Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One chapter ends, another begins...

So it's been four weeks since I *finally* arrived back home in my trusty car that was packed to the brim with all my NC possessions. Mom met me in Raleigh and we drove the 3000 km together -- winding our way through many many states -- until I saw the glorious Welcome to Winnipeg sign.


I've had a chance to see many of you since returning. It's so touching to know that you are as happy to see me as I am to see you! There are still a few that I want to catch up with very soon. I'm staying with my parents for another week or so, until I can get my condo back. I've been trying to keep myself busy, and relaxing at the same time. It's been calming so far...

I want to make this the official last post of the blog. I might start another one sometime... If I feel the itch to bore the public with my rambling musings. But as I try to get further settled here (Goal 1 -- Find a job!) I think I'll just leave it to you all to request an update.

Last thing... I want to officially announce that I'm going to be an aunt in November. This was added motivation (and reward) for coming home. I'm hoping that I can be there for Blair, Janel and the new little one as much as possible -- and being in the same province will help that out!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement over the last year. I cannot describe how lucky I feel to call you all my friends. :o)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And so, the end is near...

Well folks, this is it. Okay... maybe *this* isn't it. I don't actually leave for another three days... but I don't know if I'll have time to post between now and then... Or the ability to post if I did have time. I'm stealing a signal from a nearby neighbour as I sit in Ibeth's livingroom. She's letting me stay here because there's absolutely no furniture left in my place. But she's in Miami right now, so it's a little odd being here without her...

Ahh... so many emotions on these last few days. I'm spent! Among it all... I haven't been sleeping very well (until recently) and I suppose it's all caught up with me. To top it off, I'm still not sure when I'll be finished at the school... We were supposed to be stuffing report cards and updating cumfiles yesterday, but we got word that they wouldn't be ready until today... and today we were told that it may be tomorrow... maybe. So I've still got a few hours left -- I just don't know when! Makes it hard to plan the rest of the week...

I'm all packed!! Seriously, there's only a few bits here and there that I have left. And then I have to see if it all fits in my car. I'm a little nervous about that, actually. Wasn't before, but now that I actually see it all in packed form... Oh well, it might take a few tries, but I'll get it in!

And then there's the cleaning, which shouldn't seem like a big deal, but I'm just worried I'll forget something...

Mom arrives on Friday night, and we leave Saturday morning from Raleigh. I'll likely be checking my mail periodically in the next week, but unless you send something urgent, you might not get a reply for a few days.

I don't know if I will continue this blog once I get home. I started it for you all to keep track of me while I was down here, and eventhough I realize that there are still a few that I won't be close to... You know where to find me. ;o) Likely on Facebook or Twitter or somewhere inbetween (and yes, I've become somewhat of a Twit recently, though I haven't been certified yet), so I'm sure we won't be without communication!

I may start a new blog in the future, but I'll probably take a break before I do that. A few of you have been suggesting vlogs, or video-blogs. That's a possibility, but I make no promises.

Thank you all for following regularly and leaving comments every now and then. It's felt like a long year, but at the same time it's gone by fast! I love and enjoy you all so much and can't wait to love and enjoy many of you all in person very soon!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some Like it Hot

We're well into summer here... These last few days we've had temperatures in the 90's, and the humidity has spiked too. Makes for some uncomfortable trips outdoors.... Unless you're headed to the beach, which is exactly what we did yesterday.

Graduation was yesterday morning. It was quite the formal service, with even the faulty (including me) having to dress in academic regallia (robes and hoods). The service itself wasn't very long... about an hour. But the whole thing felt quite awkward and stiff instead of celebratory and uplifting. Hmm.

After the convocation, a few of us yonger teachers packed into my car and drove out to Surf City for a little sun and sand. By the time we'd gotten all of our stuff together and actually driven out there (stopping for food) it was after 4 pm -- which seemed like perfect timing because the beach really wasn't that busy and we found a great spot right away.

It was my first time in the Atlantic (well, besides my feet) and it felt great!! As we were walking into the water, we spotted a little action in the not so distant, and realized that it was a dolphin! We also say stingrays in the waves. It was really cool. We sat and lazed in the sun which was low enough in the sky not to be scorching hot, took a walk on the beach and had a good, relaxing time. Just what I needed!

Today my neighbours Alvin and Ibeth are coming to move some of the stuff they wanted to buy from me. By later this evening, this place should be pretty empty except for my stuff. It'll be a little unnerving, but it should give me the last motivation I need to pack the rest of it (really not much now) and start cleaning this place for my landlord. I'll be spending the nights at Ibeth's because she's going to Miami and said that I could use her place since mine was dismanteled.

I can count the day on oneh and now... and not much longer after that I'll be back in Winnipeg! There are many things that I will miss about this place, but there are so many more I'm looking forward to back at home!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Eat More Cookies

Two weeks from today I'll be headed home!!! YAHOOOOOOO!!!!!

I am so thankful, relieved and excited to see have this year almost over. I've been struggling with some mixed emotions for several weeks now, but as the day gets closer and closer, I'm finding myself feeling more relaxed and ready to move on. When I get see other people at work and we exchange the typical "How are you?", my response has been "Better with each passing day!"

