Trying Endlessly to Find Love

Or… TEFL.

Love isn’t a problem actually, it’s finding a job I love that is my issue!

Last year I completed a 120 hour TEFL course and I have since been going through what can only be described as the most long winded job interview process to be a teaching fellow in Columbia. I sent through my CV to about fifty schools in South America and I had one response… One chance is all I need! The first part of the process was to send in an application form, so I went through, telling my life story as you do, and the fifth line down “which university did you study at?” my heart sunk, maybe this wasn’t my one chance after all. At this point, I thought it was better to be open and honest than go through all of this red tape to find that they wouldn’t accept me even if I had the best application in the world.

So I emailed explaining that I didn’t go to university but I did an apprenticeship and I am in a professional job and most of the people I work with have had degrees and over 30 years work experience… Basically, I am not stupid. A piece of paper, or lack of, does not define who I am or what I am capable of achieving. I thought it was hopeless, because the application said it in black and white “degree required”, but I had to say my peace anyway.

Two weeks passed and I had no response, so I let it go and applied for a few other jobs. Until one night after work when looking for a shopping confirmation, an email appeared “sorry for the late reply…” my heart fluttered, is this my chance? Does she understand that I am a capable human?

Only time will tell.

Have you been through an interview process abroad? I would love to know I am not alone in my frustration that not having a degree is bringing me!

 

 

 

 

Light in Darkness

Last year bought several dark moments, but it was these times which I realised which lights were shining the brightest.

It was these moments that I found myself rediscovering my relationship with God.

I was brought up in church, went to Sunday school every week, knew all the stories, knew how to play “church”. It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I first discovered my own relationship with God, and surprisingly it had nothing to do with Church. There was little for me at the church my parents went to,  most of the young people were scared away by the hymns and the closed minded attitude. I fought it for ages, I got involved with a Christian charity called “One Generation” which encouraged you to run “Christian Unions” in schools. And of course my CU was the best… on valentines day I bought three hundred love-heart shaped post-it notes and stayed up writing/posting positive messages such as “you are beautiful” or “you are loved” etc. I posted the messages on students lockers purely for the joy of doing it. I wanted to spread the happiness and love that being a Christian gave me.

But then it all went wrong. I went from having the most successful year of my life so far, to absolutely failing my Alevels and losing all my dreams and ambitions (or so it felt at the time). Ashamingly, I blamed God. I believed that he had dangled this amazing bright future infront of me, and then stripped it away from me as a test. A test I failed too easily. I turned my back on Church, my friends, my relationship with God and buried myself into a deadend job, going out and a toxic relationship.

This lasted about eighteen months but eventually I stabilised, found myself an apprenticeship, broke off my relationship (a few times if I am honest), and accepted that I wasn’t going to uni to have the career as a doctor that I dreamed off. I applied myself to my new job and found myself being promoted a few times, I made amends with most of my friends and found myself in a healthy loving relationship. The only thing I didn’t repair was my relationship with God. I convinced myself I was best not to go back there, it would only cause me heartbreak and pain – right?

But then I found myself broken again, but this time, there was no obvious solution. Neither my parents, my boyfriend nor alcohol could help me numb the pain I was feeling and this was when I knew I had to try. I had heard about a new church in the centre of Birmingham with a strong student base, and I gave it a shot. Walking into that building for the first time was scary, but straight away  I knew there was something there. Even though I had never stepped foot in there before I immediately felt a sense of peace. It was the same feeling you get when you finally get home after a long hard day, and your favourite person in the whole world is there ready to greet you and welcome you.

I was home.

 

 

New Year Old Me

Have I been asleep all this time? I’ve been known to oversleep but 2017? When did that happen? After six months of silence… I have some explaining to do!

Honestly, without sugar coating it, the last six months have been painful. Stressed is a word which people throw around so flippantly nowadays, so lets just say I have been “desserts” instead. We all know that long periods of having… desserts… is not good for you. For one, you get fat. Very, very fat. So now add in a spoonful of pressure and a few dollops change and what do you get?! Rice frickin’ pudding.

