To Do List for 2018

Sitting in a conservatory on Christmas 2017

I’m making new goals to keep myself on track in 2018.

I love lists especially to do lists. Checking off what I’ve done, keeping my life in order, seeing progress made – everything about these lists leaves me feeling satisfied. Or guilty. It’s always one of the two. Hopefully, this year it will be the satisfied feeling only.

Anyway, I decided to make myself a to do list for 2018. Last year was filled with so much growth. I don’t want to lose any of that momentum in this next year.

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To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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Cleaning Out Boxes of the Past

A lake near a mountain

A lake near the mountains

After arriving back in the USA a few days ago, I’ve been busy cleaning out all of my old boxes. Although I just moved back from China, my goal is to move abroad again for my Master’s Degree soon. Thus, all of the clutter in my old room and closet needed to leave.

As I pulled out old boxes and rummaged through dusty drawers, glimpses of the past kept appearing.

My fingers were stained pink and blue from oil pastel paintings made in residential treatment for my eating disorder. Babies surrounded by darkness, blood-red monsters devouring me, trees half blossoming and half diseased – images of despair and hope mixed with every color.

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Updated Bucket List 2017

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

In the Wide and Narrow Alleys

Here is the fourth version of my bucket list. There are some things taken out and some added. Dreams come and go with time, but many have stayed the same.

Teaching and living in China is the biggest change since the last update in August 2015. However, I also transitioned to a new role at Disney World before coming to Asia and grew to a more confident and happy person. Continue reading

The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

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Losing Sight of Yourself

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." - Benjamin Franklin

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know yourself better than any other human.

Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.

Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.

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Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

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Judging a Job as Fulfilling or Not

Sorcerer Mickey

I love working for this guy!

A few days ago, someone watched me for a few moments greeting people at my job. “Wow, you sure have a fulfilling job,” he intoned sarcastically. “Telling people to go this way and then that way.”

Surprised and rather annoyed, I looked him right in the eye. “I actually love my job.”

“Sure, for now.” He laughed. Heat rushed to my face as I struggled not to cry. It”s not a big deal, I tried to think. But his words still stung.

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You Remember Me?

Pluto and Santa Goofy

Pluto and Santa Goofy

“Did you take this class recently? Because I remember you saying you were looking forward to bringing your family to Walt Disney World for the first time.”

“You’re back? I so excited to see you!”

“You are going to work there, right? I have been following your journey on Facebook.”

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New Job, Here I Come

I am thrilled to announce that I am back at Disney World again! After about a month and a half, my home away from home is coming back into my life.

Working there will be challenging, I know. However, I am thrilled for this opportunity.

Just today, I passed my training. Now, there is a just a bit more training to finish up and pass. Wish me luck and send me prayers please! I am excited to start this new journey and adventure.