Changes


This has been an interesting last few months. A lot of very positive changes in both my personal life and in my professional life. After several years of recovering and trying to decide which direction I should go, I think I have found the right path 🙂

The biggest change in my life is finding love. I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to do the relationship thing again. I met Len at the start of Christmas break and it was like coming home. It is definitely an ongoing adventure but I feel like I have found someone I can spend the rest of my life with.

Another big change happened at work. After 15 years of teaching elementary and middle school English and reading, I made the change to middle and high school Social Studies. I got my secondary license and taught 7th and 9th grade New Mexico history this spring. This fall, I will add AP Government. My BA was in history and political science, so this is an exciting change!

As an extension to the NM History, I created a new blog. I travel around the state a lot and take pictures. So I thought I should set up a place to share all things New Mexico. You can check it out at New Mexico~Home, History, Life.

Finally, I am continuing to write. My second novel is about half done. AND… I have a short story coming out in an anthology in September. I will keep you all posted on that!

Absolutely loving my life right now!

Reflections and New Beginnings


It’s that time again…time to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new. I don’t really do resolutions, but I do like to look at where I’ve been and where I’m going.

2017 was an interesting year. A lot of fabulous highs and some lows. I’ve lost several people who were once very influential in my life and found others who I hope will become very important to me.

Professionally, this has been one of the best years ever. I completed and self-published my first novel. I obtained my level 3 teaching licensure in the spring. Right at the end of the year, I was licensed to teach high school as well. I will be teaching middle and high school New Mexico history beginning in January.

I did walk away from a couple of toxic relationships this year…people I should have separated from much sooner. My first husband passed away in April. He and I had not been close in many years but he was the father of my children and we had been married for close to 20 years. These losses caused me anxiety and depression through a lot of the year. 

This really affected my hiking. I had challenged myself to hike 1000 miles at the start of the year. Instead, I hiked just over 100 miles. I did push myself to go longer distances when I did go…several times I went further than 5 miles. I am going to continue to work toward my hike to the top of Sandia and to get closer to that 1000 mile mark in the coming year.

I did a little travelling this year. The highlight was my trip to New York and Washington D.C. over Thanksgiving. So. Much. Fun! I also went to Taos in the spring and Santa Fe a couple of times. I do plan to travel more in 2018.

Most of all, 2017 was a year of growth and change. I do not feel that I am the same person that I was at the beginning of the year.I am stronger and much more confident.

I am looking forward to continued growth in 2018. I have a new sparkly relationship. My teaching career is heading in a new direction. The second novel and the cookbook are coming together. And I have a mountain to climb! I’m very excited about the new possibilities 😊

Musings


Sitting here reminiscing over a plate of chicken fried steak and eggs, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. Four years ago, I was scared of my own shadow. Afraid of upsetting people and hiding when I could. It’s been a long, sometimes hard journey, but despite the obstacles, I’ve come out stronger and way more confident than I ever could have dreamed. 

The anxiety I felt is subsiding. The fear is gone. And I’ve realized that if others get upset, that’s on them, not me. I am not responsible for anyone’s comfort or happiness. And on the flip side of that, no one is responsible for my happiness and comfort.

Loving every little thing about this life, this freedom. It is a truly beautiful time to be alive!

“You Have No Power Over Me!!” 


https://youtu.be/emebPH6ys

This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, Labrinth. Sara finally realizes that she is in control, rather than being controlled.

I have felt that same feeling of empowerment lately. I have been married for more than half my life. Twice…both times, I felt as if I had no control. I’ve been single for the last four years and finally feel that I am in charge.

A couple months ago, I quit talking to the second one completely. He was still controlling me to a degree through financial assistance and guilt trips and a little fear on my part. Since he’s been gone, I’ve been able to create a bit of professional success and a lot of personal security. Is everything perfect? No, but I know I can figure things out on my own.

He called last week. I realized that for my own personal growth,  I needed to put my fear and anger behind me. So I responded to his call. He came by and things were ok. But he also figured he was back and pushed to have me help him. I refused and he immediately went to threats and then told me never to ask for anything again.

