"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Untitled Blog Post #5

February 12th

How far I have come in year 22. I read the blog post I wrote last year on my birthday and was reminded of the fact that I was told year 20 and 21 would be the hardest. Lies! 22 was rough.

Let me start by saying that rough doesn't mean bad. In reality 22 was probably the best year of my life. I became myself this year, for many different reasons.

Firstly, it was the first year since I was 15 that I spent single. All of it. Being single left me a lot of space for growth, and allowed me to become a full person. Not that I wasn't a full person before, but let's be honest, I tired to define where my life was going based on my future with a man, rather than just my future on it's own. I was constantly thinking about engagement rings, weddings, when would be a good time to have kids. Yikes! Was I cray?

Secondly, I finally became an adult. I lived on my own in Minnesota, but not in this way. My brother was a 5 minute walk from me, and my parents were a 3 hour drive away. I spent my last year living with 5 awesome roommates. Now I live a 24 hour plane ride away from any family member, and I find my nights alone in my apartment haunting rather than enjoyable.

Thirdly, I have experienced more in a single year than I ever thought possible. In terms of my education about teaching, the world, and myself, I have learned so much. 

Here's to knowing that 23 will be met with new experiences, friends, adventures, and most importantly, new challenges. I can't wait to see what year 23 will bring me.

February 21st 2012

Today on my way home I realized some extraordinary. 6 months ago I didn’t even know my current friends. And now I can’t imagine what my life next year will be like without them. It is amazing how quickly people can make an impact on your life.

February 24th 2012

Today I was talking to my two friends as we sat and sipped tea. I was talking about how I will always wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t come to Albania, but also how I will never regret this decision. If I wouldn’t have come I would have regretted it forever. And then I thought about how much I miss home. But also the fact that a person is allowed to miss something and be sad about it as long as most of their time is spent happy. And I’m overall very happy with my life. And I haven't been extremely homesick in a long time.

I also realized that I’m dying to go home, not only so I can see family and drink and eat my favorite things, but so that I can remember that while I was happy there something was missing. Mostly I think that I need to spend 2 or 3 weeks at home to assure myself that I have made the right decision. And after that brief time I’ll be ready to move on to the next place.

Also every time I talk to my niece and she mentions something about me visiting I feel awful. “TT, when I turn 5 (she’s almost 4) and you come and visit maybe we can make friendship bracelets together.” What kind of terrible aunt only sees her niece every 2 years? Also my nephew keeps reaching toward the camera and all I want to do is pick him up and squeeze him.

February 26th 2012
I just got done with a delicious and successful dinner out with two fantastic girls. One is 19 and the other is 29. After talking about our life’s decisions and questioning our futures we came to the following conclusion: Life’s questions simply repeat themselves over and over again, and we will never figure out all the answers. We may as well start living for our now and figure it out as time goes on.

February 28th 2012
Sometimes, I still start thinking that I just want to find someone to spend my life with.

But, I loved a man. And a man loved me. And here’s the thing. It didn’t work. Flat out, straight forward, just didn’t. So then I start wondering why, and the answer is so clear and obvious. You can’t really be with someone until you’ve been with yourself and discovered what that means, and who you are.

Why do I always end up back here. I’ve learned this lesson so many times. I’m discovering me. And I’m not ready for anyone else to be part of that journey. It’s mine.

Also, today mid insanity workout I had to go in the other classroom, cry for one minute, and then go back to working out. I've been doing really good about living life and not being homesick, but today it just really hit me. 

Am I doomed to ever roam? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Impossible Soul

It has been so long since I've written. Mostly because I haven't been doing much other than work, grad school, and normal life. No time for travelling, although we are starting to plan our epic spring break road trip through Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia. No worries, I'll keep you posted. I've been trying to work on a post titled "my typical day" but it would seem to me that no day in my life is even slightly the same. And for that, I'm grateful.

I had a great day at work today and when I got home I happend to listen to a fantastic song by Sufjan Stevens. I love this musician so much. For some reason I haven't been able to listen to my own music much since getting here. Mostly because I think it makes me too homesick. Music was a big part of who I was, and here I just can't find anything even close to the worst of the live music in Minneapolis. I'm finally starting to get to the point where I can listen to it again. Anyway I was so intrigued with this song, and I thought I'd share the lyrics as I feel they pertain to my life in a significant way. So much so, that I'm wishing I had got some of these lyrics tattooed on my body rather than lyrics from one of his other songs. (Just kidding. Those lyrics mean a lot too.) I was going to post all the lyrics (because they are all amazing) but decided to post my favorite because the song is 15 minutes long, and that is a lot of lyrics.

Do you want to be afraid?
For life in the cage where courage's mate runs deep in the wake
For the scariest things are not half as enslaved

For life isn't stained of righteousness pain
The seed and the hail, all impossible flights for an interesting light

For love is the breath
If water and wave is cursed by the same thing that nurtured its shame
Is it worth all the work?

Instead of the life, lived tired and lost, have you left it at last
Where it floundered its death with the language of ghosts

Working on the not being afraid, and thankfully I think I've escaped the cage. I also feel that I've left behind my life that was tired and lost. Basically, you should know that although I haven't written in awhile life is going good, the job search is moving forward(I've decided not to stay in Albania),  and this truth still remains: I have some kick ass friends.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Untitled Blog Post number 4

January 16th 2013
I started working out again yesterday and I feel great! Ever since getting here I haven’t really understood how to work out. There are a few gyms, but they don’t look even as good at the terrible gyms in Minneapolis, and I can’t run because of the air pollution. I’ve decided I want to get back into running, but start very minimal, and only do it about once or twice a week.

