So, I only stuck to part of my commitment of writing these last few weeks. I told everyone that I’d start writing and post more on here, and then life happened. I did, however, write more in my journal almost daily, and now I have a book full of ideas. I’m learning that not everything is meant to be shared. That goes for a lot of things: my writing, my emotions, my time, and/or my energy. I’m still learning how to navigate this crazy life, as well as learning how to dream and how to turn these dreams into reality. And even more so, I’m learning that good intentions can only get me so far.
I’ve decided in the last year that I want to travel the world, and learn other cultures and people first-hand. I had already hosted a couple of foreign exchange students for a couple of years, and loved that profusely. I met this young woman around my age here in Austin, and she was telling me about how she used to teach English in Egypt, and how those experiences molded her into the person that she is today. She came back to Austin and then started teaching here for a few years, and I happened to meet her during one of her summers off. During dinner one night with her, I was so intrigued by how she had come to obtain the status of being a teacher that specializes in teaching English as a foreign language. When asked, she told me that all anyone really needed was to be a fluent English speaker, to have a four-year college degree, and then to get certified by taking a 120 hour certification either online or through a major University. I was sold! I already had two out the three qualifications, I knew I wanted to travel, so what was stopping me?
That same night, I rushed outside of the restaurant, I called my mom Stacey and told her all about it. I think she could hear the excitement in my voice, and I don’t think she’s heard that in quite some time. After hearing the information I shared, she told me that she’d help me pay for the course. It moved me so much that it literally brought tears to my eyes, and when I got off the phone, I shared the amazing news that this was turning into a real thing. From small town Louisiana, to Austin, TX, and now…Spain? At least that’s where I’m hoping for. The more I started talking about it, the more people I started meeting that had previously done the same thing. My friend, Joel, told me how he had taught in South Korea. It was wild to think about how many people around here had travelled the world doing the same exact thing that I was about to be doing, because I had never heard about it before that one conversation.
I started the course, full of anticipation and excitement to the extreme about what I was going to be learning about. Finally, I was learning a curriculum that I was actually interested in! I had been so lost in my career. Everything I tried doing in the past had failed, and for a long time I wondered if I would just be another robot doing a 9-5 job that I hated, or if I was ever going to find anything I felt that I could grow from. For some people, the 9-5 is the dream, but not for me. Finally I felt at peace with what I was learning because the reward for completing it was greater than anything I had let my mind imagine before.
The months went by, and there were many times when my friends or family were out doing fun things, and I was “stuck” at home studying and taking quizzes. Even if was I little bummed out, I was still happy that I was getting through it and knew that it was worth it in the long run. When I had passed all twenty units, I was relieved. There was only the lesson plan I had to complete, which turned out to be more intimidating than what people had told me about it before I started the course. I had to contact a current English teacher help reassure me so that I wouldn’t be so anxious. After I hit “SEND,” I immediately started to question myself, and the decision to do this that lead me there. I kept thinking, “I’m going to fail. Everything I’ve been dreaming of in this last year isn’t going to come true.” And now that I look back…I smile because that was a huge lesson for me to not sell myself so short all the time.
On April 7, 2019, I was riding with a friend of mine home when I finally got the email I had been waiting for. I PASSED!!! I felt relief flood through me, and all I could do was scream in excitement. As soon as I reached my apartment, a couple of my roomies were hanging out by the pool. I told them the good news and soon the excitement spread. All my brother, Hunter, could say was, “I told you.”
Now here comes the next part in making a this dream into a plan. I was asked at the beginning of the program my top three places I would like to move to. I told them, “Spain, Italy, and Greece.” For some reason, my heart has been set on Spain since I’ve started this. Now that I’ve completed the program, I was given SO MANY resources to apply to positions in all three countries. That’s where I am now. I still have yet to perfect my teaching cover letter and resumé, since let’s be real…I don’t have any experience. I’ve been researching “little to no experience” examples, and now I just need to submit my own copies.
I will keep you all updated as I try to create this dream into a plan, and then a plan into an itinerary. So far, so good though!
Don’t waste your time waiting on your dreams to come true. Go after them with all of your heart, and never, never quit.