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.

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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 Continue reading “What am I Doing With My Life?”

It’s Christmas?

Oh hey, I guess it’s December 25th today.

By western standards, that means it’s Christmas.

By Britta living in a primarily Buddhist country standards–it means it’s just another day. As in, oh hey, I work today!

Tis the season to be jolly?

Sure doesn’t feel like it! For someone who’s used to spending the holidays in a frigid climate, I can’t grasp my head around the fact that it’s December…the holiday season…that it’s almost the new year.

It all feels weird and I’m okay with that…because lately, in the last couple years, I’ve been finding the holiday season more stressful than anything. Because I love this country and don’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

Most Thais view Christmas as a western curiosity–so yes, we are having Christmas festivities at school today, and yes, there are decorations here and there (by here and there, I mean primarily at Tesco). But it feels different. It doesn’t have the same meaning here.

In Thailand, I’ll be celebrating Christmas (and Hanukkah, even though that ended a few weeks ago) with some of TESOL friends. That said, it WILL be different because it IS different. This is Continue reading “It’s Christmas?”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Sports Day and Bangkok and More Culture Shock Happens…Among Other Things

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

So much has happened this week, it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m getting settled in further into my town and that I’ve managed to do some exploring.

I’d tell you that I love my school and that my students are adorable. I’m getting to know them more and teaching becomes easier each day. I’m starting to understand each individual class and their needs as a whole class a little better with each passing day and I love that I’m beginning to really see my students’ personalities shine through.

I’d tell you that Friday was Sports Day and that students and staff alike have been preparing like crazy for the past two weeks for this event. Sports Day a.k.a. when all classes are cancelled and the whole school is broken up into four teams for a day of friendly competition in activities such as water polo, jump rope, and E-Sports (or, when the whole school gathers to watch two people compete in video games).

I’d tell you how I went in to teach my second class on Thursday at 9:20 am only to be told that class was cancelled. In fact, class was cancelled for the rest of the day because preparations for Sports Day were underway. Only in Thailand my friends, only in Thailand.

I’d tell you how exhilarating and exciting and exhausting (wow that’s a lot of alliteration) Sports Day was and how much fun I had seeing all of the students enjoying themselves so much. I was Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which Sports Day and Bangkok and More Culture Shock Happens…Among Other Things”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Unpack, Adjust, and Find Home

If we were having coffee, I’d be soo excited to see you!

It’s been ages since I’ve joined the Coffee Share and it feels so good to be back.

After five weeks of living out of a suitcase, I finally have a home. A month of TESOL training left little time for adequate blogging (I don’t do this blogging business for the stats but let me tell you, my stats have been terrible).

Now, though? Now, my suitcase is unpacked, my shoes are lined up by the door, and I’m sitting on my new bed in my new apartment and it feels so good.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how crazy this week has been. It has been emotionally and physically exhausting. If you read this post, you’d know that I am no longer placed in Nong Khai, a province in Northeastern Thailand, where I was supposed to be teaching at a secondary school. I hadn’t even been there a week when I knew it just wasn’t right for me. This knowledge wasn’t necessarily something I could explain. It wasn’t culture shock. It was just this inborn knowledge that something wasn’t right about me being there.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how on Friday, while visiting friends in Bangkok, an opportunity came up for me to accept another job…this time in Nakhon Pathom Province in Central Thailand. When I was offered the position, I didn’t hesitate. Everything about this new Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–In Which I Unpack, Adjust, and Find Home”

In Which Teacher Britta Heads to Northern Isan (Or, Almost–But Not Quite–Laos)

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or so I like to think, in my egotistical, self-centered mind).

Okay, but I DO know that many of you have been anxious to hear about where I’ll be teaching in this vast and beautiful country that is Thailand.

Well, it’s announcement time!

**Drumroll please**

— — — —

I’m so excited to announce that in a few short days, I’ll be leaving the beautiful mountainous region of Northern Thailand (I’ll miss you, Chiang Mai! I love you, Chiang Mai!) for the vast and mysterious landscape that is ISAN.

Isan, for all y’all unaccustomed to Thailand, is what we people familiar with Thai geography (or more like just barely familar, in my case) call Eastern Thailand.

Isan is the poorest region of Thailand.

It also has really nice people and the best food. According to my TESOL instructor, at least, who Continue reading “In Which Teacher Britta Heads to Northern Isan (Or, Almost–But Not Quite–Laos)”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–When Teacher Britta Takes the Wheel

If we were having coffee, I’d start off by saying IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU (really slowly and overly enthusiastically, too, because I’ve been Teacher Britta for the past two days and Teacher Britta talks really slowly and really enthusiastically….and really loudly).

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how this has undoubtedly been the longest and most rewarding week of my life.

Seriously.

Thailand. Teaching English. This is where I need to be. What I need to be doing. And I’m SOO glad this is my life.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about language camp. And preparing for language camp. As part of my TESOL course, all the teachers must participate in a two day language camp where we teach to actual Thai students for the FIRST TIME EVER. We were put into groups of two or three and while one of us teaches, the other one or two of us observes and lends a hand if necessary.

The past week has consisted of preparing for language camp. Preparing lesson plans, revising lesson plans, performing practice lesson plans, rushing to the printer, rushing for school Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–When Teacher Britta Takes the Wheel”