Ok…

And it was gone… any power he had over me is gone. I’m free!

Fearless


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I’ve spent a lot of my life afraid…afraid of everything. Afraid of life.

A lot of that life hiding in books and daydreams.

And looking for love and acceptance

Or maybe looking for me.

Somewhere along the way I disappeared

I hid my true self and adopted the self others thought were best

Pretending to be what they wanted

And ignoring the little voice crying in my mind.

No more…

I’ve been slowly chipping away at those layers

Layers of other personalities

of other people’s versions of me

And like a chick breaking out of its shell

Stretching for freedom

I have found me.

And I refuse to hide again for anyone.

Still


In the quiet moments 

I hear your voice

Whispers of the past

Haunt my memories

Days like today

Bring back the cold

The darkness of your leaving

The tears

Wishing I could’ve said something 

Anything

To make you stay

The suddenness with which you left

The finality of that shotgun blast

Left a ragged hole

Hidden deep in my mind

Which reappears without warning

Even after twenty years and more

I miss you… still.

What to Do? What to Do?


 

Silly question really because the plans I am worrying over are all long range plans; nothing as easy as should I have chicken for dinner or go for a drive on the weekend. My dilemma is do I pursue my charter school idea or do I continue the path I am on now and buy my cabin and travel. Both ideas get me excited. I just don’t think I can do both successfully.

I love my job. Currently, I am the reading specialist and 6th grade English teacher at a charter school. I know I am making an impact in many children’s lives.  I could easily continue to do this happily for the rest of my career.

A few years ago, I was part of a team who was writing an application for a charter school. Our team spent a lot of time planning how the school would operate and going to trainings to learn the best ways of writing the application. We went to Santa Fe and defended our application. It was rejected the first time; however, we were given many ideas on how to make the application stronger for the next year. Unfortunately, before we got very far into the second application, our team fell apart. And then, my marriage fell apart. I am not sure what happened to the charter school plan as I have lost contact with the rest of the team over the years.

The idea of creating a school has stuck with me over the years. I have a plan in mind. I would like it to be a STEM school, focusing on life and earth sciences. We would have access to irrigation, so water usage, water resources, and environmental studies would be important. There would be a community garden, which would be used, in part, to feed the students in the cafeteria. I would also like to have small animals, such as chickens or rabbits. These aspects would also allow for agricultural sciences and biology. I have not started planning the application or gotten anywhere beyond the daydream stage with this, but I think it is a viable idea for a school.

I have a couple of things I need to do before I get serious about this daydream. And, interestingly, they are the same things I need to do if I don’t. I need to do my dossier to move to a level 3 teaching license in New Mexico. I am planning to do that this spring. I am four classes away from completing an administrative license and since I am so close, I should finish it. I’ve thought seriously about working on my doctorate, although that is on hold for now and not really necessary for either of my plans. Finally, and probably most importantly, I need to get the disaster which is my personal budget figured out. I am working on it but have a long way to go.

Now, for the other option, I would still want to complete all of the above. I would like to buy a cabin in the woods and a house in town. Nothing big or too expensive in either case. The advantage of this option is that I will have time to do many of the things I enjoy. I would be able to continue working on my writing and my crafty things. And I would be able to travel! By not committing myself to a large, time-consuming project, I would be able to enjoy many of the things I want to do. I would also continue to teach, so would still have the satisfaction of helping others and making an impact on my students’ lives.

I know this isn’t a decision I have to make right now. I can continue with what I am doing for now and make the choices when the time is right. And I’m sure that it would be possible to do both, it just wouldn’t be easy. It’s exciting either way!

Drive


Image

Drive

In the car

Hit the road

Music loud

Windows down

 

Can I go

Far or fast enough

To blow away

The memories

Of what we were

Or what we could have been?

 

Can I go

Far or fast enough

For the miles, the movement

The music

To blow away

The storm I got lost in?

 

Can I go

Far or fast enough

To find the road back

To where

I belong or

To where I long to be?

 

Can I go

Far or fast enough

To find my way home?