The stupid thing is, that blogging probably would have really helped. Oh how retrospect is a beautiful thing. But ofcourse, as always I turn away from the things that I enjoy when I really need them the most. I often talk to my various friends during the working day, but some how convinced myself that if I just stopped talking for a couple of days I just might get through the end of my to do list, and I might not have to wake up in the middle of the night panicking that I had forgotten a task or starting to draft emails in my mind. Whata mistaka to makea. In choosing to limit my conversations I completed isolated myself, and ofcourse I never did make it through that to do list, and havnt even to this day.

My problem is that I give my heart and soul to everything I put my hands too. Usually, it’s not a problem, it got me great GCSEs and helped me get nominated for a shit load of awards over the years… but in this scenario, it was my kryponite. It’s soul destroying to work your ass off every day (and most evenings) to only get pulled up for the tiny errors you make, and get zero recognition or satisfaction from it because that’s what you get paid to do!. When you give your heart and soul to something, there has to be a point where it gives you something back, otherwise you end up with nothing left to give. If anything, the last six months have taught me to be more reserved with my work ethic. It has been so hard to turn it off, every day I had to actively tell myself not to push myself, to only try tp achieve what is achievable in the 8 hours I am at work, to be “average”. I almost hate myself for it. But I ended up with nothing left to give, so what other option did I have?

Over Christmas, I had a whole week to relax and to turn off from work, it gave me a glimpse of my old self again. Every day I am back into my old routine I am starting to feel myself slipping away again, the chest pains are gradually coming back and the restless nights have begun again. I am praying that this blog will keep me in refresh mode, give me an escape, and a voice to set me free from isolation. Forget “New Year New Me” I am looking for the old me, she’s awesome, but she seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the madness of 2016.

 

Where did you come from? Where did you go? 

So I’m now half way through my TEFL course and so I’m starting to wonder where it is I actually want to go. 

What do I know?

  • I want to use my qualification to help me travel. 
  • I don’t have a degree so my options are some what limited. 
  • I don’t want to stay in Europe. 
  • I want to earn more than the cost of living (of wherever I go) but I’m not in it to make a huge profit either.

I can speak very basic Spanish so Latin America (specifically Bolivia) is my first option.

I’ve wanted to go to Cambodia for the last 5 years so that’s my second choice at the moment.

I also would like to travel around Australasia so New Zealsnd is my third option. 

But (and it’s a big one) I feel I would need support from an organising whilst I was out there… At least for the first couple of months! My biggest fear of my adventure is that I’m going to be lonely. And let’s face it, there is a strong possibility that I will be lonely some of the time I am travelling, and I’ve accepted that it’s part of the journey. It will be part of the process of learning to enjoy my own company again.

Where to start…

A reader lives a thousand lives

Do you ever feel like a story becomes a part of you whilst you are reading? 

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and together they make 1 million words in the English language, which then add together to make an infinitive number of different stories. Stories that have the power to make you laugh, cry, smile or sigh. 

Every book is like mini tardis. If only you dare to open the cover and jump right in head first. You will be transported to another time, another place, another world where anything and everything is possible. 

Teaching someone to read is like teaching someone how to time travel, how to become someone else for an hour and how to unlock endless facts and knowledge. 

1000 lives is such an amazing gift to give someone. 

”If you can’t do – teach!” 

Said no one intelligent ever. I imagine being a teacher is going to be one of the hardest but most rewarding job I will have. Ok, I guess some teachers are lazy and get kids to teach themselves via textbooks and films, but let’s be honest, not many of them could get away with that any more – even if they wanted to. 

What makes a great teacher? My favourite lessons at school were the ones with the best teachers. They were the ones that actually cared if you passed or failed. The ones that put thought and effort into each and every lesson. 

