My Pursuit of Happiness

A handful of days ago, I was sitting in my friend Mo’s Bangkok apartment in tears. I had come to Bangkok for the weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of my TESOL friends; I had been so excited before leaving Nakhon Pathom for Bangkok–I was convinced the weekend would be fabulous. I recall thinking it might the first weekend in a long time that I’d be excited to go out with friends…

Well. It wasn’t.

Instead?

Instead, I spent the whole weekend feeling incredibly sad. Incredibly homesick. Incredibly lost. While I watched all of my friends have an amazing time, I felt like I was only half there. I wasn’t enjoying myself and all I wanted in the world was to go home…and not home to Nakhon Pathom, mind you–but home to the United States, to Minnesota.

It was only when I broke down at the end of the weekend in Mo’s apartment that the clarity I had needed all weekend came to the surface. “I just want to go home.” I blubbered to my friends. “I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I feel so lost and sad and just want to go home.”

It was in that moment that my friend Sarah looked me right in the eye and said something I knew instinctively to be true: “Britta, you’re not happy here. You’re not even happy with us.”

Her words rang in my head: You’re not happy here. In a matter of moments, the state of mind that had made up my whole semester made sense. Truthfully, in the last few weeks, I had come to realize this. Deep down, I had known that I wasn’t happy in my current situation. I was afraid to admit it to myself, though, because I was so determined to stay in Thailand and live my life as an expat.

Sarah was right, though. She is right. I love teaching and I love my students, but I haven’t experienced a true and lasting feeling of contentedness in Thailand since leaving the emotional high of Chiang Mai. I come home from school at the end of the day and don’t know what to do with myself. I haven’t been successful at meeting Thai people here and more so, I’m finding that I don’t want to. When I do meet up with my TESOL friends, I find myself not wanting to do anything. I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore partier in the slightest, but I do like to go out on occasion–and I have had absolutely no desire to do that at all here. I feel uninspired and lost and although I’ve learned so much and tested myself in many ways in these past few months in Thailand, my life has felt more lifeless than anything. There have been moments, yes–mostly while traveling with TESOL friends, but also instances at school when I had a really successful class or after I’ve had a great interaction with a local in my town–but they have been far and few Continue reading “My Pursuit of Happiness”

#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”

When Did Thin Shaming Become an Okay Thing?

“You’re a vegetarian? No wonder you’re so skinny.”

(Well, I lost a few pounds when I quit eating meat, but I’ve always been thin. It’s kind of just the way my body is)

“Do you ever eat anything other than a salad?”

(Um. Yes. It’s just easy to pack for lunch…hence why I eat them a lot)

“Oh c’mon, like you really need to worry about packing the pounds on…”

(Maybe not, but I still like to eat healthy because it makes me feel better in general…and I prefer feeling better in general)

— — — —

Here, I give you a few of the comments I’ve received from my coworkers about my weight throughout the course of the summer. Kind of annoying, ay?

Yes, yes, very annoying.

I wrote this a long time ago and I write and blog completely different (and, quite frankly, better) now. That said, I think there are some worthy points in this post. Hence, the reblog.

Seriously. Thin shaming. Fat shaming. They’re both hurtful and they both do more harm than good. JUST STOP WITH THE BOTH!

It's a Britta Bottle!

Just to clarify, this was originally published on my first blog, “Letting the World Fall Into Place” on February 7, 2014, under the title “Let’s Talk About Body Image.” It’s a post I’ve always been extremely proud of…probably my strongest post from “Letting the World Fall Into Place,” and I kind of just want to get it out there again for a new audience;  I wouldn’t be publishing this again if it wasn’t something I felt strongly about. I changed the title to something I felt better represents my original goals with the post (because really, when did thin shaming become a thing? There are so many things wrong with it!) and I’ve made a few slight changes to the post itself; otherwise, it very closely resembles the original post from February. So, without further ado…

Today, this image showed up on my facebook newsfeed:

Now let me just say, I think…

View original post 1,087 more words

The Magic of the Word “When”

Here’s a rundown of a typical Fall 2014 Monday in the life of Britta:

9:00–get up (you might say, gee, that’s awfully late for a Monday. Well, I don’t have class until 10:30, and when you go to bed at 2 am on a regular basis, 9:00 is a perfectly reasonable time to get up). I usually catch up on some reading for school while eating breakfast to make the best use of my time.

10:30–head to Minnesota History (an unchallenging, though interesting 2000 level history class that ended up being a good idea to have in my schedule since I also have two very demanding upper level classes that are taking up a lot of my homework time).

11:35–get out of class and head back to my hall for a quick break before…

11:50–HD staff meeting where we discuss everything that we need to pass onto our CA’s at our hall staff meetings on Tuesday and other HDey stuff.

12:20-12:50 (or whenever the meeting ends)–head back to my room to check my Morris e-mail and make sure my staff has all their weekly reports in (these are a way for CA’s to let their supervisors know what’s going on in life and on their floor since we don’t see them every day). I send an e-mail response to every CA on my staff so they know I’ve read them and then I have lunch.

2:00–1:1 with one of my CA’s. I then work on homework and/or get distracted by the internet (I’m sure every college student out there can relate to this). In the event that I’m feeling really overwhelmed, I’ll take some time away from homework completely.

3:30–Head to Brit Lit 1 (Another 2000 level course that I need for my English major and didn’t have a chance to take until this semester. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I am, but it’s super interesting!).

4:35–head back to my room and change for Dance Ensemble.

5:00–Dance Ensemble practice.

6:00–Dinner time, some precious free time to study/veg a little bit if I feel like I can’t focus.

8:30–Meet with Community Council Board (as the Hall Director, one of my responsibilities is to advise the hall government).

9:00–Community Council Meeting.

9:15-9:20 (or whenever the meeting ends)–Homework time, probably at the library, for the rest of the night.

Between 1:00 and 2:00 am (on a good night): SLEEP!

You might ask, why am I sharing this all? Why should you care about my Monday schedule? Well, you probably don’t, but I wanted to give a visual of how busy I am this semester (Monday’s are particularly busy, and it’s also a Monday today so all this is incredibly fresh in my mind). This semester is undoubtedly the busiest that I’ve Continue reading “The Magic of the Word “When””