Vorfreude

Who knew?

English has words for all kinds of emotions I never knew existed.

Sometimes you just can’t know until it’s happened to you.

 

Vorfreude, to me is:

If you’ve ever had a quarter or mid-life crisis you know your brain can tell you to do strange things.

Like quit your job and leave the country.

 

Let me explain.

It started with the election.

No, really.

I was — pretty mad (I am still mad, for the record). What the actual hell America?

 

Being a completely irrational human being I decided to only way to combat my anger was to leave.

Actually leave the country.

(I tend to run from my problems)

 

So on a whim I applied for some jobs overseas.

Well — one of those jobs overseas panned out.

 

In January, just over a month from my 28th birthday — I interviewed for a job in Japan.

And reader,

just a week shy of my 28th birthday,

I accepted the job.

 

A nervous, anxious, excited ball of energy I resigned from my teaching job.

A job I really wanted to love, but couldn’t.

A job I really could’ve loved, but was ruined for me by things out of my control.

This was February.

 

Since February I have been anxiously preparing my language skills, eating techniques, mannerisms.

Since February I have anxiously waited for details on my arrival.

 

Still — I wait.

With every ring and ding, my heart skips a beat.

Wondering if this might be the call.

The e-mail.

The one that tells me when and where.

 

I wait, ever more anxiously,

wondering when I’ll leave my home, friends, and beloved dogs.

 

If you’ve ever done something crazy like decided to move halfway around the world,

you too know the feeling.

 

It is indescribable.

Alas….I still wait.

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The Myth of Self-Love

 

Once upon a time there was a globalized world that sexualized and fetishitized certain body types. See, in this world, no matter what you did as a woman was ever good enough. If you’re too skinny, you’d better bulk up, because nobody likes bony girls. If you’re chubby, you’d better slim down, because nobody likes fat chicks. Too many muscles? Girl, you better realize that masculinity is fragile and tone it down.

 

Once upon a time I might have loved my body. I might have appreciated the vessel that carries my brain (and consequently my thoughts, my memories, my personality — basically everything that gives life meaning) and other life-sustaining organs. I might have even cared enough to take care of it like it should be taken care of.

 

But somewhere in this once upon a time that weird globalized world came into play. Somewhere in this once upon a time a thing called beauty standards ruined my perception of myself and what I should be as a girl — and someday, a woman.

 

In this once upon a time, this world started to change. People became more “body positive,” and started the movement of self-love. Accepting yourself for who you are. I was a woman by then. Already tainted by the old once upon a time and my own mental blockade. The self-love movement came too late for this princess — and she remains locked in her tower.

 

To me self-love is a myth — even people who claim to love themselves still complain about what they want to change — they call it a “journey,” which sure, I understand. But is there really a destination? A final point? A moment when “self-love” is truly achieved?

 

I don’t mean this to put down anyone working on their own path to better themselves, in whatever way that might be. But as a honest question.

 

In this once upon a time, is self-love really attainable?

 

I see friends and loved ones share their adventures in health and wellness. In life and career events. I see them try so hard to love themselves in a world that deems us all unlovable.

I swing both ways on the spectrum of self-love. As a now woman who is overweight and has no self-control, I go from loving everything about myself to loathing it.

 

Right now I’m in a state of loathe.

Depressive loathe.

That “I’m fat and I’ll always be fat because I have no self-control and can’t stick with anything,” kind of depressive loathe.

 

This is a woe-is-me post.

This is not a pity post.

 

This is a “I’m about to move to one of the statistically skinniest and most thin-obsessed nations in the world,” anxiety post (“hello darkness, my old friend”). Coupled with a some deep-seeded self-hate (not a myth) and societal beauty standards.

 

And while I know I am worth more than my weight, my large hips, my big butt, and thunderous thighs, right now, I’m stuck on the myth of self-love.

 

The journey is long, and I’m ready for the destination.

Change & Challenges

I process heavy emotions through writing. When my brain can’t make sense of it in itself, it sends my hands to work to spell it out on paper.

 

Something about the process is therapeutic — it helps me get things straight.

There is something truly poetic about  forcing yourself to spell out your emotions on paper.

