I’ve found myself in a place lately that I’ve never found myself before. A place of discontent, of restlessness, of angst. A place where I often ponder, “why am I not happy?”

I have two jobs. Two jobs in an economy where some people struggle to find one. I make enough money to pay for rent, the food I like, cups of coffee on a daily basis, and still manage to save up (perhaps not enough) for a mountain hike next year. I have friends who, while I don’t see them all that often, are full of love and support whenever I reach out to them. I have a caring family that bails me out more often than they should at my age, but regardless they do it without qualm and are always willing to save me when I fall flat on my ass.

And then I have a boyfriend. A boyfriend who sees me in the best possible light despite this negative space I’ve found myself in. He loves me, truthfully, even though our time together has been short. He is constantly saying “I’ll work on that for you, I’ll try to change that habit, let me know if I do anything too irritating, I want to be what you want”. He tries. He is perhaps the first boyfriend in quite some time who deserves my love. He deserves the best version of me…

and I find myself offering him the worst version of me. The version that somedays greets him with a smile and a kiss and other days barely looks him in the eye when he comes in the room. I don’t find myself missing him when he’s away. I find myself thinking, “He’s a fool.” and then forcefully reminding myself, “He’s a loving fool. My fool”. And shouldn’t that be enough? Shouldn’t I be so beyond happy that I’ve found this strong, ambitious, outdoorsy, loving man who looks at me like I am his world?

I know what it’s like to not have that and want that so desperately. The majority of you reading this (if I even have an audience) must be shaking your heads, thinking how ridiculous I am to be complaining about such a good guy. But after wanting to find someone who loves me so entirely for so long – perhaps I’ve hyped it up too much in my mind, perhaps I’ve trained myself to think that love is so much more than this, perhaps my hopeless romantic side is going to destroy any worthwhile relationship I ever encounter. Or perhaps….he really isn’t the one for me. After so many relationships (I’ve had far too many) I think I know what I want even if it is unrealistic and it may be that I’m realizing this isn’t it.

I have a hard time accepting that. And I’m not sure if that’s accurate to the situation merely because my emotions on everything in my life has been so scattered, but I have to accept that it is a possibility.

I want writing all this out to suddenly make me better understand what I’m going through, to help me pinpoint the origin and find a way to cure this black cloud hanging over my head. I know that won’t happen. I know that writing this out will do nothing, but create a record of myself in this moment. One day I’ll look back with an understanding, but that day won’t be for many years from now. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Besides my qualms and fears over my seemingly perfect boyfriend who I’ve become bored with, I find I don’t enjoy my jobs as much as I had hoped. During the week I nanny for 6 hours a day. I don’t have to wake up early and I get done with work the time normal people do. I’ve found this job to be, most often, terribly boring. It doesn’t challenge me and I spend my days dreaming of doing anything else. The hours being smack-dab in the middle of the day mean that I no longer teach regularly for the Rep or for First Stage. I had in my head that early morning hours would become my teaching times, but have found there is less to do in the morning than there is in the afternoon. Thus I am disconnected from my main passion because I grabbed on to a job that guaranteed I could pay my rent and didn’t require me to wake up at 4:30 in the morning (as being a barista, my previous job, did). My weekend job is merely there as additional income, to help me save up for my trip, to help me buy the nice things I love, and to get me free tickets to see the current season at the Rep (since I’m no longer actively teaching for them).

I will say this weekend job has helped me face my fear of answering phones and challenged me to take a big step into adulthood. It also does add some skills to my resume worth having in the future.

Every day I wake up exhausted. I drink too much coffee and sit around for 80% of my day. I drink too much wine, beer, brandy, whiskey every night (something I think started by the current boy I’m dating).

I do think I need to start drinking less. But I’m not sure how to go about doing that in this culture of “go out and get a drink with a friend”.

I’ll tell you the one thing I have: climbing. I talk about this more and more. I always say its the only thing keeping me sane and I truly believe that. I’m not the greatest rock climber, but I’m not awful. More important than that, it takes my mind off the rest of my life. It pulls that dark cloud away, at least for awhile, and forces me to focus on the moment. You can’t let your mind wander – you’ll fall straight off the wall and be shocked when your caught by your partner. You have to focus mind and body into the moment, the one move you’re struggling over, the one jump you have to make, and you have to trust yourself. I face a lot of fears on that wall, and fail more often than not. But once I get my head straight and I let my body do what it has been made to do, support me, I find myself successful. I find myself one step closer to the top.

