The last time I posted, I was finding joy in this new city. I was settling in, finding my favorite places and spaces…trying to get a “groove” going. While continuing to get a feel for my surroundings, I knew I would start teaching English the following week. As much as I love teaching, it’d be a new experience for me and that always seems to bring discomfort. New job. The unknown. (Insert breath here). I didn’t know what the classrooms would look like since I would be in big, BIG business buildings and even people’s homes. Not a typical classroom at all. But I knew that no matter what, “I got this”. I could do it and I’d be expanding my horizons–gaining new experiences. Above all, teaching is the best way to keep learning. And I was excited to do just that.
Well you know when you build something up so big and don’t know how it’s going to turn out? Stress seems to be your most annoying friend? Then the time comes where you have to step up to the plate…and sweat is your most annoying friend. And then miraculously, the hour has passed quickly and smoothly–somehow it all worked out just fine. Usually so much better than you could’ve imagined, right? That’s exactly how it went my first week of teaching. With every student I met, in each new setting, I was “on high” after class was over. Connecting with each student was wonderful. I loved hearing about their lives and why they were in an English class.
You know this is coming right? The “but”, so here it is: but something still didn’t feel right. The after class “high” quickly turned into physical and mental exhaustion when I stepped foot in our apartment. And I didn’t have the drive or any excitement left to prepare for upcoming classes. Something was missing.
I had to step back and look at the bigger picture: I wasn’t teaching young, playful children in a school/classroom setting. I was teaching adults in a big business setting. Very well-to-do adults in very big, not-good-for-THE-big-picture setting. Ok, I’ll stop beating around the bush: Exxon Mobile sound familiar? But, their new name is Axion (better right?) and I really liked my students, so I thought that’d make it all better. At least be able to continue teaching for a few months. And just to light a fire under most of your seats, Monsanto was on the list to have English classes as well. I knew if I was directly offered to teach for them, I’d have no problem saying no. I mean, NO.
Still, I had moral dilemmas coming in hot!
It wasn’t easy to step back and let this really sink in. Nate, even though he claims to be my main problem (ha!), was so helpful putting this into perspective. One night when I woke up at 4am trying to find a way to make this all better without disappointing anyone (people pleaser, guilty), he had me laughing so hard, making up stories that we could tell to get out of this predicament–the job, even our apartment contract. I can only think of the inappropriate stories because those are always the funniest, so I won’t share those. Just know he had me laughing–the best medicine. And he also gave me permission to bag it all and make a new plan. The weight and stress melted off my shoulders.
I don’t like to blog when things aren’t pretty. Hence, the crickets, guys. But I’m realizing that perfect isn’t a reality. And that’s ok. That’s more than ok! And even though I like to be positive as much as I can and paint that pretty picture, people connect through imperfections and vulnerability. People connect through imperfections and vulnerability. I had to rewrite it for myself–it’s not a typo. (I could segue into Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” which I read a few weeks ago, but that deserves its own blog post…or two! It’s that fantastic, people.)
So, here I am. Here we are in Buenos Aires. Back to the drawing board and yes, I know it’s not a bad place to be. But there have been days where I’ve felt very differently; lost, confused, angry…oh and did you see the picture of me pouting as a little girl? Ya, spot on. I really dug deep and went through all the emotions I could. I really wanted to impress Nate 😉 Check.
Nate and I have been working a new plan for a few weeks now. I’ve been THIS CLOSE to booking a flight back to the states, not because I’m home sick–I feel very close to my loved ones, but because home could be the place to make a new plan. Mandi, thank you for having the patience and understanding to hear my non-stop ever changing ideas, plans, newer plans, rants and raves. You are a huge reason that I can compose a calm exterior and fool everyone else. You “get me” and you don’t seem to get tired of me. I’m not going to question your loyalty and friendship for fear you might question it one day, too 😉
As I go through the list of each person who has sent me a thoughtful quote or message on this trip and who I have reached out to recently (you know who you are!), I am reminded of how lucky I am to have the best family and friends (chosen family). The word “friends” just seems too casual at this point. I have the best family one could ask for. It’s been nice to just sit and be thankful for that alone. This soul searcher is very grateful.
Last week, Nate and I found a little slice of heaven. If there was one thing I wanted to do before hopping on a plane home, I wanted to see Uruguay. It’s an hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires and we had heard they have wonderful beaches. REAL BEACHES! So, Nate being so selfless and sweet, made that trip happen. It was 5 days of feeling like myself again.
Ok, what’s next? I’m open for suggestions as long as it has warm beaches and yoga involved!