Friday, June 1, 2012

go girl, it's your birthday

By the time I finish writing this post, I will officially be 22 years old. What an incredible year it's been! I have to say I have had a very full (and abnormal) 21st year. I wanted to reflect on what 21 looked like for me, because it was a year of extraordinary change.


19 days after my 21st birthday, I boarded a plane and left Michigan for California. I felt unbelievably exhilarated. It was my first big step into adulthood⎯leaving the town I grew up in to take my first real job, in a place where I knew almost no one.


Taught U.S. History in an L.A. high school for the summer (HAMILTON FO'EVA!!). It was at Teach For America's Institute that I made 8 of the best friends I have ever had. I'm a lucky girl. I couldn't have made it without them. Co-teachers for life~


Came to Oakland on August 1st and started living in my first apartment ever! This included a major step of moving in with my partner, Henrik; he drove across the country to be with me while I do Teach For America. :) Now that's love.

Soon after⎯started my first year of teaching! At 21 years and 3 months, I started teaching high school Resource to 11th and 12th graders at a charter school in Hayward. Two years ago, I would have never thought myself capable of handling the immense responsibility that comes with being a teacher. Two weeks from the end of the school year, I'm happy to say that I made it! And I loved it! I'm so ready to do this again in the fall. :)

Of course, it wasn't all work all the time (though it definitely felt like it on more than one occasion! ;) ). I had visitors, adventures, and big life events. Here's a sampling!


That was 21 in a nutshell! What a crazy, intense, exhausting, mind-blowing, hilarious, humbling, joy-filled, agonizing, beautiful year. Would I trade it? Hell no. I have lived my 21st year in a way that is abnormal, filled not with parties but IEPs and not one-night-stands but 5-day-weeks. I have spent more time with 16 and 30 year olds than I have with people my own age, and I'm good with that. Though I graduated over a year ago, I have learned so much this year⎯about classroom management, about how to manage money, about public transit in the Bay, about the faith of children, about what hard work feels like, about learning disabilities, about organizing events, about making phone calls and trying to speak Spanish, about cooking meals, about utter and complete exhaustion, about not giving up, about being vulnerable, about being wrong, about loving your work so much you can't stand it, about laughter, about how good I have it. 21 was an incredible year, and I'm sad to see it go. I'm proud, though, to say I lived it the way I did⎯and I'm definitely ready to see what's next for me. Cheers to 22!


and ps. my birthday song, awww yeahhhh:

16 comments :

  1. Aw what lovely photographs and what lovely memories! Happy Birthday I hope you have another year as tremendous as the last!

    dimplesdiaries
    x

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  2. This post was so inspiring, and I'm so happy I found your blog recently. You are so beautiful and accomplished! Huge inspiration to me. I hope 22 is just as amazing as 21!! I hope my 25th year can be half as cool as yours. :)

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    1. Thanks, Amy!! You are so incredibly kind. :D I am sure 25 will be full of awe-inspiring things, m'am. :)

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  3. Well, happy birthday, you gorgeous girl you! And welcome to the 22 club! Seems like you've been having tons of adventures as it is and I'm sure you have tons more in store! Can't wait to read more of your adventures! ;)

    xo

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    1. Yay 22 club!! :D I am an enthusiastic new member! Thanks so much for your sweet birthday wishes, you are the best!

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  4. Love it darling! lets follow each other <3

    FashionSpot.ro

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    1. Just started following you! You have such beautiful pictures. :D

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  5. Now THAT is an awesome year!! Happy (belated) birthday! I hope it was as great as you are.

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    1. Thanks m'am! :D It was fantastic!

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  6. This post makes me so excited! It sounds like you've had a hectic but incredible year. I've been thinking about applying for Teach for Australia when I graduate (it's a little way off), so it's great to see somebody who is out there and doing it! Oh and happy birthday :)

    I'll definitely be returning to read more!! Rhi xx

    The Wildest of Dreams

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    1. Ooo, if you end up doing Teach for Australia (long ways away or no!), I'd love to hear about it! :)

      I just was creeping on your blog, it is too cute. :) Don't be surprised to find me commenting all over the place, haha.

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  7. Looks like you had a wonderful year! Happy Birthday and may this year bring you even more joy! :)

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Comments make my day⎯really! I love reading what you have to say. Hope to hear from you. :)

Best,
Leila

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