What am I Doing With My Life?

It’s been a while since I’ve had a post about me.

My life, what I’m up to, where I’m going.

So as to ensure that this blog doesn’t become defunct, I thought I’d take a moment to write an update about my life.

Back in January, I wrote that I recently discovered my love of teaching. Additionally, I wrote that I was planning to move abroad again before the year’s end.

Today, only one of those statements remains true. I still love teaching. I love it more and more every day. I will not, however, be moving abroad again before this year’s end.

— — — —

The last few months have been a whirlwind of growth and change and internal understanding. I’ve come to a lot of understandings about myself. I’ve realized that, during my youth and formative years, I lost sight of myself and my real, true passions. There can be a lot of pain and confusion in navigating the world as a highly sensitive person. As a child, I didn’t have any real understanding for why I cried so easily, why I seemed to be bothered by sounds other peope didn’t notice (I’m acutely sensitive to sound), and why I seemed to get tired so much quicker than my peers. Highly Sensitive wasn’t in my vocabularly and it wasn’t in my parents vocabulary–and because I didn’t know why I was the way I was and also because I wanted to fit in with my peers, I unconsiously managed to lock down that part of me.

I came across the term “highly sensitive person” for the first time in college and instantly recognized many of the traits in myself. However, because I had so severely repressed so much of what it truly means to be HSP, I didn’t understand what that meant for me as a person. It is only within the last few months that I’m starting to understand and accept myself and my life as an HSP–it’s not that different from the life on a non-HSP, it just requires a lot more self-awareness and balance…otherwise I will (and have) pushed myself to the point of pure exhaustion…and pure exhaustion means zero productivty and multiple day time hours of sleeping, which isn’t conducive in daily live.

In locking down the HSP part of me, I also seemed to have locked down my passions. It was my dream to be a third grade teacher in elementary school. Somewhere along the line, that got lost. Guess what, though? I’ve recently discovered I want to get my elementary education teaching certificate, and I’m pretty certain I want to teach third grade.

So yes, I am still passionate about teaching. However, as an HSP and an introvert, I struggle with change and meeting new people. I’m discoverieng how important having a community and a stable environement is for me. While I boasted with pride of moving abroad again in January, I’ve now realized that, for me to remain happy and healthy, I need to stay where I am right now–especially because I’m presently experiencing so much internal change, which is jarring to process (psychotherapy is exhausting, peeps). Anyways, when I really think of about it, I love living in DC. Yes, I have so much wanderlust and want to see so many different place, but I am also thoroughly in love with the place I am in. I love DC’s diverse neighborhoods and my proximity to so many amazing museums and cultural institutions. I love that I can walk everywhere in DC. I love the building height limit–cities with tall skyscrapers overwhelm me, but I still love city life. Living in DC allows me the excitement, hustle, and bustle of an urban environment without so many tall buildings that overwhelm my senses on a day-to-day basis. Daily life in DC is not always easy and it’s not always fun, but that would be daily life anywhere.

DC has finally started to feel like home. I know I belong here. Maybe not forever, but for now.

Do I still want to teach abroad one day? I think so. I can definitely see myself moving abroad again in the future to teach. However, I’m realizing that I want degrees before I do that. I want to get my teaching certificate. I am thinking about also pursuing a masters in education. I would love to one day be a licensed teacher in an international school abroad. One of the biggest issues I had with teaching abroad in Thailand was not feeling prepared. Yes, I was TESOL certified to teach ESL, but it didn’t seem like enough–especially since I was teaching kindergarten, an age group that we didn’t focus on at all in my TESOL course. Before I go abroad again to teach, I want to study up, do my homework, and have another degree hanging on my wall. Not for the piece of paper, but because I have so much more to learn as a teacher, and I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be.

So, that leaves me in the present. Living in DC. Pursuing teaching. Trying to take it one day at a time as I adjust to new understandings of myself and my world.

What the hell am I doing, then?

Well, I got a job teaching English online.

I quit my temp job and started working for VIPKid.* I get up at 5:30 every morning to teach one-on-one English classes to some of the most amazing students ever, across the world in China (in the words of a fellow Thailand teacher who also works for VIPKid, “WE’RE LIVING IN THE FUTURE!!!). It’s the most fun job ever, I get to do it from home in sweatpants, and it’s an amazing opportunity for me as I move forward with teaching.

Given that VIPKid is a part-time gig, I still work at the coffee shop part-time. In time, I’m planning to search for another ESL job that I can ideally do in the afternoon so I can still do VIPKid in the morning, but for now the coffee shop gig is fine. I love the people I work with and feel a sense of community there, which is important to me.

