Remember when I said I was going to start blogging more and be more consistent with my writing this year? Yeah, me too. Oh well! Maybe I'll add that to my list of intentions for 2020.
This year has been a whirlwind. It's felt like the shortest and longest year at the same time, and I actually can't believe how much has been packed into this year for me.
In 2019, I left my first teaching job at the end of the year, got really into yoga, moved across the country, started a new teaching job in a different grade, and found a new love of hiking. Obviously, some of those things are more important and life-altering than the others.
I wanted to take a moment at the end of this year to reflect on the different aspects of my life and to voice some intentions for the coming year of 2020.
After living in California for almost 6 months now, I can confidently say I really do enjoy it. Things are WAY more expensive than in Ohio and the traffic makes me want to pull my hair out, but the weather is beautiful all year and I love the active lifestyle that so many people in California seem to lead.
Kurt and I have settled into our apartment nicely and really turned it into a home. I have met many new faces that have all welcomed me to the Golden State. We have enjoyed exploring all that the Bay area has to offer from restaurants to hiking trails to tourist traps and everything in-between.
This move has really challenged me in a great way this year. I wasn't sure if I could actually pick up and move across the country, but I did it! There are days that I really, really miss my hometown and the home that I made in Columbus. There are times that I miss my friends and family and would give anything to just hop on a plane to see them. But I really challenged myself and proved that I can take a risk this year. I'm grateful for that (and for Kurt since I guess he has really made the transition easier for me...).
I don't know if we'll stay in California forever, but I sure am enjoying living here for now.
I feel like I have grown so much as an educator this past year. I got the opportunity to use what I had learned in my first teaching job to help me be an even better teacher in my new teaching job.
This year, though there are plenty of bumps in the road and plenty of things I need to improve on, I feel more in control. I feel confident. That's huge for me, because my first year of teaching made me feel like I wasn't even sure if I was in the right field. I just felt like I was drowning or failing all of the time.
This year has taught me that this is undoubtedly the career I want to be in. I'm learning so much from the current role that I have. I have new behavior management skills and partnership skills especially. The kids themselves have taught me so much.
I'm happy with the way my career is headed. I'm not sure what's in-store for me 5 years from now, but, as of now, I am happy with my school and the challenges that we deal with. I feel like I'm growing and learning something new every single day.
I know it seems silly to make a whole section about yoga, but I have to say that discovering my love for this practice has really impacted who I was this year. Yoga has given me a sense of calmness and has helped exponentially with my anxiety.
Before moving, it provided me with a routine in Columbus and a chance several times a week to move my body and connect with different people.
In Redwood City, it has helped me form connections with others and given me a relief from anxiety when I needed it.
I continue to practice yoga (though less frequently now) and I continue to love it. I am lucky enough to work with an individual that also enjoys yoga, so we practice together afterschool in our classrooms. I have also gotten into the habit of practicing in my living room when I need it.
I haven't found a yoga studio that I genuinely enjoy like I did in Columbus, but I'm still on the hunt.
Another huge part of my 2019 has been my newfound love of hiking. I always liked to hike when living in Ohio. Now that I'm in California, though, I feel like I can hardly call what I was doing in Ohio metroparks "hiking."
Kurt and I have gotten into the habit of doing a "Sunday Hike" every week. We pick a new place and explore with 1-5 mile hikes. The views on these hikes are breathtaking, and the steepness is no joke.
Some weeks, we manage to fit hikes into our schedule after work or on a Saturday with nothing to do. It's been a great practice for us to stay active, explore different parts of our new home, and connect with each other.
We're working on way up to more intense and longer hikes. We have plans this summer to hike some 10-milers that are a little further away from our home.
Looking Ahead to 2020
I hate the concept of "New Year's Resolutions." I think it's great to better yourself and set goals, but New Year's (to me) is such an arbitrary date. If you want to better yourself, why wait until the 1st of the year? Just start now. I also feel like when I do set resolutions, they are unrealistic and set me up for self-sabotage (but that might just be a personal issue).
Even though I'm not setting "resolutions" this year, I do like to set intentions for what I want my life to encompass. These aren't huge life decisions like, "Lose 30 lbs" or "Travel to 4 countries." They're just little themes that I want to incorporate into my life daily and that I have already tried to involve myself with.
This year my intentions are:
- Spread kindness by asking what I can do for others. I really received so much kindness in 2019 from so many different people in my life. I had wonderful support systems and people were always quick to offer me a helping hand. I want to do the same for others. I want to lead with kindness.
- Appreciate nature. This is simple and cliche, I know. But really... hiking has gotten me so excited about being outdoors and just appreciating what the Earth has to offer. I just want to slow down more this year and take everything in. There's a moment on every hike when I'm sweating and struggling up the incline only to stop at an opening and look out at the view in front of me. It makes the whole hike worth it and makes me realize how lucky I am to live where I do. I don't want to take that for granted.
- Be open to learning. 2019 taught me that I have a lot to learn still. I want to read more, talk to more people, listen to different podcasts, really anything to just take more in. Heck, maybe I even want to learn a new hobby. I'm not really sure what this intention means yet, but I'm sure I'll figure it out in the new year.