The Evening Star

Once upon a time there lived a young princess. Each night she would gaze out her window and wish upon the evening star that every dream within her heart would come true. As she grew older, the wishing grew less and less until the evening star was nothing but a lingering hope within the distance.

Fairy tales are the hope of every young girl. To find that perfect someone and share a happily ever after with them. Tomorrow my Big sister of Alpha Phi begins her happily ever after with her long awaited Prince Charming. It is hard for me to believe that after all this time of wishing on stars and coordinating weddings that I finally am blessed of watching  those closest to me experience the happiness that goes along with them. But beyond the fantasy of it all, the reality dwells deep within my mind.

Tonight as I drove home from my second wedding rehearsal, music played in the background and I stared out into the starry night sky. And sure enough the evening star found it's way into my view, even if it was in my rear view mirror. At twenty one, I still hold on to that dream, of one day finding someone. But honestly, as of now, my life is still something I'm in the process of figuring out. How can I possibly expect to allow someone in, if I am still searching for an understanding of myself? Someday I'll be ready for that step in my life, but for now I remained blessed to watch the two women closest in my life, my Glinda and my Big Sister, find their own happily ever after.

Now it is on to a new chapter in life. A chapter where the young princess reliqueshes a connection with her other princess friends as they begin a new chapter with their Prince Charming's. A chapter where the young princess will begin to branch out on her own, establishing herself, and accomplishing dreams that she wished upon the evening star for decades. Each princess has their own journey, and this one hopes that their paths continue to cross for years and years. Until then, let their happily ever afters take place with an enchanted "I Do". And let the young princess gaze out her window once more to "I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight."


Peter Pan Syndrome

Second star to the right and straight on till morning. If only finding Neverland were so simple. It is difficult for me to understand how time has flown so quickly by, how in one moment I'm walking down the isle as a three year old flower girl and the next a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. When did I grow up?

Age is simple when boiled down. Year by year we progress, move forward in our lives. Yet in this moment, the eve of a wedding, the actuality of age hits me. In one year I have left my University home, sought a full time career, prepared to buy an apartment, and witnessed (or will witness) the engagements and marriages of multiple friends. What ever happened to listening to boy bands or playing with dolls?

The future is exciting, in ways. I look forward to having a classroom of my own, and yet the uncertainty of not knowing every detail of life becomes a terror unlike anything I have ever faced. Whats more, the pressure of the future has left me in question. Not of my career, not of myself, but perhaps of ties in the past left loose without a proper ending. It becomes the question of "have I known the answer all along, yet was too blind to acknowledge the truth?" Perhaps the answer is yes, but then again that certainty will only come with time. Time and days gone by. Days gone by to months, then years. To think of growing up, of letting everything in my comfort zone dissipate.... it's the most terrifying and exciting sensation.


The Need for Independence

Four weeks. Days, months, years have passed and the schooling has come to an end. Nineteen years of education, twenty one years of life and the moment of graduation has finally arrived. Words of congratulations, whispers of the future; they try to tell me how to feel. How do I feel about graduation? Not even I am sure.

On the cliched graduate side, the need for freedom, the yearning to break free from the classroom walls is at my fingertips. I finally enter a world without professors lingering papers, without meetings and practices beckoning for my attendance. The opportunity to move out arises. Many new chances for freedom... and yet...

To leave a world that I have known for 19 years. To leave a place that I established as a home after 4 long years. To leave relationships to the dependence of communication from a distance. To leave ends untied, with lingering "what ifs". Two words enter my mind : heartbreaking & terrifying.  

I want to feel at ease, as though life will continually work to my benefit. To feel that this is the life I had always dreamed, where I can accomplish anything. Yet instead I'm left looking into a dark abyss, with no idea of what the future holds. 


One Step Closer

I couldn't be further from Florida. Geographically yes, but mentally I'm as distant as one could be. When I was in Florida for student teaching, I was the happiest I ever remember being in my life. Student teaching went so well, with a mentor I could relate to, a family who treated me like their own daughter, and a community that was so heartwarming and welcoming. 17 hours later and I've arrived in Ohio.... and all of that happiness, all of that peace of mind was left to dry out and wilt in the southern sunlight.

I find now that I am more frustrated... more willing to run away and never speak to my family again that I ever have been. For 21 years I lived a life knowing that they were there for me, that I was loved, that I was their child or sibling who would do anything for them. For 4 years in college I've been led to believe that student teaching would be the greatest and most rewarding experience in my life. For 2 years I believed my sorority sisters would be there to help me through it all....