 

I teach my students that as they grow life is, and will be, full of change. Change is scary, but change is also good.

 

Today was my last day at my current teaching job. Resignation. Took a job teaching in Japan. A job which I am very excited for and very apprehensive. An incredible move. Perhaps a foolish and naive one, too.

 

Teaching fifth graders is interesting, and for the most part, I love it. I loved my building. I loved my colleagues. Yet, I was ready to move on to something else.

 

I’m not content to stay put but find myself nostalgic when it’s time to leave.

 

Funny thing, my personality.

 

I walked out of my classroom for the last time today. MY classroom. My first and so far, my only. I spent so many hours within it’s walls making it perfect, inviting, a home-away-from-home. I built relationships, shared stories, celebrated victories, wiped tears, and gave so many hugs. I laughed. I cried. 

Two years of my life I spent in those 4 walls.

It didn’t hit me until the last afternoon of my last day just how hard it would be to walk out of that room for the last time.

I ugly cried the whole way home.

 

Luckily I don’t live far.

 

As I wiped my tears of relief, sadness, hope, regret, and pure exhaustion, I reminded myself of what I told my students only hours before.

 

Change is hard,

Change is scary,

But change is good.

 

It forces us to learn and become better people than we were before.

It challenges us.

 

And everyone needs a good challenge.

 

While I remain apprehensive of the immediate future, I know my time spent the last two years will serve me well wherever my adventures take me. It was an equally rewarding and frustrating experience, but one that has taught me a lot about myself and how to deal with situations I’m involuntarily stuck in.

 

While I don’t regret my time spent in that classroom,

I would regret the chance I didn’t take to try something new.

 

I mean,

Who needs a comfort zone?

Death & Rebirth

With the years I have become increasingly comfortable with the cycle of life.

The cycle of life is much more than physical birth and physical death.

Life

Is all the life and death in between.

 

As a writer

I like poetic language —

I like similes and metaphors

Hyperbole and alliteration (see what I did there)

 

I also tend to see the world in all it’s own poetry

And there is life and death

Everywhere

All the time.

 

See,

Life and death takes many forms

Yes, of course there is physical giving of life and physical taking of life.

Literal: life and death

But there is much more life and death than just the beginning and the end.

 

There is life in starting school.

Learning to read and write

Learning to add and subtract

And growing those skills and understanding until

You graduate

The metaphorical death of your schooling (but let’s be honest: one should never stop learning)

 

There is life in falling in love

The euphoria of connectedness with someone you adore

Understanding on a level you thought was impossible

Then you break up.

The metaphorical death of your love

 

Reader,

I think you must get the idea.

 

People will come and go from your life.

People you were once very close to will change.

You will change, too.

Any maybe, it just won’t work like it used to.

 

As I have gotten older,

I have become content with the cycle of death and rebirth that takes place in every facet of life.

 

Friends will come.

Friends will go.

Again —

I think you get the idea.

 

But it is what comes after the life and death that is vital.

 

Rebirth.

The phoenix rising from the ashes.

Allowing you to be born anew.

To see with fresh eyes.

 

It may never be easy to die,

Or rather,

To let things die.

 

But

It is possible

To become something more.

Otherworldly

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you were born in the wrong century?

 

Among my many ongoing existential crises is the feeling that I was simply born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

See,

I’m bored.

 

Chronically.

My favorite pastime is trying to escape this place — mentally, because I really can’t escape physically.

 

I know, I know, “but you’re going to Japan!” you’ll say.

“What a grand adventure!” you’ll say.

And you’re right, it will be grand.

For a bit.

 

And then I’ll find myself bored

Again.

 

I was not meant for this time we live in.

This time when everything to be discovered has been discovered.

I should’ve been born in the 16th century when European settlers took grand adventures to new places all over the globe.

Or

I should’ve been born a few centuries in the future….

Where the universe is an open playground.

 

I was born to explore.

To seek new experiences and new places.

To find new flora and fauna.

To learn from places and things yet unknown.

 

But alas,

I live in a time when the world has been discovered more than once over,

And we are not yet at the grand age of exploring our galaxy and beyond.

 

Born in the wrong century.

On the wrong planet, perhaps.

