Last week I shared 5 meal prep tips and today I want to share 5 things I’m happy I have done in life. I like the 5 things theme because it keeps me organized.
So, here are 5 things I’m glad I have done in life. In chronological order, not in order of importance. Number 4 is the most important, which is funny because 4 is our lucky number!
1. Travel to Europe alone– When I was in my early twenties I saved up a bunch of money to go to Europe. None of my friends at that time could go with, but because I had spent the time and dedication saving the money, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. A friend of mine told me about a tour guide group for 18-32 year olds (interesting cut-off) that travels around in comfy busses (and stays in hotels…I’m not about to sleep in a bus for two weeks). The tour included some planned excursions, some free time, some free food and drinks, and a great guide who knew the history about every place we visited. It was awesome.
Landing in Amsterdam alone was a pretty great experience. I was nervous, but excited. I remember getting there and thinking, okay, this is on me now. I have to plan how to get where I want to go, who I should be talking to, what I should be doing, all in another country. It was liberating. I had lived on my own and in other cities, but it was different for me since I was in another country. I met up with my group that evening and I was able to visit multiple countries and build so many memories with great people. My roommate from the trip actually lives here in Kansas City. She’s a teacher too so they roomed us together. If that isn’t the universe foreshadowing then I don’t know what is.
Anyway, moral of the story is, I became so much more confident in who I am as a person. And I have so many memories and experiences from that trip that I never would have if I didn’t take a leap and do what I wanted to do.
2. Destination bachelorette parties– I have had he honor of attending a handful of bachelorette parties in other cities, some in other states, and I am so glad I said YES to these. It’s so much fun getting a big group of girls together from all over and celebrating your mutual friend. It’s even more fun when you’re in a new city and get to explore!
It’s crazy because even if you all don’t know each other, you know the bride. And if you know and care about the bride, there’s enough in common there to have great conversations and experiences. Don’t let money or time stop you from putting everything on hold for a few days. It’s literally one of the best decisions I’ve made because it was that much fun. And I’ve met new friends along the way! You can’t beat that!
3. Become a teacher– This profession is such a roller coaster. Literally, every single year has its ups and downs. No day is ever the same. We are teachers, we are counselors, we are nurses, we are moms (or dads), we are event planners, we are paper pushers, and we are much, much more. The amount of hats we wear in a single day is almost laughable. Almost. In all honesty, I have come home to Kevin multiple times saying I don’t want to do this anymore.
“The job is too hard and the pay is too little.” But then we get to summer break and I can take a breath again. Because that’s literally what summer is. It’s a break so that teachers can gear up and do it all over again with a whole new set of little humans who need you. It’s a break from the emotional weight of making sure your students are safe, happy, engaged, loved, and taken care of ALL at the same time. 20+ kids all with different needs, all at different academic/social/emotional capabilities (every minute, of every school day). It’s exhausting. (Side note: I’m not saying other professions aren’t tiring and don’t deserve summer breaks…I felt the need to clarify that).
It all becomes worth it, though, when they have that AHA moment. Or, when they tell you their favorite part of the year (which is often a small moment that you didn’t realize would have such an impact). It becomes worth it when you look at the beginning of the year data and compare it to the end of the year data, which is physical evidence of the learning that has taken place. It becomes worth it when on the night of the last day of school, you get parent emails thanking you because you were “that teacher” for their child. The one they’ll never forget because you made them feel special.
Okay, I’m going to stop now before I make myself cry. My point is, I whine and I complain and I cry to Kevin sometimes, but I love my students and I love my job. And I love my summer break. And I’m glad I’m a teacher.
4. Date/marry Kevin– This was really hard at first! Not because he isn’t a catch, he’s the best catch. Kevin and I were legit FRIENDS. Like, get coffee and chat about life friends. Go out for lunch friends. Let me tell you, though, he broke the friend zone barrier into two pieces like Hulk and I’m so grateful for that. I look back at our lives together as friends and I’m just in awe of the way life unfolded for us.
The timing wasn’t right for many reasons throughout our life (like on the bus in 6th grade when we decided we should just be friends, so we wouldn’t ruin our friendship), but he was still always right there. When the timing was right, it was right. That’s not to say it was EASY because there was a lot of learning that took place through trial and error. But, here we are! We’re married! And happy! I actually did marry my best friend and every single day I love him more and more. I am forever grateful for the way things worked out for us. Marrying him has by far been the best decision I have ever made.
5. Move to another state- This one is obviously the most recent decision. Look, I miss my people really, really bad. I miss my mom. I miss my friends. I miss being able to just drive to SF or Tahoe whenever I want to. But those things aren’t gone forever. They just take a little bit more work to make happen. I recently heard a quote, “Those who matter, don’t mind. And those who mind, don’t matter.” Our friends and family who care about us miss us, but they are genuinely supportive of this move.
Moving to KC was a great decision for Kevin and I for many reasons. Our lives are coming together here in a way that weren’t going to come together in California for a very long time. Right now this phase in our life is incredible. We’re exploring a new city, traveling to others, making new friends, building a home together and building memories of our own. It’s a pretty grand adventure, but I wouldn’t choose to be on it with anyone else.