As I pack up my stuff both here at the apartment, and at the school, I find myself reflecting back on my experience and shaking my head at the many many many ups and downs that I've had. Yes, there are lots of things that I am ready to put behind me. Being overwhlemed, confused, intimidated, conflicted and feeling completely out of my element on several occassions. Disappointing myself,and letting that disappointment drag me down. Feeling disappointed with others, and allowing that to drag down my impressions of them. Things have definitely not been easy in the last 10 months.

But they haven't been all negative, and I so I feel guilty for allowing those thoughts to cloud the good feelings I've had. I wasn't miserable when I met and spent time with people who have become good friends that I'm sad to say goodbye to. I've had opportunities to travel and do things I might not otherwise have done. I've challenged and reached beyond my comfortable limits -- and while I admit that I didn't always feel successful... I survived and I'm proud of myself for lasting this long.

Some have asked (repeatedly) why I'm going home. They can't quite understand. They figure it's because I'm homesick. I readily admit to that -- I've missed the people, places and routine that I once took forgranted. I've wondered if that makes me weak... I've been quickly reasurred that it makes me LUCKY!

I've made mistakes this year, and I wish I could go back and redo these things over again. I've doubted myself, I've scolded myself, and I've cried to myself. I've felt happy, sad, angry, exhausted, indifferent -- sometimes all in the same day! But, when I take a step back, I realize that I've needed to do this... to learn this BIG LESSON. To question my confidence, to feel isolated and upset. Why?

Because I know now that life is too short to not do the things that I WANT. It's too short to separate yourself from the people who I love and who love me back (unconditionally, too!) regardless of my faults and insecurities. It's too short to feel small and insignificant. It's too short to dwell on mistakes and wish for do-overs.

Life is too short to NOT be who you want to be, where you want to be.

I took a chance. I don't regret that. I tried something new. I've sown those "wild oats", or whatever they say.

And now I'm coming home. Love you all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day, aka the Unofficial Start to Summer

As I type this, I'm listening to distant rumbles of thunder outside. The long weekend is supposed to have a mix of all kinds of spring/summer related weather activity... Figures!! Luckily, I'm headed out west this morning... To Texas to visit Joanna and her family! I'm looking forward to it -- my little reward for having survived another semester. ;o)

There's only one (well, two...) regular class days left before exams begin next week. Whew! I thought it would never get here!! There have been all sorts of year end events and activities going on around the school and within the district. Last night the academic awards were given out, with a reception that followed. We also had our staff appreciation luncheon yesterday, sponsored by the PTSO -- which was just yummy enough to feel appreciated! We also got some pretty lunch bags to keep -- I really like mine and look forward to all the jealous looks I'll get when I use it back home!

Last Sunday at the First United Methodist Church, a heritage service and lunch were held. What a great time! It was nice to celebrate an event like that with some of the people I've gotten to know and enjoy over the last several months. The church itself is celebrating 196 years (I think!), and reminds me very much of TMUC. I only have a couple of Sundays left to visit, but I will have a lifetime of memories of all the great people that make up the congregation and close masses. (And I can't wait to introduce the covered dish-luncheon idea to my own home congregation!! Yummy!)

There are only three weeks left of my time here in NC. I'm sure they will be busy! I'm still looking for a job back home... I have applied for quite a few, and I only hope that my temporary location doesn't deter anyone from taking a closer look at my resume and considering me!!

The countdown is on!! Have a wonderful weekend everyone! (I know I will!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Watch a Video or Two!

One of my homepages on my computer is MSN, and sometimes I get a little sidetracked following this link to that article or video. Stumbled upon some really good ones tonight.

Jessica's Pep Talk

Word Up, Mom

This one is more impressive than cute... some of you have probably seen this already...

Sixth Grade "Paparazzi" Rendition

Gives me hope for the future. :o)

P.S. Homeward bound in four weeks. :o)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Virtual Flowers for My Mom...

This blog post is dedicated to a very special person in everyone's lives... MOM!! Happy Mother's day to all the loving, devoted, hard-working, iconic women who sacrifice their needs for their children. You'll never truly know how wonderful you really are, because there are no actions or words great enough to express all that!!
My Mom is enjoying a scrumptious brunch at Boccochino's with Blair, Janel, Dad, Faith and Al. Sounds like fun! (For my "brunch", I had an Arby's Jr. roastbeef sandwich.)
Last week was National Teacher Appreication Week, and the school district rewarded their teachers with a big box of strawberries... one for every member of the faculty! I'm still eating berries -- for those of you who knew me when I was little and would hunt the strawberries down in Grandpa and Gramdma's garden... You can imagine how happy that gift made me! We also got messager bags with the Dark Horse logo on it... perfect for carting things to and from work. I'm already making use of mine... I figure I might as well since only have a few weeks left.
Time seems like it's going by ever so slowly, and yet, at the same time, it's a little hard to believe it's May already. Things are quite busy for me... This week we've got tech and dress rehearsals for "Thuroughly Modern Millie", of which I am again acting as Assitant Director. It's been fun... hard work and many hours, but fun! The show runs Friday-Saturday-Sunday, and I imagine I'll need a weekend after that. After that, there's only two weeks left of classes before exams begin!
As I was stepping up to start this blog, I realized that this post is the 100th!! Yay!! Thanks to everyone who has read it from the beginning, and especially to those of you who read faithfully! I know I'll be seeing most of you again soon (!!!) and when I do I can thank you in person. But it really has meant a lot to me to know that you all care about me and want what's best for me. LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO VERY MUCH!