 

Each night I look at the stars and think about what I would give to go there

(yes, I would literally walk away from my entire life for the chance to be a space pioneer).

And it always comes around to the same thought

Sadly what I want I can never achieve in this lifetime.

 

But perhaps I could in the next.

And for that recurring thought (among many others)

I can only attribute

That I am really alien….

 

Not in the sense that I am not human.

But in the sense that I don’t think like most humans.

Or behave like most humans.

I’m just too odd to have landed here on purpose.

 

I just know I belong somewhere else,

In a home I can’t name.

In a home I will never see.

 

Somewhere among the gas giants and colorful nebulas,

It’s out there.

But it will be centuries before I make it.

 

Note: Of all the complexity of my feelings this is one of the hardest for me to vocalize. The human experience is deeply unique to the individual and this one of those things that’s hard for anyone to understand. And yes, I know I’m crazy, but I do hope you continue to read my strange ramblings — at the very least you can relish in the fact that you’re not  as insane as I am. 🙂

To my husband

I am not an average person’s cup of tea.

Most people can’t handle me, and that’s fine.

I don’t really care what they think anyway.

 

I am a diamond in the rough at best,

and a piece of shit at worst.

Most people like stability.

Not two ends of the extreme.

 

I struggled a lot.

being comfortable with myself,

before I met you.

I didn’t think I’d be able to find someone who could understand my soul.

And the stormy sea that rages inside it.

 

I had friends.

I had family.

Yet, I felt misunderstood.

I felt odd.

And I was.

(I still am, for the record).

 

I remember when we first started hanging out you didn’t treat me any differently than you did your other friends.

You approached me with no agenda — something that was rare for teenage boys.

You took the time to be friends with me first.

 

Once we fell in love, though,

There was no going back.

old jc

It wasn’t always easy.

We didn’t always like each other.

But we persevered.

 

And even when we really wanted to,

we didn’t walk away from each other.

 

We got married young and everyone said we were crazy.

I was 19, and you were barely 23.

They said there was no way we’d make it.

We’d be divorced in a few years.

 

But they didn’t know that no one gets me like you do.

No one else perpetually forgives me.

No one else makes me feel safe to really be myself.

No one else believes in me the way you do.

 

There are so few men in the world who could love a woman like me.

Headstrong (extremely)

Mouthy

Argumentative

Selfish

Independent

Reckless

Flighty

 

But somehow none of those things deterred you.

Somehow you took my worst traits and made me feel…..

Less shitty about them.

 

You let me be headstrong (extremely)

You’re okay with me being mouthy

Argumentative

Selfish

Independent

Reckless

And flighty

 

You’re letting me uproot our entire lives and replant halfway around the world

In a totally new place

With a totally new culture

 

And you’re still supportive. Excited even.

 

We’ve been together a long time now.

But I find our love doesn’t fade.

If anything it gets better as time goes on.

lt wedding 2

I try to relish small moments in my life and I find my favorites are:

Lying tangled up in bed on weekend mornings

Sharing coffee and conversation with you

Laughing at stupid internet content

Listening to you talk about things you love

 

See, they all have to do with you.

I’ve come to accept that my life couldn’t be the same without you.

I wouldn’t be me without you.

 

But what’s most beautiful about us is that we don’t need each other.

We want each other.
And there’s a difference.

28 Tomorrow

Another birthday has crept up, and this time it’ll be 28. Unlike most people I actually don’t dread my birthday or getting older. It’s a time for me to do something I love, eat a delicious meal, and reflect on personal achievements of the last year.

I quite enjoy getting older. I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Your 20s suck. There is just no way around it. You’re trying to figure out life, how to adult, what you want, who you want to be, what you want to do, who you want to be with — there’s just a ton of unknowns going into your 20s. You’re bound to struggle, bound to fail, and bound to question literally every decision that’s led you up to this point.

But that’s also growth.

See, on the eve of my 28th birthday I’m looking forward to edging closer to 30. I’m happy to be in my late 20s. I feel comfortable taking more risks. I feel comfortable asserting myself for the first time ever. I feel comfortable to cut ties, make a move, and dare to dream. I’m finally comfortable enough to go after some of the things I’ve been too scared to go for.

