Weather Reminiscing

The hazy weather oddly reminds me a lot of school. When I was teaching, the transition from the excitement in August to a kind of serious feeling in September is so palpable. It gets windier, kids start bundling up, and I start to feel alarmed.

My first year of teaching at IHCS in Perris, I got in huge trouble around this time of the year. It was when students really started to misbehave, and one student accused me of pinching him. It was then that my life became hellish. My second year at Marguerita in Alhambra, the teachers I was assisting started getting terriorial and things got super chaotic with commuting and substituting around the school.

My third and last year of contract eaching is probably most bittersweet to me. I remember that September so clearly as the time when things started to change: when I was leaving right after the last bell because I was so exhausted, watching the kids at recess (and seeing them on the playground is somehow so memorable to me), and the sense of dread I felt at every staff meeting. I remember asking Shay for help and meeting Irene. Stopping by the pho place in Fullerton on my way back because I was exhausted and feeling like I could not keep going.

The weather also reminds me of living in Menifee by myself, and coming home and being too exhausted to do anything, including cooking and cleaning my apartment. I had felt so overwhelmed at school every single day; at the same time, the feeling that I was embarking on something new and living on my own was so special too — I will never forget the feeling of shopping at Ralph’s for myself, and walking to the mailbox get get my own mail, and simply feeling so indepedent even though I was miserable at work.

I miss that time in my life and I’m still amazed that I survived it.

My New Normal

This term has been thrown around a bunch of times since the pandemic properly changed daily life in the U.S., but what I wante to talk about here is my new normal as in not living with my parents and not working a job that stresses me out daily.

When I was living with my parents, every day felt very stifling. I felt that I was constantly being watched/monitored, and every action I took brought about a comment. I’m so used to being judged by my parents that even now, when I buy something like a $60 shelf, I can hear my mom saying to me that it is too much, that I am being wasteful. I can see my dad messaging my mom that I am not capable of living on my own, that I will messs up, keep a dirty house, and just fail in some way.

It has been a work in progress trying to silence those voices. Giving myself permission to buy a $60 shelf and putting it in my apartment shouldn’t be the big deal that it is in my mind — I literally have to tell myself that It’s okay. There’s no harm done in buying a shelf, and it’s not bad to fill my space with things I need and like.

Another part of my new normal that has me feeling a little guilty is the fact that I don’t work a stressful job anymore. Especially right now when teachers have so much to deal with in distance learning. I think my norm had been going to work, get abused/disrespected at work, come back home to hear nagging and comments from my parents — I absorbed all of that as normal, even when it was hard on my body and warped my mental state.

So now that those stressors are removed, and I have so much freedom and peace in general, it feels so different and I am not used to it. I often wonder if I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and whether I’m doing good or bad because I’m used to getting validation from employers.

My affirmations to myself:

I’m learning to set my new normal to where I am the boss — if I feel good about it, it really is okay. Even if so-and-so might criticize me for it if they were here. I am doing good and I deserve good things. I don’t have to suffer all the time to earn a space to live on this planet. I can be on this planet to enjoy myself and have a good time, as long as I am not harming others or myself.

Hello Readers!

I am so honored that there are people reading my blog! For a long time this was personal and I thought I’d be mortified if my real-life friends read this, but lately I’m becoming more honest and true to myself. So, HELLO READERS!!! Maybe you found me from Goodreads or Twitter? I love the people I follow/talk to on there too!

This week, I feel more true to myself than ever. For a long time, I had been feeling guilty and not myself. My parents have always given me a hard time about not being accomplished or failing, and giving me shame about not having a stable career at age 30. I had also been teaching for about 3 or 4 years, but I’ve always struggled with it. In addition, I haven’t felt good in relation to guys because they always tell me I need to relax more or I’m not brave/strong enough. I guess they like pretty tomboys.

I know I am not these things:

  • Authoritative teacher who is great with all kids
  • A cool and chill girl who’s physically active, yet feminine
  • Successful career woman who is married and a homeowner

Whether by my own choice or unintentionally, I kept being in situations where I was expected to be these things. I pretended and try but of course, since they are not me, I failed. It finally came to a point where I could not take it anymore. I was done putting in effort that wasn’t worthwhile. I didn’t want to fail at something I didn’t even want to do.

Plainly and simply, I wanted to be myself.

I am not doing anything bad. I don’t have any “misbehaviors.” (I never have!!!!!!) There is no reason I need to be feeling guilty for who I am. Even if I am not smart or accomplished, there is nothing shameful about it. Without shame, I am able to live more openly, hopefully, and joyfully. I can start to embrace my life.

I know I am these things:

  • Silly, nerdy, and weird
  • A singer (I want to be part of a glee club!)
  • A total bookworm
  • Accepting and loving. Diversity rules!
  • An introvert and comfy nerd
  • A creative person!!!
  • A loyal and trustworthy friend

Because I know I am these things, it doesn’t matter anymore whether I have a 6-figure job, whether I am a cool girl, whether my parents accept me, or any of those things that used to make me feel uncomfortable about myself. I’m really happy to be in my own skin and live the life I have always wanted for myself <3.