On Change and Acceptance: Fall 2017

Periods of great change have always been hard for me. After a relatively peaceful summer, which included a much-needed trip to Germany with my family, but was otherwise very quiet–a lot of working and reading and daydreaming about a future when I wouldn’t be a coffee shop barista–I’ve found myself plunged into the very future of my summer daydreams, and am extremely overwhelmed by it all.

Intuitively, I feel very good about the future. Good things are coming. Diving further into teaching feels right, and I’m so excited to grow further as a teacher. Yet, the present in wrought with a lot of anxiety and emotion, as times of change usually are for me. I don’t sleep as well during times of change, and I tire easier–a combination of the lack of sleep and the very fact that the physical symptoms of anxiety are exhausting AF. Yet, I’m impatient. Oh so impatient. I want to rush head first into things. I’m reminding myself again and again of how, if I want to keep my mental and physical health at all in check, I have to take change slower. How that’s not a bad thing. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my yoga mat, and I’ve been doing meditation excercises. I’ve been reading, and I’ve been reaching out to people who impact my life positively. I’ve been trying to bottle up less emotion (something I’m REAL good at). I’ve been talking through feelings with friends and writing, too.

I do feel the need to write more, which feels good. It feels natural. It feels healthy. It feels like me. I also feel the need to be more social, which I’m notoriously bad at (it’s so much easier to sit at home and be an anti-social introvert!), but also desperately need. While I felt rather content to be alone for much of the summer (which was beneficial in many ways in terms of building up more self-awareness and internal understanding) I’m discovering that a healthy, balanced Britta needs positive interactions with others as much as she needs time by herself to recharge.

I feel this incredible need to go out in the world. I love my online teaching job. I love the relationships I’ve developed with my regular students, and it blows my mind that I can positively impact a child’s life from across the world with a computer and internet connection. I’ve learned a lot from them, too. Yet, I find it strangely unsatisfying to work from home. It’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s joyful. Yet, I get antsy when I spend too Continue reading “On Change and Acceptance: Fall 2017”

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The Nature of Goodbye

What is in a goodbye?

Goodbyes are small moments in the grand scheme of a relationship.

Some goodbyes are forever goodbyes and some are temporary.

I’ve said goodbye to a lot of people in the last year. I’ve been on three continents in the last year (North America, Asia, Europe). I’ve lived on two (North America and Asia).  In the last twelve months, I’ve called five different cities and towns home (Chiang Mai, Thailand; Nakhon Chaisi, Thailand; Bloomington, Minnesota; Arlington, Virginia; Washington, DC).

With this constant moving, I’ve met so many people. I’ve lived with some of them; I’ve begun to love some of them; I’ve learned so much from most of them. With this constant moving, I’ve said goodbye to nearly all of them.

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Green Group, TESOL certification, October 2015. It’s amazing how much people can affect you in the course of one month. Saying goodbye to this group was certainly hard.

Some of those goodbyes I surely thought would be temporary. There was the kiss on the cheek at a 7/11 in Bangkok–someone I thought I’d certainly see within the next couple months, if not weeks, but whom I left Thailand without seeing again. There was the slightly awkward, rushed goodbye the day before New Year’s Eve, also in Bangkok. A goodbye I also Continue reading “The Nature of Goodbye”

Where in the World am I?

Since I’ve been rather silent here on the blog for the past few weeks…

Currently: Northern Thailand. I am presently sitting in a small room in the guest house I’ll be staying in for the next few days as I explore a new part of Thailand. There’s no AC and it’s a bit dingy, but it was mega cheap and I can’t complain. It’s also quaint and homey and hearing the calm conversation of the Thai people and the small fountain outside my window is quite comforting.

The last two weeks: Denmark and Germany. I had such a wonderful time being shown around Europe by an old friend who is an au pair there. Her and her friends made my experience there so memorable. More to come on that later.

The next two weeks: Thailand. I have a few days to myself and am using that to embark on a short solo trip. My parents will arrive soon and I can’t wait to show them around this country that I’ve called home for the past six months. For now, it’s just me, myself, and the small amount of possessions I’ve carried with me for the last six months.

Later (or, when the next two weeks are over): Minnesota, U.S.A. It’ll be strange to be back in my hometown but I’m ready. These last few months have been really hard for me, but I’m so grateful for all that I’ve taken away from them and all that I’ve been able to see and do in the process. Thailand will always be one of my homes on this Earth, but it’s time to move on.

I expect to have a lot to write about once I return to U.S. soil.

Stay tuned.

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Møns Clint, Denmark. Taking it all in.

#WeekendCoffeeShare–The “Just a Little Sickie, Boy Scout Camp, and Loy Krathong” Edition

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am currently sitting in my little studio apartment that I haven’t left all day because I have a cold…and I’ve been catching up on sleep… and just generally taking it slow today.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week was pretty darn busy.

Thursday and Friday, classes were cancelled at my school for Boy Scout Camp. The upper elementary school grades arrived at school on Thursday and stayed over at school until today for camp. They participated in a lot of exciting team building activities, including a four mile hike into the rural areas around school (more on that in a later post).

The western teachers were expected to be at school both Thursday and Friday to put on activities for the campers. On Thursday (a.k.a. Thanksgiving day for all y’all Americans in the house), I was at school for twelve hours–from 8 am to 8 pm–and the night wasn’t even over yet by that time! I left in the middle of an elaborate performance that the students were putting on because I was too exhausted to stay and also had a terrible runny nose by that point. So, I spent my 2015 Thanksgiving Day at Boy Scout Camp at a Primary School in Central Thailand…who’da thunk? Friday was rough because I wasn’t feeling well and had such low energy. I ended up not helping much with the activities that the western teachers were putting on because I had such low energy. I left school around 5:00 Friday, got home, and didn’t leave my apartment for the rest of Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–The “Just a Little Sickie, Boy Scout Camp, and Loy Krathong” Edition”

The Little Things: A List

I’m continuing to discover that it’s the little things that matter most.

Currently, these include:

  1. Having a third of my students come up to me to hug me as I leave class for the day.
  2. Eating out by myself and successfully ordering food completely in Thai.
  3. Working one on one with a student and seeing his concentration as he really tries to take something away from the lesson.
  4. Getting a ride home from work from a group of Thai teachers–just because they can.
  5. Getting a ride to work from a student’s parent on the back of his motorbike–again, just because he can.
  6. Waking up early enough to see the sunrise.
  7. High fives in class, all day, every day.
  8. Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  9. Popsicles at lunch break.
  10. Watching the sunset.
  11. Being here. Right now.

Continue reading “The Little Things: A List”