Many of you know that I applied and interviewed for a job teaching English in Japan.

Reader — I was offered the job.

And I took it.

23-year old me would have been too scared to leave the safety of my corner of the world.

24-year old me would’ve been too depressed.

25-year old me would’ve been to anxious.

26-year old me would’ve been too worried about what my friends and family would think.

But 27-year old me was ready.

And 28-year old me is quite ready for a grand adventure.

You know what they say — if you aren’t happy, move. You aren’t a tree.

I don’t know the finer details yet, only that I’ll depart the U.S. for my new home sometime between late August of this year and January of 2018. Exact placement is still up in the air — something younger 20s me would’ve never been okay with.
As you can imagine the cost of relocating to a country halfway across the world is daunting and very expensive. The hubby and I have started a GoFundMe for anyone who would like to help us offset some of the monetary challenges of moving overseas.

The Eglis Go To Japan

If you’re unable to donate, please share. Sharing is caring! 

Yes, I’ll definitely be blogging a lot about our upcoming move and adventures had once we relocate!

I’ll try to make time to post more often, I know I’ve gotten sporadic. Between interviewing, resigning from my current job, freelancing, and everything else I’ve just been crazy busy. Speaking of freelancing, I know my last post was centered around getting started with that. Happy to report things are progressing well and I’ve got plenty of work on the table. It’s good to have a side hustle!

So — there’s the latest in the life of Chelsea. Thanks for reading!

We the people

Yesterday, January 21st, 2017, I got to be part of something extraordinary. I have always been politically active and rather –er — outspoken, but never in my life had I had reason to use my right to protest.

With the results of the election tearing me apart since early November, I was finally ready and able to do something about it.

I attended the Kansas City Women’s March, and I’m so glad I did. 9,999 other women from all races, religions, socioeconomic statuses, education levels, you name it — all came together to peacefully protest the bullshit that is spewing forth from our lying leaders.

I am still in awe of the camaraderie, respect, and empathy shown by complete strangers to others. The march was full of women, men, and children of all ages. My heart was full seeing parents so open and willing to share this historic event with their daughters and educate them on their rights.

It gives me hope for the future generations.

rally-1

One of my favorite signs from the rally. You can tell she was proud to be there. 

I went by myself, hoping to meet up with many friends also in attendance. However, the size of the crowd left me isolated and wandering — but I was never uncomfortable. I never felt alone. I was with fellow soldiers for progress. I was among friends. And I made new ones.

rally-3

Her words are so true. We accomplish nothing when we stay silent. I love how the statue of George Washington is watchful over her shoulder. It’s almost like he’s giving his quiet blessing to the women & minorities of this nation. I think he’d be proud of his country and his people today. 

I know you’re probably like, “Oh c’mon, there are places all over the world where women have it way worse than they do in the U.S.”

This is very true, but does not excuse trying to take away our current rights. We must continue to move toward total equality. Anything but is an extreme injustice! By refusing to stay silent in the face of tyranny, we stand up for oppressed people all over the world.

In the end, this march was about so much more than just women’s rights. It’s about worker’s rights. Immigrant rights. LGBTQ rights. Animal rights. Giving our children a future they can believe in.

It was a rally for equality. And judging by the internet’s reaction, that’s just too damn scary for some people.

rally-4

I high-fived these parents for doing it right. We are more than objects. We are more than the sum of our body parts. 

Of all the things that made me the most happy was the number of children present at the rally. Parents openly talking to their children about oppression and how to stop it. Pushing the importance of diversity. Speaking to them candidly about why all these people are here and what it means. Reading and explaining various protest signs. I saw many children even holding their own signs in solidarity.

It gives me hope that the world can be a better place for them. And if we don’t leave it better for them, they’ll make it better for themselves. I hope we can leave it better than we found it for them. And if we can’t, I hope they can make it better for their children.

I hope they choose to do what is right, instead of what is easy.

rally-5

In the end, this is the photograph that resonates with me the most from my first protest experience.

