Five Things That Made Me Happy in 2008:
1. Ending my job on a high note
And by high note, I mean I didn't lose my mind. I've probably mentioned this before, but until July of last year, I was teaching art at my old high school. 7th-10th grade, with a whopping 259 students under my watch, for 30 hours a week. It was my first real job out of college, and I was literally thrown into it with absolutely no idea of what I was doing back in January 2006. I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned in those two years; about myself, about other people and about, well, growing up. It was a very strange, crazy experience, and by the end of the 2007-2008 school year, I was completely exhausted both mentally and physically. It took...so much out of me. I loved the actual JOB, and most of the kids, but I was in such a toxic work environment, surrounded by incompetent and negligent superiors, who didn't give a damn that I was having to deal with 259 teenagers every week all on my own with absolutely no support, that I almost came to dread every new work day. And I hated that. So by the end of the school year, I had just HAD it. I just wanted it to end. In part I felt horrible because I knew I hadn't been a good teacher those last few weeks, and how unfair that had been to the large majority of kids I taught. I didn't even say proper goodbyes to anyone there, but honestly, I had never felt close to any of my coworkers, let alone my superiors, so it was no great loss.
And I know that I did the best I could. Through the handful of truly horrible kids, through the incompetent principals, through the ungratefulness of my superiors, I did my best. And I'm proud of that. In the time since, I've met a lot of my former students around town (it's a very small place) who have sincerely told me they miss me, and that's the best validation I could hope for. All I got from my bosses was a meager paycheck, not even a goodbye or a thank you. I don't miss the place, but I do miss the students, sometimes terribly, and I miss having fun with teaching. I know that I want to go back to doing it, and I only hope that in the future wherever I end up will have more understanding superiors that don't screw their teachers over at every opportunity.
So I was glad it was over. And I was glad for the experience. And oh boy was I glad that I didn't have to wake up at 5.30 every single day.
2. Spring Break
I went to Texas. And it was wonderful. Of course, if I had known that I wouldn't see my fiance for another 8 months, the whole thing would've been a lot more gloomy. As it was though, it was a perfect trip, even if I did suffer from food poisoning for the first time in my life. And it helped me recover my strengths for what would prove to be the hardest months at work.
How DID I survive those eight months? I haven't the faintest. But let me just say: God bless the internet, chatrooms, and the magnificent wonder that is Skype. That is all.
3. Free Time. Glorious, glorious free time.
I know. I should feel ashamed for being a shameless unemployed lazybag living with her parents while waiting for a visa. But you know what? I don't. I mean, I do feel vaguely guilty about it, but the simple truth is that there's not a whole lot I CAN be doing right now. I can't get a job, because I can't commit to any amount of time with any certainty, and part-time jobs don't really exist in Honduras. So I can't work, I can't travel (as the embassy might call any time), I can't really do much of anything.
But I found things to do. I've always been pretty good at keeping myself entertained, and I was never one to complain about having free time and being able to sleep as late as I wanted to.
The free time has given me a lot of time for myself, and I needed it. I needed a break. And I finally had time to start my garden, and to get back to painting and drawing, which I hadn't done since college. And God, I missed it. I had forgotten how good it felt to sit and create something, to work with my hands, to make something beautiful happen. And for that I am very, very grateful. I realize how incredibly lucky I am that I can basically sit around with no job, and some people might hate me, but there you go. I swear, I wish I could be working at my new job right now, but my hands are tied, so I might as well make the best of it, right?
Of course right.
Oh, and I haven't been a complete leech. I help mom with house things and payments from my savings, and I've made a nice sum of money by selling Christmas cookies and such. Who the hell knew I could cook?
4. Christmas and New Years
They just went by, I know. But they were, hands down, the best holidays I have ever had in my life. Graham came to visit, and this time we had time to really be together, and he had a chance to meet my crazy family, and my family had time to meet (and love him). Honestly, how could they not?
We had an insane Christmas party, where everything was disgustingly perfect and happy, with lots of gifts and food and booze. We took a ridiculously perfect trip to the mountains in Valle de Angeles. We went to the pacific beaches. We spent New Year's Eve together for the third year in a row.
It really was just...great. And so, having him leave again, and having the holidays be over are just that much more depressing than they've been in past years. But there you go, you can't have it all. And I've always been a half-full kind of chick, and I will stop whining RIGHT. NOW.
Always. Always. Even though we're 1400 miles apart and we only saw each other for a total of about...two months this year, our relationship is stronger (and stranger...) than ever, and I cannot wait until we can be together for good. Good lord, those will be some crazyass times.
That's all I have to say about that, before I get so disgustingly cheesy that everyone will just want to puke a rainbow or two.
-The Dark Knight: Oh, God, yes. It was the only movie I watched in theaters this year. That's saying something. It was glorious in its awesomeness. I want to take this movie and make out with it behind some bleachers. Because, damn.
-Brazilian soap operas: Because yes. Mmhmm.
-Quaker Granola Cereal: oh, such ambrosia. Oh, such perfection.
-Shortbread cookies: because I rocked them out, and they made me sweet, sweet moneys that allowed me to get all my Christmas presents without dipping into my savings.
-Pajiba: Phwoar. Warning: the last time I got so into an online community, I ended up getting engaged to one of its members. So...watch out, is all I'm sayin'.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: