That moment where you finally step out into the world, feel the solid ground beneath your feet, see how blue the sky is, feel your heart swell with a soundbyte and just think:
Oh! THIS is what has been missing! This is what this felt like! Thanks for reminding me!
Pure, unfettered joy indeed.
1) Heaven serves St. Louis Drive-Inn’s Bento boxes
2) The only hair and skin products I REALLY need can be found at Lanikai beach: salt water and sand.
3) I want to get to a place where I measure my life in adventurous moments.
Apparently, it’s national sibling day. I’m sad I found out so late, but that’s cool. I’ve definitely spent some time talking about why my parents are the bomb. My brother definitely deserves a post. So, with the
30 10 minutes left of National Sibling Day, and the fact that my brother has no clue that I am writing this, here we go.
This is my big brother, Paco (and my dad, far left). He’s 2 years older than me, and he’s pretty fucking awesome. Here are some key reasons why:
So, there you have it. My big brother is awesome.
Things like this don’t happen to people like me.
That was what I thought as I hung up the phone Thursday evening. On the other line had been a Teach For America staff member, offering me a position as the Operations Associate and Assistant to the Executive Director.
Yes, folks, the “big news” I have been vaguely hinting about for the past month or so? The one where you
may have been probably have been annoyed and thinking SHUT UP AND SAY SOMETHING OR JUST DON’T OKAY JESUS? It’s that I have been applying for education positions throughout the nation. Including this one in Hawai’i.
So, long story short, you are likely correct in your assumption: I am moving to Honolulu in early May. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am.
When Shayna, the staff member who will also be managing me, told me, I was honestly speechless. Sometimes, I still am. It wasn’t an easy decision. As far as private corporations go, I currently work for a pretty solid one. I like the people I work with, the work is interesting enough, and, yes, the money you make in the private sector is…well…certainly different then what I made as a high school teacher.
As the past few months have worn on, though, some family and life things fell into place in a way that made me stop and think Wait, I could leave Los Angeles. Then, I started thinking about what I REALLY wanted to be doing in my life. Where was I going?
What’s next? is not only the title of this blog, but a question I try to ask myself as often as possible. While I’m young, I also know that life is short, and what I wanted was starting to become more and more clear. I like my job, but I’m not overwhelmingly excited about it. The people I was working with are nice, smart, funny, and dedicated… but I missed being really passionate and fired up about the work I was doing. The world needs change, education needs to be completely reformed, and I am young, excited and passionate about making that happen. So what am I doing to fix it?
I began poking around at what jumping back into the education sector might look like. After binging on cover letters and interviews (at one point I texted my beloved Stuti, “I didn’t think it was possible, but interviews have done it: I am so over talking about myself.”), I had some options. I was getting revved up. I had applied for and been excited about this position in Hawai’i, working with Teach For America, but after a week of waiting and not hearing, I assumed I was out of the running.
So you can imagine my surprise when Shayna, the Director of Talent, Strategy and Operations at TFA Hawai’i, started off our phone conversation with, “I’m really excited to chat with you this evening.”
This was not how I expected this conversation would go.
In a flurry of surprise and cautious (I had been talking myself out of this job for months, just to make myself feel better for not getting it), epic excitement, I talked through some of my thoughts about the offer with Shayna. I said I needed the weekend to decide: I had been offered another position here in Los Angeles, and was supposed to interview in San Francisco at the end of the month.
In what was an epic #firstworldproblem, I now had more than I was ready for, in the span of a few days. I immediately texted my family and close friends. I had shared with them that I had wanted this Hawaii job, but I had told them last week that I was likely not going to be moving to the islands. I needed some clarifying thought, and another set of eyes.
The first to call me was Jack.
Jack and I have been as functional in our break-up and transition into friendship as I think we were when we were together. We are (now) comfortable around each other. He’s dating a beautiful, equally-television-and-film-loving blonde from Boston, and I couldn’t be more happy for him and proud of all that he’s doing. I also have been epically happy to have someone back in my life that, frankly, probably knows me better than pretty much anyone in the world.
