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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Relax :)

Hi There!

I apologize for my absence and lack of posts.  Two weeks have gone by and I have been buuuusssssyyy with work! I signed my contract last Monday (Yippeee!)!

Two weeks ago my mother and I threw my sister, Lauren, a baby shower. My sister is due in November and is having a little baby girl.  I am above the moon excited for my first little niece's arrival. I am so happy for my sister and brother-in-law.  My mom and my aunt did all of the decorating, doesn't it look beautiful?

My and the Belly!!! (The only picture Lauren will let me post of her :)

My Best Friend, our other sister, Erica and Me

The Party throwers :) My momma and Me (I look super tall here, don't be fooled ;)

These past two weeks have been very hectic! Between getting my room organized, a successful first Open House, and our Back-to-School party...whew I am exhausted! At the BTSP  my old principal told me that she wants me in her school next year! What an honor! I thought she didn't like me :) The superintendent of the schools said that I am doing a great job (yeyy!) and then gave me a teaching contract! But of course hard work often comes with stress.  I am bit of a perfectionist, therefore from the moment I wake up at 5:15am to the time I go to sleep at 10:15pm, I am thinking of ways to make my class better.  This is not always a bad thing, however it is a bit draining.  Along with this stress my running routine went out the window... sadly! I have been doing some Bikram, but I just do not feel the same without my running.

Last night I pulled a few tarot cards while at my best friend's house.  One of cards was to relax.  Then, this morning all of my horoscopes (yes, all- I read DailyOm, and two different ones on Facebook lol) were about relaxing, and enjoying it.  Okay Universe, I hear you!! Relaxing....hummm...As I said before, I am a perfectionist, and certainly a type A personality.  I try, but I do not relax well.  So, after two weeks of not running, what did I do on my day of relaxation? I went for a run in the woods :) This run was different than any of my past runs.  Today is a beautiful Autumn, sunny, and cool day in Jersey, perfect running weather.  I turned my meditation playlist on my iPod, and ran the most peaceful, relaxing run I could have ever imagined.  I relished in this peace, breathing in the cool crisp Autumn air, taking in the new colors on the trees. The universe was yelling at me to relax today, and THIS is what I call relaxing. There is nothing else that relaxes me more!

Reading and acting out a story from the Smart Board (I love my job :)
Open House, my classroom all ready for the momma's and poppa's :)

Happy Autumn Everyone!
If you do one thing this weekend, relax :p

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My First Week of Being a Teacher :)

Hello Friends!

I have to apologize for not posting anything in over a week, as you know from my last post, I got a teaching job and I started in my new classroom this past Monday!  I am in utter bliss, this whole week has been exhilarating.  My room started off as quite a dump, it was split to be two Spanish classrooms, with two male teachers, in a building built in the 60's.  There were, until I got a hold of a razor :) velcro stickers EVERYWHERE, to the point where my Assistant and I felt anxious looking at them.  So, my room has become my new favorite hobby, it is like my own Walk-in Scrap-Book, how much fun!  I go into work an hour early (7:30 am) and I stay until the janitor kicks me out at 6:00pm.  It hasn't even phased me as being "work", I am just still so pumped up of having my own room, and I could not be happier!  I will post final product pics of my room later this week. But until then, here is a picture of me and some of the kids with our class puppet, Curiosity the Cat:

As for the kids, I have ALL 4-year-olds!!! Yeyyyy, no diapers :) And, so far I only have 9 children, so I have had a lot of time to focus on the small groups and getting to know these 9 kids, until the other 6 show up.  My Assistant is fantastic, and it just so happened that we know each other, we went to high school together (in a small class of 130 graduates), and we went to Montclair State together, we are friends, and she is so much like me in her OCD behaviors that it is just a PERFECT fit.  She has her teaching certification too, so she has been a tremendous help, I don't know what I would do without her.

Last Monday was also the first day of my Nutrition class... I am sad to say, but after driving up to class (took two hours after my first day of teaching), in a crazy storm, I walked into a class with a professor who used to work for the FDA.  The title of this course was "Food Regulations and Compliances", and I was excited.  I thought, like many of my other college courses at Montclair, that this class would be as Liberal, and open to all ideas.  I thought that I would walk in and be able to proudly state my knowledge (and the reason why I eat a mostly vegan diet), and impress my professor and fellow classmates....But, I was wrong...rather this professor stood up in front of a class of future Nutritionists preaching about how it is ridiculous that when "science" and  the FDA say that something is "SAFE", like irradiating food, then the government and small groups of people should not be able to argue.  In New Jersey, Irradiating food is currently illegal.  Not because of the FDA or Science, but because of people like you and me who fight to make sure that the food that we put on our table to feel our families and ourselves is in its most natural form.  It such a scary thought that the other 20 students in this class were listening with excitement as this ignorant professor spoke. Shouldn't NUTRITION classes be about the best possible nutrition one can have?  I was infuriated, as I sat there trying to control myself from walking out! The thought of that painful 2 hours, just makes me a little queazy! I was relieved when I ran out of that class and dropped it on my walk to my car :)  I will try again in January, hopefully with better luck!

So today my mother and I are throwing my sister (whom many of you know) her Baby Shower!! My little niece is due in November, and we are so excited!! I made a delicious Quinoa dish, which I will post many, many pics next week.

I am going for the first run in over a week- I am so excited!! Have a fantastic and peaceful week! <3

Friday, September 10, 2010

i got HIRED!

After all of my mopping and tears last week... I found out this afternoon at 5:10pm that I GOT HIRED as a TEACHER!!! Wooooooo!!!

 Ya know, The Secret (The Secret) really does friggen work! I mean, come on, before this I was set on not wanting to teach... and then this weekend hit and I remembered how much I LOVED to teach, and I cried about it, wished for it, and BOOM I got it. Wow. I am lost for words. I AM good enough to be a teacher, they DO appreciate the work I do. I WILL be a great teacher, I know it.  I begin Monday morning, I will spend all weekend preparing (so excited!) and I know I will do the best possible job that I can do. 

Thank you Universe, thank you. I could not be happier right now.  

Also, on Monday I begin my first day of classes in my Nutrition degree... which I will not let fade away. I read an article today posted on Kris Carr's email letter through Crazy Sexy Life found HERE about New York City's efforts better nutrition in schools.  Coincidence? No. Omen? Yes.  This is my first step to making a difference, I am now a teacher, so now I have the power to make the difference I want to make. Ahhhh I am so excited!!!

Have a fabulous weekend.  Enjoy the fall weather. I know I will!  I will post updates after Monday.

Thank you for your support!! And please keep believing in your dreams.  Anything you set your mind to, you can achieve. I believe in The Secret.

Navesink RIver, Believing in your Dreams, 2009

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running is my therapy...

Hello All! Happy Labor Day, I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend.  It was perfect running weather here in New Jersey.  The type of weather we wait all year for and pray that it never goes away.

So, I have a confession to make... two nights ago my emotions got the best of me and I was not confident or positive at all.  As my boyfriend and I were about to go to bed, I was suddenly overcome with strong emotions due to rejection (isn't it funny how these things come and bit you in the butt out of nowhere?). It was as if all of a sudden everything that has happened with my work situation was dumped on me all at once.  Whyyyy didn't they hire me? What did I do wrong?  If I had a teaching job would I still be pursing a Nutrition Degree? Then it hit me, the hardest question, is the reason I do not want to teach any more because of all of this rejection?  I have come to believe that I cannot be a good teacher, regardless of how well I did in my student teaching, and regardless of how much I loved it, at this point I have convinced myself that I won't be happy as a teacher. But, is this all because of the rejection? Have I trained myself to believe these thoughts as resilience?  This realization caused me to have so much hatred.  I went to sleep that night with these feelings still very present... and I woke up on a beautiful morning with more sadness and anger then I had before.  Just the thought of it immediately brought on the water works... I was in a state I could not get out of... a very sad state. The worst part was that I could not even enjoy this beautiful weekend!

So, I did what I know always makes me feel amazing: I laced up my sneakers and headed out for a run in the woods.  For the first mile my mind was replaying the past year, as I was trying to figure out what exactly I did wrong. But then by the second mile, as I entered my favorite part of the woods, my senses kicked back in. I felt the cool end-of-summer breeze that rustled through the trees. I looked around at the bank I was passing through and noticed the sun glistening through the trees. I took a deep breath in, the smells were magnificent, the pine, the fresh air, it was a surreal experience. And then, my stress was gone.. anger, sadness and all, and my confidence returned. I felt strong, I felt smart, I felt determined, and I felt like I was on the right path, once again. Yesterday I not only ran my longest run of 7 miles, but I ran with passion. The passion I had lost for those few sad hours.  Running brought me back down to Earth and helped me to remember that everything happens for a reason. I am in the situation I am in, because there is more that I need to do.  I do not need (or really want) to be a preschool teacher.  I need and want to teach something I am passionate about, and that is Nutrition. Running reminded me that I am and will be a great teacher, and I will change many lives.  I am so blessed to have running as my therapy. Who needs drugs or therapy when you have two legs to run with?

Oceanic Bridge, Rumson, New Jersey (9/4/10)

"Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you."- Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blessings in Disguise...

Hello my new followers, thank you so much for the love and support you have given me already :) I am so happy to be here!

Today was the very first day back to school in the pre-school.  A day I was looking forward to with both joy and apprehension. As I mentioned in my first post, it has been quite a battle to get a teaching job.  Currently I am a paraprofessional...oh wait, sorry, new name for that now, drum roll please.... an "instructional assistant".  Anyway, I do love my job.  How bad could it be? I get to work with wonderful people who are all so different from one another, AND play with 3-year-olds all day! So there is my joy.... my apprehension... well, I have learned in life that when you work hard, you are rewarded. Unfortunately in my current situation, when I work hard, I am kept in the same place while others tend to advance, and be rewarded.  Yes, a situation that would make many of us quite depressed.  A situation that my first encounter with a psychic labeled as being in a "weird place". I actually almost cried when an excited substitute, who was hired, ran over to me today to see where I have been placed, of course assuming I was moved into a teaching position... this is where The Secret jumps into work.  Any other time in a like situation I would have stood around and moped.  Accepting all of my fellow sincere employees regret for me.  But today was different (well except for that 2-3 seconds when I almost cried, which I must say I quickly recovered from).  Today I held my head high because I have a new found sense of faith in my purpose.  I am literally RUNNING in the direction of my dreams, sorry Thoreau, "going" just isn't my pace. Today, when asked questions like, "WHY didn't they hire you, Amanda? What is wrong with them?" I responded by saying that I am happy where I am, I could not be happier.  I am blessed to have this job, because THIS job allows me to fulfill my purpose.  Because of THIS job as an "instruction assistant", encourages me to go back to school and receive my Masters in Nutrition and Food Science.  Because of this job, I can not only afford it, but Hey, they will reimburse me so that I do not go into (more) debt (undergraduate student loans).  Because of this job, I have more time and more energy to focus on what I, Amanda, really want in life.  

From the outside, many people may feel bad for me.  I mean come on, straight A student, has worked her butt off her entire life to get to this point, was promised a teaching job last year (yep...), and just keeps being over looked... but to ME this is a blessing.  I may not have realized it as a blessing if it were not for my new found acceptance, faith, and belief in my dreams.  But, this is all a true blessing and everything is working out just the way it needs to. I do not want anyone to feel bad for me. I want them to be excited for me.

While I lay in bed tonight, I finished reading The Secret, and the lesson learned about life in this last section has pretty much reassured me that I am Okay, as long as I believe.  In these last few pages I read what I found to be my favorite among the many inspiring quotes throughout the book:

"The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundanceSuccess comes from within, not from without." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photo of the Navesink River, New Jersey (2009)

If you are in a "weird place" like me, please share your stories so we can continue to support and inspire one another.  BELIEVE in yourself, in your DREAMS.  As my buddy Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, success comes from within, not from without.

Have a wonderful day, thank your higher power for everything you have been blessed with, especially for those disguised blessings... Believe and SMILE because you know you are on the path to reaching your dreams <3
 Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why I am here...

Hello World! 

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined." Thoreau

I would like to use my very first (ever!-ahh) blog posting to explain to all of you curious people, why I am here... sooo here it goes (breathe in, breathe out- I am a tid-bit nervous.) So, I am 23-years-old from New Jersey.  My motivation to come here is due to the tremendous amount of change I am experiencing in my life.  My Chiropractor claims that there is a lot of Nitrogen (?) in the air, and therefore I am not alone... but anyway, I believe I am a product of a college graduate who worked my behind off to receive good grades and graduate with honors, only to leave the college world and find that regardless of my accomplishments, I cannot get a teaching job...whoever thought they wouldn't need teachers?  At first I was pretty depressed about my situation, but going onto my second year as a paraprofessional (aka: a glorified teacher aide), I have found this recession to be a blessing in disguise...

In lieu of my situation, I have had the amazing opportunity to look within, I think I may actually know Amanda (me), rather than this elementary school teacher everyone told me I would be great at being.  So, on September 13th I begin taking my very first Masters course in Nutrition and Food Science. Now, this idea of becoming a nutritionist did not just fabricate over my many failed attempts at becoming a teacher, but rather from my many experiences over the past few years where I have learned that I really do (and can) help people and motivate them to get healthy and take charge of their lives.

I must credit the forces I have been faced with (and yes forces, because they have literally forced me to pay attention to myself and my surroundings- Hello Universe!)  that have helped me realize my true purpose: First of all, just two weeks ago (around the same time I realized I was not getting hired as a full-time teacher), I began running.  I have been a devout exerciser since I was 18-years-old, I always have found peace of mind when I worked out, exercise has become my therapy... but running has become by drug.  My first day running I did three miles in a local (and intense!) trail.  My second day, I did 5 miles, by the third day I was running 6 miles, and on the fourth I did 8... and I could keep going... if I wasn't so frightened of shin splints :).  When I run in the woods, I feel alive, I can feel the energy running through my veins, I feel light as a feather and so connected to nature.  There is truly nothing like it. The second force is one I have been am a little late at catching on to, but it has reached me at the most perfect time, that is The Secret.  If you have not read The Secret, or seen the movie, I highly recommend it and will be speaking about it's concepts often.  So, with that, I created my Vision Board, and now I am doing something that I put on my board just yesterday morning, I am writing in hope that I will be able to make a difference in someone's life... my purpose.

So, here I am, ready to open my mind, begin writing again (I love writing), and have You, to hold me accountable.  I plan to write about my journey of being a paraprofessional in a 3-year-old classroom, while pursuing a Nutrition degree, and using running to remain sane.  I am a very open-minded person, so I am willing to talk about anything (well, except politics, I try to avoid conflict :) I hope you will follow me on this journey, and support me, as I try and support you. If you want to know more about me, and where this whole idea of becoming a Nutritionist came from (I could go on, and on, but I won't :), you can read my profile. Otherwise, I hope you come back soon so I can teach you everything I am learning and we can support each other in this beautiful journey of life <3