Week 3: Adulting like crazy

Hello!

I figured this week I would write about something I did that I'm very happy/ nervous about.

As I explained last week, I got inspired at the wrong time. It was the wrong time for the blog, but the right time for a due date. NAEA (national art education association) has a national conference every year. The one I went to a year ago in Chicago was an eye-opening experience for me, showing me what it means to be an art teacher across the country.

They have numerous discussions during these conventions. Teachers from all over the country talking about new ways they have discovered to get the students engaged in learning. I told Steve that one of my long-term goals is to be a presenter at this national conference within the next ten years. I didn't think to enter for the one this upcoming year. I'm still young to the career and had nothing new to bring. Every time I got an email calling for presenters, I dismissed it without a second thought.

Then last weekend, I got inspired to write a lesson about the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why". Not to talk about specifics of the show, but to address the subject of suicide prevention with students. The show has called attention to it, and we cannot avoid discussing this subject in school. To me, school should feel like a second home to students, not a place they dread going to every week.

While this lesson was fresh in my head, I saw an email from NAEA again, asking for presenters. I thought about it, realized that this subject was relevant to the upcoming convention, and decided to enter it. I will have time next semester (and possibly this summer) to try this lesson with students, before the convention. To me, this is such an important topic to discuss with not just students, but parents and teachers as well. Teachers need to be supports for students, where no one else will be. Parents need to know that they can have open discussions with their kids. I had an open relationship with my parents, and I feel that I benefited from it. Most importantly, students need to know more about their options and how to deal with these emotions in a healthy way.

I entered my proposal, but I will not know if I will be presenting until September. It's going to be awhile, but hopefully the time will fly. Even if I'm not selected, I feel good about attempting to do something so huge. If I am selected, this will be one of my biggest accomplishments so far in my life.

Something I like about myself: I am a damn good friend when you need one. After living half of my life feeling like crap constantly because people would hate on me, I have always tried my best to say nice things and be nice to everyone. Does everyone deserve it? Heck no! But I feel that if you are nice to everyone, then they don't have a reason to hate you. At least a good reason. I am always willing to listen to people and offer support when they need it. To anyone reading this who I used to hang out with all the time, but I don't seem to talk to anymore, i'm sorry. I'm terrible at keeping up with people. I never had close friends I would hang out with constantly, so I never got into the habit of needing to be in constant communication with someone to know that they were a friend I could turn to. If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I'm here. I will listen. I will offer advice when I can.

This week, I want to highlight my man, Steve. As i've mentioned before, most of the men I've dated have been great people, just not the right fit. I met Steve like all great couples meet today. Online. For anyone wondering why people meet online, think of it this way. It is a great way of getting to know people before you meet. Not only that, most people my age meet at parties or bars, which I do not frequent. Also, did I mention I have anxiety? It's very hard for me to talk to people, let alone men. Then imagine you manage to work up the courage to talk to a man, have a great conversation, and find out they're in a relationship. Online, people are single, and just as awkward as myself. Yes, a lot of the men are creeps, but some are serious about finding a relationship. Also, you don't have to fear meeting the creeps in person, which for a woman is a very scary thing.

Anywho, Steve and I decided to meet almost a year ago. We had a great first date, during which we explored downtown Wausau for five hours. During the next few weeks, we called each other almost every night, talking for 2-3 hours each night. He's one of the few people I immediately felt relaxed talking to, and someone who understood me, and what I'm passionate about. Not only that, he's one of the only people who's actually cared about my passions. Some of the others didn't seem to care, or told me that it was pointless to fight things I didn't like, because my voice wouldn't matter. Steve has pushed me to go after what I want, an has been the support I needed during what has so far been the hardest year of college. We understand and support each other in ways no one else has. For that, I will always be happy to have this man in my life.

That's it this week!

Sincerely,

-O

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