Luckily for me, after a whole 4 months of getting in the grove of things, my fellow teachers have invited me to join in their new years resolutions with them. We are going to have kick ass bodies after this semester. One of the teachers downloaded Insanity Beach Body, and we are doing the 30 day challenge. We are going to work out 4 days a week after school. My plan is to take Friday as a rest day, go for a long walk on Saturday, and a short run (2 milesish) on Sundays. I’ll see how it goes. Today was the second day and I’m sore from head to toe, but my energy levels have spiked. After we finished the workout we all headed out to socialize for a bit and I was pretty giggly. Then I came home, turned on my happy music and danced around my living room for another 20 minutes. Then I reorganized two of my drawers, folded and put away my laundry, cleaned off the kitchen table and did my dishes.

It is pretty clear to me my body has missed this like crazy. Glad to be back at it, and I’m hoping it continues to go as well as it has. My semester of grad school (yes I decided to do it) starts in less than a week. It’s going to be tough to balance everything, but anyone who knows anything about me, knows that time management is my biggest strength. Excited to be back in the grind.

Also today something just feels right about life. The last few weeks I’ve been, almost, regretting coming to Tirana. I’ve just been thinking way too much about the other decisions I could have made and how different my life would be.  It may have something to do with the fact that I’m almost 23. When I was little I always thought I would get married when I was 23. I have no clue why, but I just did. Recently part of me has wondered what that life would have been like, and I’ve been desiring it a bit too much. Tonight, as I danced around my living room I realized I wouldn’t want my life to be any other way than how it is right now. Free, unattached, and beautiful. I can go anywhere, and I can do anything I set my mind to. I’m invincible! Then I found this quote:

January 19th 2012

I have no desire to visit the Eiffel tower, but some days I just want to be anywhere but here. I looked into purchasing a flight home today.

January 20th 2012

So confused. Before winter break I was thinking I didn’t want to go home this summer so that I could travel. Now I just want to go home more than anything in the world. I want to hug my niece and nephew, spend a few hours playing with them and reading books, and take them out for ice cream. Then I want to meet up with my brothers for some IPA and stout while we watch a packer game together. I want to have a cup of tea with my mom face to face, followed by a run with my dad.  I want to meet up with my college friends and go to terrible horrible college bars, and dance to terrible horrible music. I want to go to a bluegrass show and dance until my legs hurt. Then I want to wake up in the morning have a bloody mary, a burger with cheddar, some more IPA and fly back to Tirana. I’m hoping that the 9 mile hike in the mountains this weekend will be able to get me through until spring break.

A little later in the day
I think I’m a bit depressed. Mostly because I haven’t seen sunlight in about a week, and I had a crazy weekend. I need some vitamin D and some more sleep ASAP.

Here is a list of some things that make me happy:
  1. Smiling: sometimes just working those muscles is all it takes
  2. My friends: I have the best
  3. A nice dinner out. This is needed sometimes. I mean asparagus cream soup, fresh bread, gnocchi, tiramisu, and wine? Who could want more?
  4. Dancing. Exercise in general, really. Sit ups, walking, but mostly dancing in my living room to happy music.
  5. Happy music. Seriously. For future depressed and sad Tiara reading this: stop listening to Ryan Adams and The Very Best on repeat. Turn on some happy bluegrass, or some p-funk. Also just force yourself to dance for 10 minutes.
  6. Planning for the future. This is kind of depressing. Just live in the present Tiara, right? But at the same point. Thinking about my weekend trip and where I could be next year is pretty damn exciting.
  7. Water. Chug it. I can never have enough.
  8. Thinking about much more complicated my life COULD be. I talked to my mom today about how thankful I am I only have to make decisions for myself.
  9. Thinking about how I can be a better teacher. I’m not a bad teacher, but I know I can be better. And when I think about those cute faces I want to be.
  10. Getting out of the house. After 4 hours of sitting at home on the computer, I’m done for. I just hate being alone.

January 25th 2012

When I think about all the havoc I managed to wreak in one night of my life it is unbelievable. One more shot than I needed, one mistaken kiss, one break up, one relationship, another dozen or so partial breakups, and finally one dumb discussion about one suggestion of a potential dream. Here I am Albania. All thanks to one too many shots. I mean “shots” in multiple ways. But whoever said drinking causes people to make bad decisions had no idea what they were talking about.

February 2nd 2012

While walking home for the bars at 2:30 this morning completely stone sober I realized how out of my element I am here. No running, no hops, no bluegrass. I actually do know who I am. I’m a beer drinking, bluegrass dancing girl, who likes to long distance run in her free time. I don’t know how many more nights of half assed dancing and enjoying myself I can stand. I just want to go dance at a live bluegrass show after drinking a fair amount of delicious beers followed by some whiskey gingers. And then I want to wake up and go for a 4 mile run by Stone Arch the following morning. I’m trying Tirana! Tonight ended in a few tears. I have to shake these mood swing somehow.

In other news I’m throwing myself into research for my final class! And by “throwing myself into it” I mean procrastinating and being very confused about what being a student is. My topic: How to teach literacy skills to students of varying English skills. My research: how to create reading groups with zero materials and resources. This will be fun.

Also, I hate men. Mostly just, aggressive and crazy Albanian men who think they can just have any girl they want. Do they think I’m dumb?