Never again.

As of now my plans are to escape. From here on out I shall distance myself from those in my life who cause me heartache, frustration.... even my own family. I have never felt more distant from them. I find them choosing others to replace me in their lives... causing fights among themselves, making me a target from the long distance. One step closer to Florida.  My mentor teacher will not let me teach, to her I am just another body in the classroom, there to work for her, there to learn from her styles through means of book-led learning completely inside the box. Not once have I taught in a style the students enjoy without means of being interrupted. One step closer to Florida. I arrive home and only a select few in my chapter acknowledge that I have been gone. Others merely come closer and choose to personally attack me for my desire to help, disregarding everything I have ever given to the chapter. I seek comfort and receive none. One step closer to Florida.

When graduation comes, this state can kiss me goodbye. Forget me Ohio. I'm moving to Florida, where I was the happiest I'd ever been... where my family still loved me... where my sorority sisters missed me... and where I had a teaching experience of a lifetime. Until then, I face personal destruction. Frustration attacking me from all sides destroying the confidence I spent years building. I'm under attack.... with still 7 weeks to go until I can move out, move away, and start anew. 

One step closer to Florida.


Weeks Gone By

To think that it has already been three and half weeks doesn't seem realistic. So it's time to catch all of you up on what has been happening down here in Florida, and how I'm feeling about it all. Don't fret, this is not a tell all confession diary, but instead one of motivation. To motivate everyone to find a goal outside of their comfort zone and reach for it, because the impact that it may bring to your life is incredible.

The school is amazing. I feel as if this is one point that I continually say, but it is the truth. My mentor teacher has been really good for me. She is showing me tips and tricks on how to grade papers more efficiently, and what to look for in essays and reading content. Overall, I feel very fortunate for being given her as a mentor. We have very similar personalities, and it is refreshing to see an educator with a philosophy so close to mine. 
My students are hilarious as well. Every day is something a little different with them. Some classes are amazing, others I dread, and others still leave just bring their books and knowledge to the table. I think that is one aspect of Celebration High School that I really enjoy. They have such a diverse group of students, not only in their ethnic or socioeconomic backgrounds, but in the way they learn and how much help they need. Each class has a personality of it's own, in which some cases is good, and others bad. The only downside is seeing what a lazy group of students they are. I'm not trying to insult when I say this, in all truth, they are lazy. To give you an idea, only about 1/2 of the students turn in their assignments and homework, even when extension dates are given, or they are reminded on numerous occasions. I think that overall, there are close to 60-75 F's out of 128 students. That's not good at all. 

On the more positive side, outside of the classroom, I am in LOVE with Florida. It has truly changed my mindset from the "What if" mentality of the past to, "What could be" mentality of the future. I find myself changing my life plan to move here, and every day I'm here, that thought becomes less frightening and more welcoming. I find myself knowing that I would never be alone. I would know all of the host families, and their friends I have met and who have demonstrated much kindness to us interns. I would know my mentor teachers, and many of the other teachers in the English department at Celebration. Not to mention, the few relatives I have that live close to the area. It is slowly becoming a more realistic vision of me picking up my life and moving South. I continually replay the words that one supervisor from AU once spoke, "If you have the  opportunity to move, do it while you're young." I want to harness that advice.
Now I've save the best for last! All of the fun adventures we have set out for while in Florida. Thus far I have been to MGM, Epcot, Downtown Disney, CityWalk, the Disney Boardwalk, the Polynesian Resort, and gone for an air-boat ride. Sounds like fun, no? I'm loving the opportunities I've been given. It is so nice to be able to spend the weekends relaxing. I think thus far, my favorite has been Epcot. It is such an incredible park, so many cultures to learn about and travel through. And Hannah (my roommate) and I accomplished the entire park in one day. Which is an incredible feat. Riding on an air-boat was also something amazing. I've never been on one, let alone saw one outside of the television screen. We soared quickly through only a shallow one foot of water, pushed down the weeds in the swamp like it was nothing, and spotted gators and snakes throughout the journey. It was so different from anything I've ever done before, but it was worth the time and money to do. 
This week has marked the first week I've fully taken over my classroom. And this weekend will hopefully mark the adventures of Universal Islands of Adventure, springs in Florida, Animal Kingdom, and who knows what else!