General

Leaving my job!

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I can’t believe I actually did it.

There were so many times in the past where I thought about what I’d like to do if I ever left my job, but I didn’t ever seriously consider leaving. I pretty much figured that I’d stay until I finished school or moved away.

I loved my job, for the most part. I was a preschool teacher and really enjoyed working with my kids. I liked creating lesson plans, doing assessments, coming up with fun games and science projects to do, and in general keeping a smile on their faces. I also really liked my coworkers. They were all good-hearted people who really loved the children and families that we were serving.

And while I am going to miss everyone, I have to also be honest about the fact that I have so many goals and ambitions for my life. I’m still working my way through school, I’ve always wanted to do freelance work and open up my own business. I enjoy having the time to pursue my learning adventures (I teach myself languages, music, and religion). I love writing and aspire to become an author. And I’d love to find some place to volunteer. I have often felt overwhelmed by the conflict between my interests and my need to make a decent and steady income. I’ve always felt it unfair that we spend so much of our lives running the rat race, that we never get to really live life and invest in our talents and passions.

I am hoping that this bit of time off will be my chance to do something new. A chance to really design a plan for the type of life I want to live – and then implement it.

This pause comes at a time where I could not possibly be more motivated. As I turn 30 in just 2 months, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I can plan wisely now for the type of future I want to have.

What do I want to have accomplished by 45 years of age? 50 years of age? And what can I do now to make those accomplishments happen? I’ve always been a forward thinker, but for the first time in my life I feel like I am finally sharpening my powers of execution. I’m not just going to plan, but implement.
At least then, if things don’t go quite the way I wanted, I won’t have to live with the regret of not having tried.

I’ll miss my job and all the kids and families I have worked with, but I am glad to be stepping into a new season of having more time to focus on achieving goals that have weighed heavily on me for quite some time.

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Infertility

Hopeful

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After what has seemed like an eternity of having unexplained infertility, I am kind of relieved to have finally been given some solid clues as to what might be going on with my defective reproductive system.

But first…

My husband and I got married in 2008, and stopped using birth control in 2010. I felt like God was convicting me of my usage of birth control, and although I didn’t quite understand why He didn’t want me using it – I threw it out.

I  thought for sure, after getting rid of my contraceptives, that I would get pregnant right away. At that time, I wanted to get pregnant and was open to it – but was also deathly afraid of what a child would mean for our finances and our (then) struggling marriage. Still, I knew that God had spoken to me about ditching the birth control – so I did it, thinking that I’d probably get pregnant soon and was eager to see how God would provide for us in the event that we had a child.

I have always wanted children – both biological and adopted. And I have, from the time I was 7 years old, felt a call to motherhood on my life. But it was during my first year off of birth control that my desire for motherhood grew exponentially. One month, I was two weeks late for my period and had convinced myself that I was pregnant. I waited as long as possible to test for pregnancy and was absolutely devastated when the test read negative. My first BFN (of many). I cried in a way that is totally out of character for me, and it hit me that my lifelong desire to become a mother had reached heights that I had not known were possible. We continued to spend the rest of 2010 and 2011 not trying and not preventing. And every month, my hopes were crushed at the beginning of each new cycle.

In 2012, my husband and I finally agreed to begin trying. Our marriage, at this point, had grown very strong and he felt ready to do more than just “not prevent.” This was music to my ears. Perhaps, I  thought, the reason we haven’t become pregnant yet is because our marriage was weak and we weren’t on the same page.

I naively believed that I would be holding a baby in my arms within the year. I began reading everything I could find on getting pregnant. I joined TTC (trying to concieve)websites, bought prenatal vitamins, and started charting my basal body temperature to pinpoint ovulation. And again, each month was a failed attempt. Failure after failure after failure, as the months grew into years.

It didn’t help that I studied children in school and was working with children each day for a living. Over the years, my prayers went from “Please God, let me get pregnant this time!” to “Okay God, let me get pregnant, but help me to still be grateful even if I’m not pregnant this time,” to “God, help me learn to deal appropriately with childlessness,” and finally to “Whatever you want God, let it be and help me to accept it.”

I finally accepted the possibility of infertility, and went to a doctor in 2013. She was incredibly rude. She brushed off everything I had to say, rushed me through the consultation, and shooed me out of her office with the advice to “just keep trying.” I didn’t have the guts to see another doctor until early 2014. She was a bit more helpful. She ran two blood tests and ordered an HSG (hysterosalpignogram), but in the end she diagnosed me with unexplained infertility and said there was nothing more she could do for me but send me to a fertility treatment center for IUI or IVF.

I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea that I should be able to get pregnant naturally, and I happened to meet some women who told me about NaPro –  a system that I could use to find the underlying cause of my infertility. I looked it up and found a Fertility Care Practitioner who helped me learn a new method of charting and of fertility awareness. It is through this program that I have finally been given what seems to be the reason for my infertility – endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial lining that normally grows inside of the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus. I don’t have an official diagnosis, because that can only be made through a laparoscopy, but during a recent physical exam, my NaPro physician said that she felt what is likely endometriosis in my pelvic area.