Then there were the lessons with casual flirting. The ones that cared a little bit too much whether my friend had a good weekend and what she had just tweeted about… So much so that he also casually forgot to tell me the coursework I spent hours on was actually irrelevant as I couldn’t submit the topic I had chosen anyway- great! Oh and then there was that time that my teacher stood up in front of the whole sixth form and called me “manipulative” because I had gotten most of the students to sign a petition saying that we wanted our teachers to actually turn up to our lessons… 

But then I will always remember the teacher that inspired me so much I ended up turning from someone who would get kicked out of class, to someone getting 50/50 in a piece of coursework, and loving it so much that actually I would have kept writing if not for the word limit. 

Teachers have so much responsibility it’s crazy. You literally have someone’s future in your control. Ok so it’s not like being a doctor where the decision you make will determine if the person front of you will live or die in the next 30 seconds. But actually the decision you make, to watch one more episode of Netflix & wing it or to plan your lesson throughly, could potentially determine the shape the next 30 lives in front of you for the next 30 years. 

I probably would have gone to uni if I had different teachers, and that   thought alone pushes me to want to be the best teacher I can possibly be. 

 “If you can’t teach, please don’t”

Teaching the teacher to be.

I started an online tefl (teaching English as a foreign language) course a couple of months ago and I have to say it is much harder than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong the course I’m doing is great but it uses these words and I just want to scream “am I suppose to know what that means?!”. I feel like I’ve been speaking my own language for 21 years now and all this time I have been so completely oblivious to the complexity and beauty of it. 

I wonder if in a years time I will have a student as frustrated as I am now. Why is that classed as an adverb?  Why can I not use that word there? How am I meant to know the difference between a past participle and a future perfect continuous phrase? And more importantly how is this going to help anyone understand English when it is all so confusing?!

I guess that’s the beauty of it. The way that language is made up of its very strict rules with specific labels or “forms” and then every now and again you come across a cheeky word that just has to break its own rule. The rebel words that don’t quite fit the pattern, the rythmn or the feel of others of its kind. 

I guess language is a lot like life itself. You can learn the rules; what you’re suppose to do, how to be a “good” citizen, the right things to say, the wrong things to say. But even if you learn the rules there will always be occasions where you can’t, and honestly you shouldn’t try. Yes it’s good to have structure, routine and guidelines in life but you have to find ways to break out of those things too. That is where the real living happens. So yes I am frustrated and confused with all the new rules I have to learn but I also have hope that one day I might be a good teacher.

After all “good” is an irregular adjective anyway. 

Why hello there stranger…

Welcome to my weird wonderful world. Who am I? I am a young adult trying to figure out my place in the world. I can tell you what I know so far.. I have an appetite for life. I know that I  will achieve great things one day, I will have an excellent career (or several), I will be a caring mother or frickin’ awesome auntie, and I will grow old with someone who think that i’m magical. All the finer details like who what when and where, well I just figure they will all answer themselves over time.

I definitely struggle with the “grey” things in life. I tend to find myself in Black or  White mode. OCD tidy, or a monstrous slob. Ecstatically happy and full of life or morbidly depressed. Proactively focused and determined to take over the world ten projects at a time or lazy as fuck (or as an 8 hour Netflix binge). Healthy 10k runner, nutribullet extraordinaire, or borderline heart attack. I’m also not the best writer, as you have probably guessed already. But nevertheless I thought I would give it a go as I have these massive thoughts and ideas that just need to go somewhere and exist in the world so that they don’t eat me from the inside out.I think more people should do this, I mean I am two chapters in and I have already gained a massive sense of freedom just from sharing a snippet of my life so far. I am blogging to share these parts of me with other people who are on a similar journey to find their place in the world.

Why do you blog?  Have you already found your place in the world? Is there ever a moment when you actually realise, “This is what I am meant to be doing with my life, this is who I am.”?