I think I found my answer.

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These days cliff bars and coffee sustain me. I have 3 jars of peanut butter in multiple places. I drink too much whiskey and wine, yet I can’t convince myself to stop. I work, most weeks, almost 50 hours. I dream of climbing to the highest peaks and fill my brain with stories of people climbing mountains, falling into crevasses, dying on Mount Everest, learning from almost dying. I’m constantly exhausted. I’m running, fast, but I’m not one hundred percent sure what I’m running at.

It is my duty to create, to be an artist. By being an artist I am beneficial to those around me.

These are ideas established in a podcast I began listening to today and as I listen I realize more and more how true that is for me.

I give myself whole-heartedly to those in my life. I dive headfirst into relationships and eventually become distressed, upset, restless with the person I’m with. The reason is because of how much I give up to be with someone. My art is not something I can put on the back burner.

Procrastination is fear.

I have been afraid.

It is time for me to get passed that fear.

The Future of Education – Journal 1

It became very clear to me through this unit that I enjoy learning in a somewhat non-traditional manner. I have learned most of my life in a traditional education context and I have excelled, however those experiences are not the ones I cherish and are not the ones I hope to recreate for future generations. Thus, viewing myself as a more progressive learner, I think learning in this online context will prove a good challenge for me. I am hoping through this course to broaden my understanding of education as a whole and to utilize the learning of multiple perspectives as a way to pinpoint my personal views on education. This first unit alone has helped me clarify the big idea in my approach to education: expression. I discovered as I reflected on learning experiences that hold meaning for me today that they all came from a place of expression. Whether that expression was a written reflection, or a powerpoint presentation, or an interpretative dance – those opportunities to put the topic in my own words, or my own body, or my own voice led to me truly understanding the topic and how it related to me personally. Expression is the future of my education – empowering future generations to express themselves and through that expression to learn.

How do we learn?

The following is in response to a prompt provided in an online course I am taking entitled “What future for Education?”.

As a young educator I am attempting to better understand myself as student and as teacher so I can clarify my career goals as I approach graduate studies. I believe I have a decent grasp on my teaching philosophy, but I want to do everything in my power to expand my understanding of education in the eyes of many educators rather than merely through my own eyes.

To begin with we are reflecting upon how we learn, specifically on the experiences we have personally had in education.

Personally I found the majority of my education easy. Learning was something I always enjoyed and quickly understood how to personally achieve. Yet after awhile this ease became a problem. My education never suffered (meaning my grades), however without a challenge I wasn’t connected to the work I wasn’t doing, I wasn’t advancing myself in any interesting way, in short I wasn’t interested.

I think in those early years of middle school and high school when I wasn’t challenged were perhaps the most unsuccessful years of learning I’ve experienced. It’s not that grades suffered, it’s merely that I didn’t accomplish anything personally exciting. I did the work and passed, but the majority of what I did in that work hasn’t stuck with me.

The successful experiences I had in learning were those where I was challenged, either in AP classes or in the Acting classes I studied in my undergrad. AP classes forced me above and beyond by giving me the heavier workload I needed in order to feel challenged. My undergraduate Acting classes were a success because they involved using my body and my own voice to complete a task. It wasn’t about writing something done, completing a formula, it was about immersing myself whole-heartedly into the activity at hand and noticing what came from the experience. It was about trial and error – noticing each class what worked to motivate and progress my acting and what left me feeling disconnected from the work.

That idea of trial and error in education has stuck with me. I think its part of what drew me to theatre. Acting was always a challenge and continues to be after studying it for almost 10 years through different mediums – that idea of a challenge connects me to the work, forces me to reflect on each step I take in my acting career, and thus change my ways as I move forward if necessary.

Trial and error. Connection. Direct Involvement. Challenge.

These are the things that most helped me learn, that created the most successful learning experiences. These are the things I hope to give my students.

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