On one hand, it’s bad news. I don’t know how severe it is, it’s a disease that can only be managed – never cured, and more than likely I will need surgery to remove whatever tissue build up is going on in my abdominopelvic cavity. On the other hand, it’s good news. It means there’s something to fix. It also explains other unresolved health problems that I have had for years, and for which I have not been able to pinpoint a cause.

Honestly, I entered 2015 in low spirits. For the past (nearly) 5 years I have waited, and hoped, and prayed to (what has often seemed like) a wall. I have watched friends get married after me and grow their  families before me. I have started my period while at baby showers. I have received convincing – but false – prophecies about getting pregnant. I have watched friends’ babies grow. I have gone to work as a preschool teacher, day in and day out, with smiles on my face and welts on my heart from the emotional beatings I’ve been taking these past 5 years. I had begun planning a life without biological children.

So, though it may seem like bad news – this potential of having endometriosis gives me so much hope. I feel like we have made some progress toward expanding our biological family.

My next appointment is in February. And I don’t know what will happen from here on out, but I am just so grateful to God that I finally have something to work on.

Perhaps I will actually get a turn to love my own child.

General, Language

Life in Haiku

I’m starting something new on my instagram page, where I will take a picture and write a Haiku to go with it each day. I’ve mentioned here before how much I love Haiku, and I really would like to get better at it.

I’ll choose some of my daily haikus to elaborate on here, with more information as to why I wrote it and what it means to me. Eventually, it would be nice to create a photography/haiku book and publish it. I don’t know how marketable that would be, but I am always coming up with haikus and I think it would be nice to have a place to store them.

Today I posted this picture and the accompanying haiku.

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I have already /taken the road less traveled. /Nothing left to fear.

I have already / taken the road less traveled./ Nothing left to fear.

I wrote this haiku last year on my way to work. I have been in an odd place, spiritually, for quite a few years and although I often seek relief from this spiritual “condition,” I also have begun to realize what a blessing it has been. Through the spiritual  experiences of my life, I have been able to see and learn so much more about God and about humanity than I ever would have been able to otherwise. This isn’t to say that I have all the answers or have reached some kind of enlightenment, far from it. However, I have a peace about my spiritual state. A peace that eradicates the fear and anxiety that I should have, considering the spiritual turmoil I have been through.

What I love about haiku is it’s ability to be simple and yet simultaneously poignant. It’s really been on my heart to study haiku and learn about how I can become better at it. I want to make that a goal for 2015.

Family, General

My first trip outside of the USA!

Last month, I finally got the opportunity to leave the USA and visit some other countries. My husband and I went on a cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Roatan – an island of Honduras. My uncle wanted to surprise my aunt for her 50th birthday, and he did so by planning this cruise. About 30 of her best friends and family members were in attendance. It was so much fun! I enjoyed spending time with my husband and sisters (who were also there)and doing something that I had never done before. I wish I had enough time to write a play by play of the entire trip, but I did take a lot of pictures and some of those will have to do for now!

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My favorite stop was Roatan. It was the first stop we made, so technically it is the first place outside of the USA that I have ever visited. I loved Roatan’s natural beauty, good food, and clear beach water. We rented a car there, and it was a little scary because there are huge potholes everywhere, steep hills and sharp turns, and there seem to be no rules on the road! A taxi used the sidewalk to pass us when he got frustrated at our slow movement – this was one of many “traffic violations” that we saw! We visited the West End and West Bay beaches while we were there. I had really good quesadillas and befriended a little girl while swimming in the ocean.

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After Honduras, we went to Belize. My husband and I didn’t get to explore as much in Belize, partially because we did an all-day excursion. We rode bicycles through Bacab eco-park which is built in a jungle. We saw holler monkeys, different types of birds, learned interesting jungle survival tips, climbed a tree, ate a tree nut, and stood on the Belize River. It was alot of fun and a good physical challenge. After making it through the jungle, we swam in the biggest pool I’ve ever seen in my life!

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After Belize, we went to Mexico. We stopped first in Costa Maya Mexico, where we visited  Mahahual beach. Costa Maya is so pretty and lively in a relaxed sort of way. We met Chilli Willy, who gave us free tequila shots. I kayacked for the first time (and tipped the boat over), and we met more little kids that wanted to hang around us. I also had the best platanos fritos imaginable. I still crave them.

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Our last stop in Mexico was in Cozumel, where we visited Mayan ruins and swam at Chen Rio beach. I love history and enjoyed learning more about Mayan culture. Cozumel had a lot of natural, untouched  (uncommercialized) beauty and I really appreciated the rawness of Cozumel.

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Aside from visiting these countries, there was lots to do on the boat. We had cocktail parties, stayed out late at the nightclub, did karaoke, yoga, and had mid-day barbecues on the boat’s pool deck. There were video arcades, game shows, and basketball tornaments. There was a party every night!  It was alot of fun.

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I am grateful for having had the chance to go on a cruise and to accomplish my goal of visiting other countries this past year. I hope my traveling days are not over with! There are still alot more places that I’d like to see. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that happen!

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