To the fellow ladies of the marches and rallies taking place all over the nation, and all over the world: I will always stand with you. I will always stand by you. I will fight for your equal rights for the rest of my life. If the government comes after your right to choose what’s best for your body, your family, and your life, I will be unashamed to stand with you. To my LGBTQ friends: if the government tries to strip your fundamental rights to love and liberty, I will proudly stand with you. To my immigrant friends: If the government tries to deport you, I will vehemently defend you and what you bring to our nation. To my Muslim friends: If the government tries to put you on a registry, I will fearlessly register with you. You are as valuable, as important, and as American as anyone here.

I will no longer sit and honor misinformed, willfully ignorant comments, posts, and opinions. I don’t care if we’re friends, schoolmates, or coworkers. You do not have the right to be ignorant. You do not have the right to strip basic human rights from others because of your fear. Educate yourself. Stop being afraid.

rally-2

A woman’s place is in the resistance.

We will not be silent. 

Slow and steady (wins the race)

I know what you’re probably thinking:

“Did you give up on your resolution already, Chelsea? You haven’t posted in a few days.”

Well the answer is — no, I didn’t. In fact, quite the opposite.

I decided to take my creative outlet to the NEXT LEVEL (insert booming explosion noise here).

But really though — over winter break I did a ton of research on how to become a freelance writer (I love you guys that faithfully read my blog, but getting paid is sweet). As many of you know, one of my biggest complaints of my current line of work is that the paycheck is so small —- so small. Well, just like most teachers, I needed to find a side hustle, and a side hustle that wasn’t going to require me losing massive amounts of sleep.

Enter my attempt at freelancing. I figured, I like to write, I can do it from home on my own schedule, and I can completely control the projects I take (or don’t), and I make some extra cash in addition to building my professional writing experience.

So, thanks to a lot of digging through Google and reading a lot of blogs, I found a site called Upwork. Now, don’t expect to jump on here and be making Kardashian level money or anything — it’s not like that, and they take 20% of your earnings, and some clients will take another 20%….and well, you can do the math. Definitely not going to replace my full-time job, BUT; I’m building legit writing experience, earning a little extra on the side

AND IT’S THE PERFECT REASON TO WRITE EVERY DAY!

For me, it’s a win-win.

You can check out my first *REAL* published article here!

Resolutions, Part 2

I have a bit of a personal ritual around the New Year. Not only do I celebrate my 8th anniversary of marriage to my husband on the 30th, but the new year also symbolizes a time to stop and reflect on the year I’ve had and the goals I want for the future.

I can say, without a doubt, that 2016 has been a steaming dump of a year. There were a few highlights, undoubtedly, like the weddings of a couple of my best friends, an awesomely extravagant vacation, and adulting successfully by doing something called buying a car. And while all these events are wonderful, it cannot overshadow the festering, stinking dumpster fire this year has been since the beginning.

Four more days, friends. Four more. But what, oh what, does 2017 hold?

That, readers, is questionable. If, like me, you have harbored extreme resentment and a little bitterness since the election, you, like me, are probably approaching the new year with apprehension. Uncertainty. Even disappointment.

Trust me, reader, I sympathize.

And that brings me to my resolution for 2017. I only have one this year, but I think it’s going to be important if I ever want to leave this rut and keep moving forward.

My 2017 resolution is simply this: To stop being afraid and live the life I want for myself.

I know you’re probably like, c’mon Chels, that’s so vague and idealistic. You can’t accomplish that. You can’t measure that.

None of that really matters to me.

What matters to me is the world seems to be falling apart at the seams, and if I let it, it will drag me down with it.

I refuse to let that happen.

I refuse to be afraid of circumstances out of my control.

I refuse to stay stuck out of comfort and fear of change.

I refuse to sit for another miserable year and end up the same unsatisfied human I seem to always be reflecting on the past year, and moving into a new one.

Attempting to find a job in Japan has given me renewed desire and perspective. A goal to work toward. Something I have wanted for a very long time but have been too fearful to pursue. Will it happen soon? Maybe. Will it happen under the circumstances in which I want it? Doubtful. Will it solve all of my woes? Certainly not.

But will it happen? Most definitely.

It can’t be any worse than sitting and waiting for change to come to me.

I’m so tired of waiting.

 

And so, I face 2017 with little fear and increased optimism.

 

2017 just better be ready for me.