Sunday, September 14, 2008

My, My, My (Click on me)

My, my, my... what a week I have had. I don't know if I have written this before, but in the past I have compared my life to be a bit like a roller coaster ride. Lots of ups and downs, but never dull moment. I simply don't allow for dull... quiet or tranquil sometimes, but never dull. Lately, however, I feel more like popcorn being cooked in a machine. My ups are very up and my downs are very down. Sometimes when I am feeling up I feel like I bang my head on the top of the pot and come crashing down only to be bounced back up again. It'll help if you try to visualize....

With that said, I will tell a bit about my past week.

Last weekend was so much fun, but thoroughly exhausting. Because the team was in town, we were up late every night... or early in the morning is more like it. This is fairly common practice here in Spain. People don't even eat dinner until between like 9-11, then they relax and start heading out. I am not used to that at all and it's hard to acclimate and damnit lack of sleep makes me cranky, even if it is due to too much fun. Anyway, in addition to being out late and laughing my ass off, I also went on two job interviews and finally decided to take a job that starts tomorrow. This added to my ups, but also created a little stress for me because every school year brings it's own stresses but a new job, in a new country, with a TOTALLY new population of kids that don't even speak the same language as me (well at least not what I am used to) is a lot. Ups, ups, ups... downs, downs, downs...

Wednesday I crashed hard!!! I didn't exactly realize why at the time, but I completely lost it. My laptop has been giving me some difficulties, especially with the wireless issue. A big reason that I want wireless is because I am living on the 9th floor with a gigantic terrace, actually three terraces, and I want to be able to sit out there and use my computer without being confined to the indoors. I would like to be able to write, do research, chat, talk to my friends via Skype, etc... I have spent an unreasonable amount of money to get it to work for me and it continues to give me a hard time. To add to that, when the cable guy came hear to install everything, I had to ask him to leave because he was... inappropriate at best. This makes me nervous to call the cable company again... I don't want that guy back here and I don't want to report him because he knows where I live... anyway... a bit more stress there. Then, my power supply wire broke, I had to get another one and it was over 100 Euros!!!!! that's like $150!!! I was pissed and it just made me break down. I lost it....

In the end, I bought the stupid cord, stopped at the local bar (which I will have to write about sometime) to have a drink before and vent to friends before I went home. I got the power working and then spent hours on the phone with my friend in Madrid who first listened to me vent some more, then helped calm me and finally had me laughing and giggling by the end of our conversation. It's rare to find a friend who is willing and able to be there in times of insanity, especially when distance is such an issue. I should mention here that I am very grateful.
The next day I realized that I was having... let's say, hormonal issues that I just wasn't recognizing in the moment. I share this because just knowing that helped me feel so much better because I knew for one that it was only temporary insanity and for two there was a legitimate reason for my breakdown... HORMONES!!! Eckkkk.
Biggest fear: actual nervous breakdown.... it is my wholehearted belief that having mini-breakdowns every once in a while helps keep off the big one that requires some sort of long term lock up... ok kidding... kinda... I know and love people that have been through this type of trauma and I always kinda wonder how far behind them I might be.

In the midst of my little breakdown, I went into work two days this week to assist with a little curriculum development, get to know the materials the academy has, fellow teachers, my boss, what is to be expected of me, etc. I really like the place a lot. Ironically for me, it's called "The American Cultural Academy". It's like an extra-curricular program for kids either during one hour of their two hour lunch break from school, or after school. I will be teaching from 12-1 then a three hour break and again from about 4:30- 7:30. Ummm yeah... that's 4 hours a day... :) With a three hour break??? ¿Is this my life?

Did I mention it is Monday through Thursday??? As in no Friday... making TGIF better than ever and perhaps even adding a TGIT in to my life... or I guess I should say TGIJ (jueves) or GDEJ... I don't think I need to translate that... you probably get the gist. So, hear is the scary part of the job, I mean besides the fact that everyone there speaks Spanish primarily and I have a 3 hour break in an unfamiliar town (about 45 minutes from here by metro and bus)... I have a variety of age groups that I have to teach, beginning from 4 years old going up to 15!!! FOUR!!! OMG!!! ok... I haven't taught kids that young in... forever and even then I was the assistant not the teacher. Additionally, for most of these kids, I will be the first introduction to English the will ever have... no pressure though... ahhhh.

In spite of it all, I am excited about the job. My boss seems equally as excited to have me, a certified teacher from NY. She lived in LA for a few years about 15 years ago, and loves the culture of the US (not the politics). Part of the deal too is that I will be tutoring her kids 1/2 hour a day, bringing the work week to a whopping 20 hours. One of the boys has dyslexia and she wants me to work on some issues with him. Because of these reasons, she has offered me a good amount of money to come work for her. Still no where near what I make in NY, but certainly enough to live on here and with my three days off a week I might even get to do a little traveling... well nevermind might, I will. First trip will be to Belgium to see Julie who is going back October 10th. I can not tell you how much I will miss her.

After not working for 2 1/2 months, I am ready to go back. I am ready to teach and to be around kids again. I feel prepared to take on the responsibilities that go along with teaching more so than many other jobs.... I have let go of the Spanish Bagel store (though I still love to go in and say hi the Serg... :) ). I have let go of the need for WiFi (for the time being).

Some wise words were shared with me this week, and I have kept them in my head to remind myself not to get wrapped up in my own nonsense...

"Remember water is stronger than stone... be like water my friend."


annie kelleher said...

wow what a beautiful view! i enjoyed reading of your ups and downs week ... sounds a little like mine :)... i will be back! :)

P.A. GIbbons said...

WOW write from the heart and so beautifully.

Live in the moment. That is the best advice I can give. I remind myself constantly. One moment at a time. It keeps me from having that breakdown. The one time it failed I went to Barnes and Noble and spent a lot of time and money and avoided the lock up. Ask me sometime about that story, lol.

love your girl! xxpatti