Tag Archives: writers

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?

Advertisements

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. 🙂

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.

Pros and Cons

My questionable saga with moving to Japan continues. And you better believe I have a lot of questions. So much of me wants to jump all in and go for it; so much of me wants to walk away because it’s crazy and I know it’s crazy.

To make a quick summary of what’s happened — I got called for an in-person interview in Chicago in January. Yeah, JANUARY. That’s like, really soon. Trust me — I share your concern. I already agreed to go, but by agreeing to go means I’m agreeing to a potential offer of a job. Am I really ready to commit to moving to Japan next year? Your guess is as good as mine.

There is a large part of my that really wants this. More than I’ve ever really wanted anything, actually. I’ve always wanted to leave the country — what a fantastic opportunity to do not only that but also continue doing something I love doing (teaching). Get a job overseas and get a free reset button on my life? Tempting.

But then a large part of me is really scared. I’m pretty much guaranteed a work visa if I get an offer, so other than getting a passport my entry to Japan is pretty much a done deal. But what about my husband — will it be easy for him to get a spouse visa? Will I have to go without him at first (yikes)? What about my dogs? How feasible is it really to move three of them to a possibly tiny apartment in a whole new country? What will it cost me to feed them? Take them to the vet? What will I do with my house and my car? All the stuff in my house? Because I certainly won’t be taking much of that with me to the other side of the world.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of questions. A lot of feelings. And a lot of uncertainty.

 

 

Please click here if you’d like to donate to my gofundme to help me on my mission to successfully uproot and replant in Japan. Any amount is appreciated.

 

 

 

Resolutions

Resolved: 2017: Write daily. Even on days when I don’t want to, I’m trying to protect some small amount of time for myself to write, reflect, and make words appear on paper. Some days it is difficult because I don’t have the energy to write or simply lack ideas. Some days it is easy because I have something to say. Today, I promised myself I would write something so here I am — rambling about how I don’t have anything to write today.

Today, it did one of my favorite things; it snowed. I tried to write a poem about snow and came up with only a few words. It just didn’t feel right. So now I’m writing about snow in a post about having nothing to write about.

I know what you’re thinking, you live in the midwest. Don’t most people hate snow there? Isn’t a big mess there? Well, yes and yes. Most people do hate snow here. And it’s been a big mess which is why I’m extra glad I didn’t have to go anywhere today.

There is something quite calming and peaceful about watching the snow fall. Watching as leisurely flakes dance their way to their brethren gathering on the ground. Listening to the crisp snap of the wind as it rustles through icy tree limbs. Smelling the cold cleanness of the December air that comes with fresh snow.

There is nothing in the world more refreshing for me than a snow day. A reason to stay cooped up in my house under warm blankets with no one to interrupt my introverted flow. A reason to cancel plans and just relax. A reason to nap as much as I want and read as much as I want guilt-free.

Snow days do wonders for my tired psyche. There is a certain kind of tired that sleep simply doesn’t fix. There is a certain kind of tired that only unadulterated down time can fix. That’s why I love snow.

Being a woman that finds symbolism in everything, there is a symbolic renewal that comes with that perfect, white sheet of snow. A chance to reflect and slow down. A chance to let time slip by slowly while appreciating the smallest pleasures of life.

Snow is incredible. I long to live somewhere that sees more of it.

 

It looks like I did have something to write about today.

Imagine that.

Working through my Quarter-Life Crisis: Step One: Admitting who I am, what I like, and what I hate about myself.

Who Am I?

Chelsea Rose

Corn-fed American Midwestern Girl minus the Jesusing

Liberal as hell

Weird/Different

Leader

Opinionated

Intense

Gives all

Independent

Witty

Humorous

Quick thinking

Cynical

Sarcastic

Realist

Wife

Animal Lover

Dreamer

Writer

Reader

Eccentric

Obsessive

Overthinker

Anxious

Escapist/Seeks ways out of reality 

 

Things I like about myself:

Sense of humor

Weird

Resilience

Determination

Independence

Straight forward

No bullshit

Loves hard

Ambivert

Reader

Analyzer

Objective thinker

Good Communicator

Writer

 

Things I dislike about myself:

ANXIOUS

Overthinker

Overly critical

Loudmouthed

Too free with opinions

Too much of a people-pleaser

Can sometimes be a doormat

Lies to save face (why)

Bad with money

Bad with communicating emotions

Passive aggressive

Unprofessional

Poor time management

Ghoster friend

Cynical/ Finds the worst in almost everything

Glass half-empty thinking

Jealous/Compares too much to others

Attention Seeking

Selfish

What I notice: 

Reflecting on this list immediately after writing it I realize that — as is typical for me — it’s way easier for me to vocalize everything I hate about myself than it is for me to pin down even ten things I honestly like about who I am. There is so much I would change about my personality if I could, yet I know there are people who genuinely enjoy my brand of crazy.

As they say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So there it is. There I am. Summed up by 26 letters in random order.

If you’re like me, on the verge of another birthday and feeling completely lost, just know:

You

Are

Not

Alone.