I don't think it is a secret to most of my avid blog followers and closest friends and family that my experience over here hasn't been smooth sailing like we would have hoped. Rough waters has created waves in many areas of my life during these past three months that I hope no one would have to dive into. I have 10 days left to soak up the incredible scenery and life as an independent international traveler and make the most of it.
I have learned so much this semester, many things were unexpected.
1. My students. Kids are kids, no matter where they live. Even in this "posh" private school, they still don't listen, don't turn in their homework on time, are late to class, giggle during the lesson etc. Spending this time with my students everyday has brought clarity to my career and I am thankful for it.
2. My role as a teacher, professionally and inspirationally. I have never felt so prepared and confident that this is my purpose.
3. My trust. There is much beauty in trust and although my unconditional trust is scary, I'm not afraid to keep trusting :)
4. My faith. I found myself turning to God during hard times of homesickness and other situations that created doubt and fear. While these things made me stronger, my faith has carried me through.
5. My forgiveness. Who am I to not forgive, when I have been forgiven? Colossians 3:13
6. Me. I have learned so much about me. I am about to start a new life adventure when I get back and I feel like I'm standing on solid ground. Without these three months of memories and exploration I don't think I would have been able to say that. I can tackle transportation systems in major cities of different (language) countries on my own. I can travel to Egypt and survive the hasslers trying to sell you stuff (its a feat!) I can navigate my way around the UK, Europe (maybe Egypt, but I don't really want to) on my own. I can move to a new school and professionally find my place and offer ideas and input to my colleagues.
7. But most importantly I have learned to cherish the small things in life that make me happy. For example, autumn, my favorite season. I will NEVER find an autumn that compares to the colors of Windermere. The cups of hot chocolate that I found in Wales that are to DIE for. I had two. Warm tea during morning break. I look forward to 11:00 am because I know I can go to the staff room and relax for 20 minutes, just me and my cute little tea cup. Men in scarfs. Men in scarfs make me smile. Thanksgiving. Mexican food (is it bad that a lot of my examples involve food). My students in their white scientist lab coats and googles. Long-standing friendships. wintery smelling candles. Dancing and singing with my students to High School Musical. Videographing. A fresh, new, unwatched episode of Gossip Girl...just to name a few.
So overall, my time in England was time well spent. :)
only 10 DAYS till I'm STATE SIDE! WHOOP!