I’m not quite sure where the future will bring me. I do want to get my teaching certificate and a master’s in education, but I feel no rush to do that right now. I make my major life decisions based on my gut (remember how I moved to DC on a gut feeling?). That way of going through the world might not make sense to a lot of people, but it’s what I’ve found works best for me. I feel no immediate pull to go back to school. I know I want to, but it doesn’t have to be today. My teaching certificate will come in time. After all, I’m only 24. Who the hell needs to have their life figured out at 24?

 


*The VIPKid link that I provided isΒ myΒ referral link. If you choose to sign up for VIPKid with this link, I will be paid a referral bonus if you are hired and start teaching. Please contact me if you’d like more information about working for VIPKid. You must be a native English speaker with a Bachelor’s degree to teach with VIPKid.

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15 thoughts on “What am I Doing With My Life?

  1. Nice to hear from you, Britta. Glad that you have an idea of what you would like to do- even if you’re still in that process of working towards teaching, it’s a start! I’ve heard of similar online jobs like yours and was interested in doing it, but decided just to stick with in-person teaching, especially abroad. I’m in the process of doing my Master’s in Education, and I wish you the best of luck with getting your credentials and whatnot!

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  2. Glad to hear you are doing well. Everyone, young and old, goes through a process figuring out what the heck they want to do with their lives. I believe its the learning curves we all need to go through that does not stop with college or with a masters degree. Good luck and enjoy the cherry blossoms! πŸ™‚

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    1. It’s true. Life is a process. I’d like to do more classroom teaching, but I don’t necessarily see myself doing it forevrer. There are so many options for teaching outside the traditional classroom, too. Good to hear from you, Belle. Hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s nice to hear from you. Glad you are working things out. In some ways you’re lucky – back in the day very few people talked about being an introvert as if it was a good thing or being HSP or anything else like that. Doing the online teaching sounds like a cool way to get started. Online teaching, therapy, etc. is the wave of the future.

    I mentioned to you before that I am going to be in DC in May. I fly in the 1st and leave the 4th. Let me know if you’d like to meet up while I’m in town.

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    1. I’m glad I’m working things out, too! I felt like I was a bit of a standstill for a little while after I moved into DC. I think a lot of me wanting to move abroad again was convincing myself I needed to have a plan, even if it wasn’t necessarily the best plan for me. Things are figuring themselves out, though, and I feel good about the future. You’re absolutely right about being lucky. Living in the digital age is a pain sometimes, but it has also made information about introversion and being HSP so much more readily available and, I think, acceptable. I actually found my therapist, who is also HSP, on an HSP website. It’s perfect because she understands so much of what I think and feel as an HSP, something a non-HSP therapist would have trouble understanding. Online communities are great. So many of my fellow bloggers are introverts, too, so it’s good to have those connections here on WordPress.

      Oh, yes, that would be wonderful, Trent! I will for sure be available May 2. If that’s not a good day for you, we can look for other options, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree about connections on WP. There are so many bloggers that I know that are introverts that it is odd sometimes when someone talks about being an extrovert.

        I’ll be at work until around 5 on the 2nd, so if you want to have dinner that would work. If you want to talk more offline, my email is trent-at-trentsworld.com

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  4. Hey, good to read from you again πŸ™‚ you’re doing great Britta, love the combo Barista teacher ! So great that you found this online opportunity to teach too, I bet you’re great at it ! Take your time , enjoy DC and opportunities will knock at your door when you’re ready πŸ™‚ all the very very best always πŸ’•

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    1. Happy to hear from you, too, Estelea! I feel like I’m doing so much better than I was a couple months ago. Good things are happening. The Barista/teacher combo is awesome, but also exhausting for this introvert–I really do love it, though. It’s good for the time being. You’re absolutely right. Opportunities will come as they come at the right time. I’ve found that if I stop worrying so much and just let life happen, things fall into place so much easier.

      All the very best to you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Britta, it is so good to hear an update about your life! Every so often, I wonder what you’re up to. Congratulations on the VipKid job–it sounds like meaningful work, which is so wonderful to have at a young age. I can see you being a wonderful teacher. Forming young minds is such a noble profession–I come from a family with lots of teachers and have such high respect for that line of work.
    Best of luck as you continue to take steps in that direction and ENJOY D.C. life!! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much, Amelia! My English teaching job is meaninful and so much fun. It’s amazing to see how some of my regular students have grown, even in the last couple months, with their English abilities. I’m excited to move forward with teaching and seeing where it takes me!

      Liked by 1 person

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