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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Coming Back Stronger than Before


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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10 Character Traits I Want to Teach My Children

I love this list! If I ever have children, these are items that I want to teach them. Reading, independence, working hard – what a wonderful list.


To be independent. I want each of my children to have the ability and confidence to live an independent life, making their own choices based on their own values, and not feeling limited by their own fears or insecurities. I have to remind myself of this when it would be easier for me to “fix” one of their problems, than to let them figure it out themselves.

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To reasonably assess risk. Risk management is a huge part of everyday adult life. So whether it be climbing trees or jumping off of the playground, I fight my helicopter-parent instincts every day in the hopes that by allowing my children to self-monitor their own risk-taking (age appropriately, of course) I’m teaching them skills that will last…

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Shout It Out To The World

Everyone has dreams. Sure, some people pretend that all things fail and life has no point. However, even they hold a secret candle of hope burning for something. Perhaps owning a new dog or seeing a shooting star. Those might seem like simple pleasures, but they might be someone’s deepest dream.

Today, I presented my senior capstone on Professional Writing. My last point in it addressed my future plans and dreams: learning and working at the Disney College Program, continuing my blog, teaching English in South Korea, freelancing for clients, and receiving my doctorate at Oxford University. A couple of these might take 10 years or more (South Korea and Oxford). However, that does not stop me from starting to work to achieve them now.

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One Thousand Thanks: 866 – 876. Favorite School Classes

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library where I spent hours studying in Oxford

Today, my adviser helped me to pick my schedule for the spring. Just thinking about my last semester at the university is frightening. Where will my life go from here? How will I adjust to the “real world”? What about all of the courses that I longed to take but will never be able to anymore?

Part of me feels like leaving this school will be breaking off a part of myself. Instead of dwelling on this fear and sorrow, I am trying to remember that I still have more than a full semester left. Right now, there is still left to enjoy my school experience. Here are some of the classes that I am most thankful for taking over the course of my college years.

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Listaliciousness: Creative Pancakes, Being the “Good Girl” and Book Bucket List

Weeping willow

This is in honor of my amazing friend Hannah who I think is like a willow tree. She helped me through some rough times this week.

Hm. That is what I am feeling right now. It is a sound of satisfaction, exhaustion, and a hint of resignation to another week of business starting.

That being said, today went pretty well. Finally, I accomplished all of the hours needed this week for my internship. That took over seven hours today. Meanwhile, I also accomplished paying for (nearly) all of this semester of university, going to Mass, dropping off overdo library books, and watching Once Upon a Time. Like I said, this was a long day. Now, I just need a bath before going to bed. Another long week is ahead of me.

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One Thousand Thanks: 788 – 798. Inspirational (and Cute) Pins

Many people label social media sites as trivial, shallow, and unhelpful for society. This can be true, however, these websites also have the power to be used for good.

The next few weeks, I am going to find some material from each site (be it a user or something that they posted) and share it with you. These will be items that motivate, encourage, or simply amuse me.

First of all, Pinterest will be explored. This fun and time-consuming site is full of images such as movie quotes, wedding gowns, teacup kittens, and recipe ideas. Sure, it could be seen as frivolous, but one can also gain creativity and inspiration from some of the material. Here are some of the pins and pinners that have helped me.

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What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

Ruth and me

My friend and me at her wedding

Today, my mother and I went to the baby shower of my best friend through high school. Since then, we have remained close at heart but taken very different paths. She did two years of mission work, finished college two Mays ago, married last November, and is now pregnant with a little girl. That is miles away from anything that I have experienced.

Going to Oxford proved to myself that I could accomplish great things. Now, I am more confident about my future. Although nothing is easy, the strength to go far and be a bright light is inside of me.

Balancing what I am, what I am not, and what I could be one day is difficult. Sometimes I wish that I was different and had a life more like my friend. Thus, this post is mostly a coping skill for me to practice learning to accept where I am and press forward with hope.

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Recovery in the Media: #34. The Miracle Worker

The Miracle Worker

The amazing story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan shows the importance of hope and perseverance.

34. The Miracle Worker

One of the most incredible people ever to have lived was Helen Keller.  She went on to change the world with her deep wisdom and perseverance through struggles partly because of being blind and deaf.  Both versions of the movie The Miracle Worker only show her childhood.  However, the story reminds viewers that what seems impossible can be done and great things can come out of difficult circumstances.

Synopsis: The Kellers are nearly ready to give up on their little girl.  Helen was once a normal child but now is deaf, mute, and blind who demands her way all of the time.  Unsure of what to do, the Kellers cater to their child’s whims and fear for the worst.  When a teacher, Anne Sullivan, comes to try to help Helen communicate, the training seems pointless at first.  Yet, the determined woman refuses to give up as she continues to try to teach her pupil how to experience the world and interact with others.

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Let in the Little Children

Mario and I

Holding Mario when he was little

Children are inching their way back into my life and I feel a bit confused.  What does this mean?  Should I take this as a sign that something needs to change in my life?  Or am I reading to much into this?

Starting in junior high, I began to teach toddlers.  In theater, the younger children liked the attention I gave them.  Soon I was more comfortable playing with little kids than my peers.  My desire to be young, creative spirit, and innocent nature mixed well with children.  Also I longed to be affirmed and loved by anyone.  When I poured out kindness to these youth, they responded with devotion and sweet words.

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