Things I Hate Pt. 1

I may hate certain things. I find the sound of metal on any surface grating. Vegetables are gross. The smell and taste of mint gives me a headache. Coconut is one of the worst textures in the world. And yet there is one thing that I hate more than anything. And it is raisins in food.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against raisins. I mean, they’re gross, but I don’t hate the taste. I mean, every time I used to give them for a snack, I always thought they would be better than they were. They smell kind of good. And craisins aren’t bad either. But put raisins in food and I will hate you.
I mean, when you bite into a cookie, or something sweet, and you see those dark specks in the food that look almost melted, and you know it’s going to taste so good and chocolatey and it turns out to be a raisin? It’s the worst betrayal ever. It’s torture, cruel punishment, a complete just… ugh. You can’t put raisins in food and not think it isn’t chocolate or something else except shriveled grossness. It’s wrong. Raisins don’t belong in desert. Or in anything. At all. They can be on their own. If you really want them. Or maybe in trail mix cause you can pick them out. But don’t offer me a cookie and not say what’s in it and it looks like a normal cookie but it turns out to be a seriously gross raisin cookie. So yeah. I needed to get that off my chest. Raisins are gross guys. That’s all.

Dreams of Life

When I was a kid, I had grand dreams. Everyone did, I think. Some wanted to be firemen, or princesses, or even Sonic. Hell, I’ve listened to little kids tell me they want to be animals or fictional characters. It’s the greatness of imagination, and the greatness of a society that tells you that you can be anything that you want to be, if you just set your mind to it.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to go back to the little private school I went to and be a teacher there. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of some of my favorite adults and teach others. And besides the lofty idea of being a writer, I wanted nothing else.

It’s not the grandest dream, nor was it the most difficult dream. But somewhere between middle school ending and life beginning, I lost that dream. Now, granted, I have done a few teaching jobs. I worked for after-school care for elementary kids (not much teaching, but I was called a teacher and that’s what matters). And for a couple years, I was a preschool teacher, and worked with pretty much all the young ages. But I had the glorious opportunity to have my own class of the older one’s.

I’m not saying these jobs drew me away from my dreams of teaching. If anything, being a preschool teacher reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher. And yet, in trying to figure out myself and my life, I don’t think I want to be a teacher anymore.

Some kids grow up to live their dreams. They become actors, or politicians, or writers, or construction workers, or any other type of career they wanted. I haven’t found that yet. I thought maybe I did. I thought maybe, in the grand scheme of things, I might have found my dream job.

But something I’ve realized as time’s worn on is that, well, dreams can change. I’ve sat and I’ve poured so much thought into the future that all I can think about is what is going to happen, what might happen, why am I not trying to hold onto my future, what will happen to me. But then I’ve stopped. Yes, I’m sitting here, wasting time, sleeping the days away and passing the nights. Yes, to some it may not look like I’m taking charge of my own life. But that’s just it. I have stopped trying to take charge, just a little.

Instead, I’m figuring out steps. Steps that will get me to a potential dream. And though it doesn’t look like I’m succeeding, maybe I am. I’m finding my way to a place that may make me the happiest person I can be, in the future. I’m finding my way to a place that, hopefully, won’t make me miserable. Does it make sense right now? No, and it’s terrifying. And it’s really difficult to explain, sometimes even to myself. And I just have to let it be difficult. I just have to let it be terrifying. Because I’m letting the control of my destiny go.

People say that when a door closes, a window opens. And that’s what I’m letting happen. I’m waiting for my window to open. Right now there’s a crack in the shutters, and all I want is for it to open wide enough for me to pass. But it’s a waiting game, all while there’s a hammer and a glass window in another room that I can force open. But if I break it myself, do I lose the window I’m waiting on? Should I risk that?

I don’t know if I can risk it. But I think I have to try. Because my dream has changed, I think. Or maybe it’s evolved. And behind the shuttered window is an avenue to my dream, one that’s a huge step in the right direction. If I turn away, I might still be able to work towards my dream, but I think it’d be harder, and I might lose myself again.

When you’re a kid, you dream of changing the world. Of a perfect life, with no struggle, with the power to fix anything. It’s an imperfect dream, but that’s not realized until later. I once dreamed of being a teacher. And now, I’m not so sure.

New Beginning

It is hard to find the words to express what emotions fill me as I look back on the past year, to express my fears and hopes for the year ahead. Each year in retrospect becomes a whirlwind of thoughts and memories, and each coming year becomes a daunting black hole that sucks all ponderings into a stew of nervous wondering. But I will attempt to explain, so understanding in the new year can be grasped at some point.

I have been graced by many opportunities this past year. I have gotten the opportunity to run my own classroom of one-year-olds, and train someone who has become a better friend than I could ask for. I have seen snow, though the reason behind it is not the most pleasant one, but it awakened in me a need to travel and to live that I haven’t had in a while. I watched my sister get married, and remembered the importance of family as members I hadn’t seen in what feels like ages gathered in a barn to dance the night away. I have met children who opened my eyes to a childlike wonder I had forgotten. My year has been privileged, and I am lucky to realize that.

And yet, it has been a year that has thrown me into contemplation. I have questioned my happiness, my position, my goals. I have felt stuck, frustrated, angry. I have cried more than I should have, I have wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, and I have laughed with a circle of friends that I never thought I would have. I have come away with bruises, with an ability to protect myself, with the single goal of doing a sit-up completed. I have never felt more.

This new year will be the same; I can feel it in my soul. So I embrace it. I search for it. And I invite you to come with me.

There is nothing to hold me down now. With much regret and a heavy heart, I quit the job that has given me a form of meaning these past two and a half years. With anticipation, fear, and excitement, I dropped everything for this journey. And it will be a journey. I am packing my car and leaving once the new year is starting to pale into normalcy.

I don’t know where I’m going, and I like it that way. All I know is that I want you to be there. Because maybe, just maybe, my journey can help you.