form of revenge!!

So whats the best, sweetest, most gratifying revenge of all?!

Self-reformation / Self-improvement.

If you’re smarter, funnier, healthier, hotter and more confident than you were when you were friends with or dating that person, then you’re the ultimate winner! Improving your own quality of life is far better than bashing theirs.

So before you try and tear down someone else who was once really significant in your life. Take a step back for a minute. Think about how you can better yourself, rather than saying hateful things about them. No one likes a loser, and we all strive to be winners. So, take your pick.

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melt when you smile, dissolve when you laugh


Where do I even begin. I remember watching this video for the first time back in college – when I was just a simple 18 year old girl, who had a lot of growing up to do. A time where I also had no idea what the concept of ‘love’ really entailed. I think it’s still a learning process for me, as I’m sure it is for everyone else in this world. But now, watching this video back as a 24 year old woman, there’s a lot I’ve come to realize.

First… In a relationship, you make sacrifices and compromises for the one you care about (I’m not just talking about romantic relationships here, but also friend and family relationships). It’s so easy for people to just give up and not solve problems that they are encountered with in life. I’ve lost a fair amount of friends and boyfriends for similar reasons to this. At first it’s devastating and it hurts, a lot. Because after all, aren’t they the ones you thought cared for you the most? It’s a difficult situation to handle. But when this happens, I think it’s just proof (a sign, if you will) that this person didn’t belong in your life to begin with. They say everything happens for a reason. Maybe them choosing to leave your side is evidence that they were never really meant to be by your side in the first place. The ever so beautiful Marilyn Monroe once said, that “sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Second… I strongly believe in fighting for what you love. If you care for something or someone, you’re going to do everything in your power to hang onto that. No ifs, ands or buts. If someone isn’t willing to give and take a little then it just confirms that they aren’t willing to care to their fullest potential for you, which may mean it’s time to move on. This is really scary for people to comprehend sometimes (myself included).

This leads into the third (and most important) thing…don’t lose hope. There’s nothing more fragile and uncertain in life than love. One second, things can be so perfect and the next things fall apart. There are times when I lose hope and wonder if my other half even exists in this crazy place. But, I’ve come to realize how important it is to savour every moment in life. And when you have that person or thing you’ve dreamed of for so long, don’t take it for granted.

At the end of the day, we all want to experience that, “overwhelming, undying, overpowering, unconditional, all-encompassing, heart enriching, mind-expanding, ongoing, never-ending love” for someone. All it takes is a little hope and patience.

Hopefully this video helped you all have a little more faith…