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Some real talk to start off the year

The horizon, hazy as ever
I've been holding off on writing a New Year's resolutions/goals post, because to be honest, I'm not sure what I want to say yet. Because if there's one thing 2015 taught me, it's that no matter what your goals are, life's curveballs can change everything.

When I started 2015, my plan was to run three marathons by the year's end. So... on the one hand, I completely failed to meet the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Like, I never even made it to the start line for any of those three marathons. I had early on given up on the second one, in order to give myself a bigger recovery/training gap after the first one, but then I realized I was so burnt out on training that I forced myself to back off from running entirely. I took an extended physical and mental break from running at all for a couple months, and when it came time to start building up my base mileage again to train for the third (now only) marathon I had planned for the year, my knee suddenly decided that inflammation and pain were cool beans, and an MRI revealed the extent of the damage that had been accumulating since I first injured it two years before and through all the running (including my marathon PR) I'd been doing since it first healed up.

But on the other hand, this was the year that, through the help of my coaches, I realized that I might really have something here, with powerlifting. I discovered  not just that I enjoy powerlifting, but also that it might the one thing I might actually have a talent for. I enjoy running, and I enjoy derby, but enthusiasm alone doesn't make you elite. No matter how hard I could've worked at those two sports, I will probably only have ever been average at best. I went into this, too, expecting to be average at best. And in the short time that I've spent doing it, I've surprised myself and probably everyone that I know, too. Because who would've thought, right? Certainly not me.

And I'm not sitting here calling myself elite or anything, I promise. But what I am saying is that I had a feeling of "Yes, THIS." You know that feeling when something just clicks and feels right and makes sense? That's how I'm feeling. Like, maybe THIS is what I'm meant to do. THIS is where I'm meant to be.

That said... I feel like my greater goal for 2016 is to discover the same feeling in other aspects of my life.

I've already taken the first step - my family and I are moving to the Portland area next summer. It's something we've talked about and have wanted for years, and I finally felt ready to pull the trigger on the decision. And you know? It felt right. It felt like the right decision to make. Every time I've thought about it in the past (which was many, many times!), it would kind of freeze me up and I would feel all sorts of hesitation and worry. But since making that decision, I've felt nothing but excitement and anticipation. And especially since I got to spend some time in our future home last week over break, those happy feelings have just increased exponentially. "YES. THIS."

The other thing, the more pressing thing, is that after we move, I'm not so sure I want to return to teaching. I don't have a solid vision for what I want to do instead, but I do know that I can't do this anymore. I know that a great many other people are able to balance their teaching careers with their families, their relationships, their personal interests, their health, etc., but they must be better people than me, because after ten years of trying (six of which I've been a parent), I'm finding that I just can't do this anymore. I love working with students, and I love literature, but I need a job that ends when I leave for the day and doesn't bleed into my personal life. (When I was younger, I used to dream of the day when I would no longer have to do homework, and then I went ahead and chose THE number one job for homework =P) And I don't know what I want to do next. I love to write. I'm fairly good at editing. I don't even object to doing something education-related, but I just know that I cannot continue to do this daily grind of lesson planning, being ON all day, grading, IEP forms, staff meetings, standardized testing, etc, etc, and then leaving for the day/weekend and finding that I STILL have to be "Ms. Ngo" in all other aspects of my life because becoming a teacher includes a "good behavior" clause. I'm just... I don't think I'm cut out for this anymore, you guys, and it's arguable whether I ever was to begin with. I'm not saying I'm lazy or don't want to work hard, but I need more room to breathe, I need to not be constantly tired and stressed out and guilty for yet again asking my daughter to go play somewhere else because Mommy has to get her work done (or guilty for playing with my daughter when I have a long list of things to plan or grade, or guilty for choosing to stay late to get work done and then missing out on time with my family, or...).

So... that's my main resolution for 2016, I guess. To find a job that clicks for me, that makes me feel like, "YASSSS. THIS." Because life has thrown me some personal and professional curve balls, and I'm no longer the same person I was ten years ago when I first started. I may have failed at the thing that I originally set out to do, but that just means that I was meant to be doing something else.