The minute I picked up the phone, there was silence. Then I said, “Oh. My. GOD.” Then, we just started laughing.
We talked. Knowing me as well as he does, Jack has become not only a great friend, but also an excellent thought-partner. We parsed through this decision. Then, he said something that really hit home.
“You know what we didn’t do after college?” he posited.
I knew immediately what he was going to say. “We didn’t adventure, did we?”
“No,” he admitted, “we didn’t adventure.”
With that, a huge smile crossed my face.
The more I spoke with people, the more the decision became clear. When else would I be in a place in my life where I could do this? Come Friday morning, I had made my choice. By Friday afternoon, I had emailed TFA Hawaii my acceptance, and shared the news with my close friends and family. The love immediately poured in.
I loved being a Teach For America corps member. Despite the struggles I had as a teacher, the jokes about our jargon, or the good-humored accusations about “drinking the Kool-aid” I got from others, I have always been so proud to be part of a movement I truly believe in. Every time I interacted with anyone interested in Teach For America, or even currently working in Teach For America, something always felt “right.” I felt like I was in my element, “like home,” (a similar feeling I had the first time I walked on the USC campus).
Now, as the opportunity presents itself for me to rejoin the Teach For America ohana (my welcome letter said this. The smile on my face when I read it was HUGE) as a staff member, I know what the right path is.
The fact that I get to rejoin and live in Hawai’i, one of my most beautiful places in the world that also happens to have family and friends in it? Just gravy on top of everything else (really epic, fantastic gravy though). I know I will be embarking on a huge, epic adventure: I will be moving out of Southern California for the first time in my life, and work at an organization I love, and do it in Honolulu.
I could not feel more blessed.
That’s been the guiding question, right? Well, I fly out of Los Angeles sometime between May 1-5. In the meantime, I have moved into a little pocket-of-a-room (with a private balcony, remember?) for the month. My 2-weeks notice is being given tomorrow. I am normally alternating between being so hyped I can barely speak, wrapped up sobbing in a blanket out of terror and anxiety at the thought of leaving my friends or, for the first time, living more than an hours-drive from my parents, and being blorft.
Anyway, let’s grab a drink (if you’re close by). Give me a hug. I will provide numerous opportunities to say goodbye to me, but all you have to do is shoot me an email or ask. While I can’t way to start on this new adventure, I am also immensely saddened to leave behind of the people I love. Of course, it’s never really goodbye. Aloha is both hello and goodbye, yes?
Anyway… let’s do this thing.
A little 3-2-1 to start off the week:
3 Things Making Me Happy
1) HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders as far as life-changes. I know this is all vague, and I apologize (you could always ask), but I should (FINALLY!) be able to talk about it sometime in the next 2 weeks. Woo!
2) The cable is cancelled, the gas and electric are being shut off, and I’m off! I’ll be staying in a sublet for the month of April. While I’ll miss my old place, I’m psyched to save a little money and wake up to a new morning view.
3) Er, life is just crazy-busy in an epic and fantastic way. I’m back into running again (the LA Marathon seems to have cured my leg pains. This means 20-35 mile weeks again. woo!), I’m going out and getting to know new people, I’m going out and passing out on couches with people I already adore. It’s all just generally fantastic.
2 Things Bumming Me Out
1) I have to give my beloved cat Bingley to my neighbor. :( I loved getting to watch cat for about a year, but he’ll be happier with neighbor since I’ll be moving around so much.
2) In all the crazy-busy-ness of my life, I’ve kind of lost some of the balance I feel like I had found last month. Hoping to gain back a moment of zen or two sometime in the next two weeks (I did get it when I went to yoga last night… and got to hang upside down on ropes. Epic.).
1 Thing Getting Me Hyped
1) Travelling! Going to get to do (hopefully) a few weekend trips in the next few months. Woo!
(Also: spending more time with new people, spending more time with already-loves, getting to run on some new streets, and the fact that Chipotle has brown rice now. Woo!)
I never will have time
I never will have time enough
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.
I never will have time enough
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.
Looking at the Sky -Anne Porter
PS, if you’re not getting The Writer’s Almanac, please get it together and do so.